The key to drawing in the street

This week I did a little urban sketching, drawing a crusty old locksmith shop in the Village. I was inspired by one of my idols, Nina Johansson, who we managed to convince to teach at Sketchbook Skool. Here I am doing my homework for her klass, despite a never-ending stream of obstacles.

11 thoughts on “The key to drawing in the street”

  1. Wonderful play by play description anchoring the whole experience of what I think is a wonderful piece. Enjoyed your dance with the monkey. Thank you Danny.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your struggle with this drawing and the process of recognizing the struggle’s value.

    You illustrated the lesson hardest for me to learn – when to stop. I like white space and sometimes struggle to see that has a “color” of its own, that it has weight. I don’t always need to do something in it. I just need to “leave it.”

    Similarly, watercolor is hard in that it looks best when I put it down right the first time and leave it alone, especially when the ink work is busy. Leaving it alone while it dries is a real challenge. I want to do something to it but instead, I’m trying to walk away.

    Great teaching, Danny.

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  3. You just make me laugh out loud, the tone of your voice, so casual, the magnet for weirdos, “quite honestly, I was just overly ambitious”, being distracted by the people watching, having fun, and then ultimately being able to appreciate the charm in your drawing. It is totally charming, and I can’t wait to do my drawing this weekend of a similiar spot!

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  4. I, too, appreciated seeing your experience…how the drawing and your reactions evolved. I was perplexed by those odd snakes and metalwork around the shop until at one point, your camera came in closer and I noticed the entire metal work is made of KEYS! Astounding! What wonderful urban artwork and appropriately funky storefront for an unglamorous work-store located in the Villiage.

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  5. I really got a chuckle when you described this store/place as a magnet for weirdos…because…well…there YOU were! Just noting, picturing, and taking in the scenario.

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  6. Loved to see you struggle through a drawing. It normalizes difficulty which is helpful since I always think it’s just me if I can’t get it right.
    I was inspired by some of the scenes which I paused & drew for fun.
    Thanks for taking us through your process. Edifying.

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  7. What a pleasure to watch your video! Oh that monkey on your back was giving you a hard time! Bad monkey. I love comment # 6, yes, YOU were there!

    I really liked how you made the video And incorporated the photos of your drawings and, of course, your art supplies – which is always a must!

    And last but not least, the sound effects of the police car that you cleverly incorporated into your video. Nice touch!

    I used to live on 1St Ave. and 80th street. Ugh, Upper East Side.
    Anyway, the traffic noise was sooo bad I could barely make phone calls to loving family in the Minnesota.

    Thank you for another fun and enjoyable Episode of Danny Gregory at Sketchbook Skool.

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  8. I have always loved the look and feel of pen and watercolor wash sketching but have yet to do any! I noticed that you have the same Winsor&Newton pocket pallette I currently have 3 of them I just bought a 14 color Winsor&Newton pocket pallette just a bit bigger in size.
    I really like the pavement the whole scene is quite engaging.

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