Moving out of my comfort zone with sketching in public with watercolor


I love the loose wet look of watercolor sketches but have never really done on location painting before. I sketch in public all the time but have never pulled out a set of travel watercolors and finished off the sketch that way. I love doing watercolor in the comfort of my studio so I thought it was time to step it up a bit.

While I am somewhat comfortable using my tricks to sketch in public without being noticed, for some reason doing it in watercolor made me feel like I would be more exposed. I don’t like people looking over my shoulder as I am sketching I think because I feel vulnerable because it isn’t finished yet. This week I set out on a mission to get over that hurdle and see how it went.

I have to say it wasn’t too bad. At the end, I did feel a little anxious when I got my brush and paint out. The feeling was more so about feeling rushed to get it down. In the process though, I realized it is no different than if they were to get up in the middle of my sketch. I improvise and make it work whether it is just pen or pen and wash. The beauty is, as everyone stated in a previous post (“How do you sketch on location with watercolors?“), I can always take a picture or paint it later.

Anyone else have one of those aha moments where you realize your making something harder or bigger than it is?

12 thoughts on “Moving out of my comfort zone with sketching in public with watercolor

  1. Great sketch. I love your new loose sketching. In my opinion when we are going out for sketching , especially people, we can lose some details but we acknowledge more sparks of life in fewer lines. That also what I see in this current post.

    Have a great day


    • Thank you! I totally agree. I find when I am sketching my son, because I know every detail if his face, a lot if times I end up over working it. It comes down to draw what you see, not what you know. I always have to remind myself of that when drawing him.


  2. Wonderful – it has a real vibrancy and “in the moment” feel to it. It also doesn’t look like you’ve not done this before! Well done. I’d love to have the courage to try this myself sometime..


  3. Good for you for having the courage to get out and sketch in public. You did a terrific job. The proportions of the people’s heads and bodies are perfect!


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