Sunday, August 28, 2011

MN State Fair Sketch-out

sleeping pig - full spread about 7x14 inches
on Rives lightweight in cream,
sketched with Sharpie pen,
Grumbacher watercolor added
Last Saturday I was at the Minnesota State Fair with a group of about eleven people from the MCBA Visual Journal Collective for a sketch-out. We had a lovely day drawing amongst the thousands of visitors to the fair. We met as a group at one and four so we could chat about our adventures drawing at such a large public event as well as to share our work with one another.

My first sketch - trying to catch the
crowds and booths along a street
brown Pitt pen
I began my day drawing just using a brown (sepia) Pitt pen. I was trying to draw fast and catch a sense of the crowds, buildings, and booths that line the streets of the fair. I have to say that was challenging and I moved on to drawing the livestock in the barns instead.

The cow barn- brown Pitt pen
The animals are always enjoyable to draw at the fair and I got a handful of drawings in before the first meeting was scheduled. After we met as a group, I inadvertently switched pens. I had been using a sepia Pitt pen and I grabbed my black Sharpie pen instead - no big deal just something I noticed later when I looked at my sketches from the day.
After the break, I also switched it up and decided to try my hand at adding paint to my sketches on site. If I am going to add color I very often add it at home after the fact, but so many sketchers had beautifully painted pages from that morning I decided to try and paint too. That is the great thing about seeing someone else's work, it can push you to try something new.

Little sheep - Sharpie pen,
Grumbacher watercolor,
my favorite from the day.
The sheep was my first attempt at adding color on the spot. I was happy it worked out to paint as I sketched in the barn using my travel set and a Niji brush, so I continued to add color to the remainder of my pages. (The pig at the top of the post came after the sheep.)
After the pig and sheep, I took a sketching break and walked across the fair to see the fine art building and other sights. After walking back and arriving at our meeting place for the afternoon, I sat and sketched while talking to Marty Harris, a fellow sketcher at the fair. I was sketching a group of five boys that all had on green shirts but they got up before I finished the whole group - I got two and they were the last sketch I did that day.
I feel like I had a great day, I pushed myself to try something new and got to get out and spend the day drawing. What could be better?

Two boys - my last sketch of the day
done while talking with another sketcher and
waiting for the rest of the group.
Sharpie pen, Grumbacher watercolor


  1. Suzanne, didn't you sketch the fair last year or the year before as well? I seem to remember one of the bloggers I follow doing that...

    At any rate, these are just simply fabulous! I love that you added color and my favorite is absolutely the cows. Gorgeous composition!

  2. Suzanne, I love seeing your sketches, and love that you had successful experiments on the lighter weight Rives!

    Thank you for showing up, and for tracking me down for that final meeting! I think the total of participants was 13, but I don't have the sheet in front of me. (I haven't even scanned one page of my State Fair journal yet—so I'm rather behind in writing about it.)