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Home > Outdoor Sketching for Beginners

Outdoor Sketching for Beginners

10th July 2023
Outdoor Sketching for Beginners
Broad Canvas

Outdoor sketching is an excellent way for beginners to explore their artistic talents and immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world. Unlike studio-based art, outdoor sketching allows you to capture the essence of a scene in real-time, with its vibrant colours, shifting light, and dynamic elements.

Whether you are a complete novice or have some drawing experience, venturing outdoors with a sketchbook and pencils can be an inspiring and rewarding experience.

man sketching outdoors using a technical pen and s
two children sat at a table outdoors, drawing toge

For beginners, one of the key advantages of outdoor sketching is the opportunity to learn and develop fundamental drawing skills. Being in an outdoor setting exposes you to a wide range of subjects, such as landscapes, buildings, people, and animals. By observing and sketching these elements, you can refine your understanding of proportions, perspective, shading, and composition. The act of sketching from life helps you train your hand-eye coordination and enables you to better represent the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface.

two children sat at a table outdoors, drawing toge

Another benefit is the chance to experiment with different mediums and techniques. Materials like pencils, pens, charcoal, and watercolors are portable and easy to carry, allowing you to explore new and interesting approaches. You can try different mark-making techniques, play with line weights, experiment with textures, and learn how to capture the effects of light and shadow. Being outdoors provides an ever-changing backdrop, giving you endless opportunities to experiment with different subjects and techniques. Just go for it.

mother and son experimenting with sketching outdoo
a lady stood won the Rialto bridge, sketching a sc

Outdoor sketching also offers beginners the chance to develop their observation skills. When sketching from life, you need to pay close attention to details, analyse shapes, colours and forms, and observe the relationships between objects. This heightened observation not only helps you capture the essence of what you see but also trains your ability to notice subtleties and nuances. Over time, this skill can translate into other areas of your life, fostering a greater appreciation for the world around you and enhancing your ability to observe and interpret the visual world.

a lady stood won the Rialto bridge, sketching a sc

Lastly, outdoor sketching can be a source of inspiration and relaxation for beginners. Being in nature or exploring urban landscapes can spark creativity and provide a sense of tranquility. The act of sketching itself can be a form of meditation, allowing you to focus on the present moment and disconnect from the stresses of daily life. Outdoor sketching encourages you to slow down, appreciate the small details, and embrace the beauty of the world. It's a personal and intimate experience that allows beginners to develop their own artistic voice while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of creating art in a natural environment.

We stock a wide variety of drawing pens, pencils, soft/chalk pastels, oil pastels, crayons, charcoal and graphite - as well as drawing equipment such as rulers and set squares if you need straighter edges. Our stockists include Faber Castell, Derwent, Sennelier, Caren DAche, Conte, Copic, Unison and Pilot amongst many other excellent brand names.

If you're looking for a great, portable sketching set, we have 33% off the Derwent Sketching Wallet. It features a selection of graphite sketching pencils, charcoal pencils, an A5 sketching pad and the some all important accessories. It comes neatly and conveniently cased in a stylish wallet... perfect for art on the go this summer.

See our full range of drawing and sketching products here.