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Drawing On Location – In Winter

Posted by Koosje Koene in ArtJournal, sketchbook on January 24, 2018

Out of your comfort zone – on location

Drawing on location can take you out of your comfort zone. Quite literally – you need to step out from the comfort of your home for it. I love to just sit myself down on the corner of a street or on a bench anywhere in the city, and just draw whatever is in front of me. Sure, sometimes it takes a bit of roaming around before you find a spot that has a comfortable spot to sit AND an interesting view to draw, but to be honest: anything is interesting to draw, so I always try to limit my decision-making time so I get to the drawing part as soon as possible. Also, just recently I bought myself a tiny folding chair, which allows me to sit anywhere I want to draw, without the need to look for a bench, a clean piece of curb, or choose to draw standing up.

But what to do in winter?

In the Netherlands around this time of year the weather is cold an grey and some days wet and windy too. So even though I love spending time at home – cooking, binge-watching Netflix shows, working on projects, drawing random stuff in the house, I still feel the need to get out and surround myself with different impulses, people, and views.
Lately, I haven’t been feeling like bundling up for the cold and drawing outside. In terms of (new year’s) resolutions, I’m all about making things as comfortable as possible. So the prospect of drawing in the cold with a runny nose and cold feet and fingers… it’s just not very appealing to me right now.

Luckily I live in a lively neighborhood with a lot of nice restaurants and cafes to go to.
Usually, I set myself the goal to finish a drawing within the time of finishing a hot drink, or two. When I order any of my favorite drinks, my drawing time depends on it. Which means that a double espresso allows me little time, a cappuccino a bit more, and a cup of tea lasts longest. Ordering lunch alongside of it, will give me an even longer stretch. Additional advantage: It gives me a sense of luxury, it makes me realize how lucky I am that I can afford to do this regularly, and again it gives that needed sense of comfort.

So here’s a few of the drawings I’ve collected from my recent sketchbook pages

At the tea bar (2 orders of large teas – sipping them slooooowly);

During a visit to Rotterdam (sipping 2 americanos and 2 glasses of water):

Sunday afternoon in our hangout café (1 cappuccino, 1 glass of water, 1 rooibos tea):

And again, at that same hangout (2 cappuccinos, 2 glasses of water):

Koosje Koene

Hi I'm Koosje. I'm an illustrator and art teacher in Amsterdam, where I was born and raised. I went to school to study graphic design, then worked for ten years as an award-winning professional photographer. But eventually my love of drawing and painting took over and I became an illustrator. My illustrations have been published in many Dutch magazines and in 2011, I began blogging and started developing and teaching online art classes. In 2014 I founded Sketchbook Skool, which is a flourishing community of artists from around the world of all skill levels.