A “Sense of Place”

I am sharing a couple sketches I did last week for my online class. We are working on sketching buildings that show a “sense of place.” From my plein air painting days, we tried to do the same thing. Look for things that define a place or building, whether it’s type of structure, decorations, what’s around it, or signage, anything that defines it as unique. I went to Stillwater again, which has many houses with unique character.

One house that I chose to sketch was a Victorian beauty with a turret. Mint green, cream, and rust-colored accents drew my attention to the beautiful architecture. I sat in a parking lot on the side of the house. I had seen a little boy on a bike look at me from the yard, and their curious dog as well. I sat in my car and sketched away. Once I had the sketch done, I started to drive away, and noticed a pack of chickens on the side of their yard as well. Just one more unique thing about this property!


I also sketched a blue house with porch railings, white Adirondack chairs, and what really grabbed my eye— a sailboat in the driveway! I had to move my car while mid-sketch, as a noisy street sweeper was creeping up behind me where I sat. I drove around the block, circled back, and re-parked after it went by. I liked the boat. I’ve got something for boats, and to see it in the driveway was what got me to stop. I also liked the blue color of the house. I find color and unique objects get my attention in many of my sketches. This was a fun exercise!


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