Another Note on Taking a Mental Break to Get a Second Wind

September 14, 2009


Above: sheep sketch; 9 x 7 inches, Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. Hot Press Watercolor paper; Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor pencils (used dry).

On Sept. 6 I wrote about taking a mental break when your energy is low by returning to a favorite drawing standby. I thought you would enjoy seeing another example of this from my 2009 Minnesota State Fair visits. At the Sketch Out on Sept. 1 I returned to the barns after a short Corn Dog break and decided I really wanted to see some rich black lines on the paper. (It’s all that white paper, it’s blinding!) I sketched the above ewe with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and then scribbled in some various blues for shading. I really like the shapes I was able to catch quickly. It freed my mind up from the small strokes I had been taking all day with pencils.

Zapped back by this little break, I walked into the Poultry section with a renewed mission to sketch one more bird before I called it quits for the day (which had been a long day—I'd walked in at 10:38 a.m.).


Left: my final sketch at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out. A Toulouse Goose. Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. Hot Press Watercolor paper, 9 x 7 inches; Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor pencils (used dry).

This is probably my favorite sketch from this year’s State Fair. It was also one of the most fun and challenging. Fun because I could stand about 12 to 24 inches away from the animal I was sketching (depending on where he went in his crate). Challenging because his crate-mate wasn’t too thrilled about my presence. Once I had committed to sketching he saw it as his duty to stand between me and my model and splash me with water at frequent intervals. It was worth it. I got to absorb more detail about the bill “attachment.” And it was ultimately very pleasant to spend 15 minutes with such a handsome bird, whether I was being splattered or not. I had to stop this drawing at this point because our wrap-up meeting was looming close—and that was a good thing too, as I didn’t get fussy. 

    • elizabeth
    • September 14, 2009


    All of these sketches have been so great to see! They have really inspired me to utilize the materials I currently have in different ways and to not get stuck in a “rut. Thanks for the great posts!

  1. Reply

    I love both of them! Great work, as usual. Beautiful.

    • Roz
    • September 15, 2009

    Thank you Carla.

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