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A 10 Second Sketch

March 27, 2010

Sometimes you want to do a sketch but there‘s little time to get it done.  How do you capture the essence, and what are the elements you need to draw to make your sketch special?

“I saw this girl in this restaurant, and she seems so much like you.” Her silhouette, her posture and her graceful movements captured my imagination. Her eyes, nose, hands and hair were all I really needed!

British artist, George Chinnery (1774 – 1825), who lived in Macau for 27 years arriving in 1825, did a lot of “10 second sketches” of people as he strolled through the streets of Macau. They are brilliant action sketches with little details, yet they depicted the everyday life of the people handsomely.

The art collection of Dutch artist Rembrandt (1606 – 1669), also includes numerous “10 second sketches” of men, women, figures, religious studies and in particular landscapes, buildings and ruins.

The works of these masters confirm that our “10 second sketches” have value after all, even if our critics disagree. Have faith in your sketches!

From → Sketching

  1. sketching journey permalink

    Here’s a reason to always have your sketch book handy. Sometimes the mood of the setting and your immediate, personal sentiments, together with your imagination can make a spontaneous sketch happen!

  2. Absolutely. 10 second sketches are the best for capturing the mood, the tension in the body of the figure, and the overall setting. I think nothing can replace a 10 second sketch – not even a photograph…it cuts out the fluff and carries only the impression of the artist.

    Warm Regards,

  3. sketching journey permalink

    Rightly said. It’s about capturing the moment not communicating. Architects and illustrators do a lot of “10 second sketching”, however these sketches are used to illustrate an idea and usually not to capture a mood.

  4. I know…but I find them useful for capturing moods as well:) especially if you focus on the lights and shadows in a scene; and on the expressions in a face. You are right though – mood has got a lot to do with colors…and in 10 second sketches you don’t have the luxury of working with colors.

    Warm Regards,

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