The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Monday, 17 January 2011

A five minute sketch...

Yesterday afternoon it so happened that there was a football match on the telly that my husband wanted to see. We don't have the sports channel in our house so my husband wanted to watch the match in a local Pub. He asked me if I would go with him. 
Hmm... not being a footie fan, I looked at him sideways - but then considered that what ever people there were in the pub were going to be glued to the screen. Perhaps, this was the perfect opportunity I needed to sneak in a sketch without being seen...?

Anyway, the pub was quite, we had a nice dinner and afterwards I took out my inconspicuous sketchbook and began sketching a man engrossed in the match. He was moving around a little, but nothing that hindered me too much.

It took 5 minutes...

© Sandra Busby


  1. Well done you and the sketch is just marvellous it captures a man engrossed in something. Made me laugh because i cannot understand how serious people take football. A load of boys and I use that term lightly running about a pitch chasing a white ball and it becomes life and death and for two hours they get paid thousands. See your sketch worked.

  2. The sketch is great! And good for you to overcome your fear!
    I painted outside in a group many years ago so I can relate to your feeling uncomfortable. I was glad I wasn't alone.

  3. That is very nice. And congratulations too. I generally sketch in trains if its going to be a long journey. But its been a long time since I actually sketched human figures in public. And I was just thinking that pub may not be the right place for me to sketch if a match is going on. :)

  4. Yeah you go girl. Definitely a HUGE pat on the back for getting out there and doing it. Great result too!!!!

  5. I try to sketch in public too. I carry a moleskine sketchbook in my purse. The weird thing is... every time I settle into a spot, choose my subject and really get into my sketching... somebody plants themselves right in my line of vision, or the subject leaves, etc. It really forces me to work fast! Which is good for me! Your sketch is good. You got all the important elements nailed down. Keep it up!

  6. It is wonderful Sandra! Really it is. It looks very spontaneous and confident too. I can't imagine that you were nervous by looking at this sketch. I'm still a little nervous to sketch in public, I've always been like that. I used to really hate it when my husband stood over my shoulder to watch me paint. I was so scared that I would mess up and he would see me fail and blah, blah, blah. Anyways, I guess with anything practice helps. I'll be looking forward to seeing more, it's really fantastic!

  7. Hi Sandra, I never did sketches in public, so I can imagine how you can feel!! Anyway, you did a fantastic sketch, very free and spontaneous! Congratulations!

  8. Brava Sandra, in public I block!
    Great work!


  9. Well kudos to you for your bravery Sandra. It's been quite some time since I sketched on location. I used to find it easier to go with fellow artists, that way it was less stressful when members of the public got inquisitive.
    Once I did go on my own and did a complete painting of a street scene. I sat next to a pub for two or three hours, and in that time amassed a small crowd of onlookers - a lot of them children. The landlady of the pub came out to see my work and gave me lots of praise. She then offered me a pint of beer. As it was a warm evening, I accepted her kind invitation, only for her to put the pint in my hand and say "That'll be £1.50 please"!!! Hmmmm...

  10. Great Sandra! I think this is the right way. The results it's good. Well done.

    I remember the first outdoor sketch : i felt a little bit of discomfort, but i did. Time after time we get more certainty.


  11. Hi Sandra! What a wonderful sketch, and in just 5 minutes! It's difficult to sketch people in a very short time, and even more do so in public! I, too, was very scared at first, and still a bit am I at times, but now I'm much more confident, and a lot less aware of the presence of others when I sketch. It is all about practice!
    But I must say that in some situations (e.g. with co-workers, or some relatives...) I do not think I'll ever overcome the fear or shame ... ;)
    I also find that the lighter sketch kit is certainly more suited to win not only fear but also the problems caused by sketching outside.
    I always carry in my bag an A5 sketchbook , with a waterproof pen, and a mini watercolor box... and so I am able to do some sketches, even if sometimes the major problem is the lack of time! A hug!

  12. Hi sandra, congrats on starting to overcome that fear. I can totally relate as it is something i just cant do. I've always admired the street portrait artists you see in European cities as i could never do that. We're going to Skye for a week in Feb and i'm def taking my sketchbook with me to try some actual live subject/outdoor sketching! It's a great sketch you did by the way and i'll look forward to seeing more.

  13. Hi Sandra, congrats on a great sketch. Have you tried the water color brushes that hold water? I forgot the name, the brush holds water in a like a fountain pen,they are easy to use,inexpensive and perfect to use with watercolor pencils when you are sketching on the go!

  14. Há muitos anos eu pratico desenho e faço pelo menos um "sketch" por dia. Esse "sketch" eu assinaria com orgulho pois está muito bom.
    Sandra você é uma excelente desenhista.
    Sandra você é uma ARTISTA!
    Um abraço

  15. That's a great sketch. Sometimes the good stuff comes so quickly.

  16. Nice sketch, Sandra...and I love your top ten picks for 2010. Your dog paintings are beautiful! Hope the New Year is treating you well. xox

  17. Hi Sandra!
    Take it from me, sketching in public is actually a lot of fun!
    you have to remember, that 'regular' - meaning non-artistic people who can't draw anything at all.....seem to be greatly enthralled by artists..and like to sneak peeks now and again!

    And your sketch is terrific....I seriously hope you'll continue to work on this sketching while out and about! It's adds a whole other dimension to calling yourself an artist! I love doing fact, my hubby and I sit and do it together (he's also an artist)..and you should see the attention that stirs! even kids come up to us and ask with awe and wonderment....

    "are you guys REAL artists?".....I find those to be some of the most precious moments!

    anyhow...I did finish and post about my fruity's a few scrolls down on my main page'll have to come and look for it and let me know what you think!

    ciao bella!

    Creative Carmelina

  18. Well done you!

    I do remember the first time - and its enshrined on the school video for all time. The Glastonbury Thorn.. and me as an eleven year old sitting on grass, anorak hood pulled over head..

  19. Ralph - I am with you on that one! Not to mention those watching the match who suddenly become experts on who should be playing where, what the coach is doing wrong, what the players are doing wrong, poor ref decisions, blah, blah... even though most of these men have never played football in their lives! lol! ;0D

    Judy - I think that sketching or painting in a group would be easier in some ways because it takes the focus of you. I found that when I went out sketching with Sue. :0)

    Prabal - So you would be the sketched rather than the sketcher then! I tried sketching on the train once but was spotted almost immediately! I still managed to sketch a man looking out of the window, but it wasn't as loose as this one and I prefer the looser less fussy sketch :0)

    Sue - Hopefully by the time we meet up again I won't be quite so terrified of getting those pencils out! Lol! :0)

  20. Katherine - I agree that it is really difficult when subjects move. I found that with the man in this sketch - Every time one his team got anywhere near the goal he kept suddenly throwing himself to the edge of his seat! Luckily for me, he seemed to settle right back in to almost the same position each time :0)

    Crystal - I can really relate to how you feel when your husband looks over your shoulder. I am exactly the same! I find myself feeling almost ashamed of my artwork, which is strange because he's the last person who would want me to feel like that!

    Tito - Thank you! I really appreciate that :0D

    Franz - Thank you very much :0D

  21. Frank - I know what you mean! It's not the act of sketching in public, or even being seen that worries me - It's the thought of somebody looking over my shoulder - I would be SO embarrassed!
    That was very brave of you to do an entire painting in public! Hats off to you for that! I would have had to have endulged in several of the beverages before I could have done something like that! I did laugh when you said about the drink at the end - Most amusing :0D

    Wawos - Thank you! You are right - Unless I do it more and more, I won't improve so I intend to try my hardest to grasp these opportunities when I can :0)

  22. Cristina - Thank you! It's interesting how we are more fearful of what the people we know well, will think of our work than those we really don't know at all. You would think it would be the other way around! That's probably why I only told my direct family about my blog and a few weeks later, I also told one special friend (a brilliant artist). Now, most others have found out through my family who love what I do. I still get that sense of shame about many of my drawings. I need to get over that! :0)

    Pointy Pix - Thank you so much! And if I can do it, then you definitely can! I really hope you do get out the sketch book because it's a lovely feeling when you realise that you have actually filled a page! :0)

    Cathy - Thank you for the tip! I do have one of these, but I found the brush to be very scratchy. Maybe there are better quality ones out there. I will have to look out for one :0)

    Antonio - Muito obrigado! Sua prática mostra em seu trabalho maravilhoso. Um esboço de um dia é uma idéia muito boa e um dia espero ter ganhado a confiança para fazer o que você faz. Eu me sinto muito feliz que você gosta do desenho :0D
    (Antonio - Thank you so much! Your practice shows in your wonderful work. A sketch a day is a very good idea and one day I hope to have gained the confidence to do as you do. I feel very happy that you like the sketch :0D)

  23. Lilla - Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment too. I always appreciate them very much :0D

    DeanO - Thank you! You are so right - It is often the way that I will be really unhappy with something I have taken a lot of time over, and yet something that took a few minutes will make me feel quite happy! Maybe it's because I like the look of spontaneous work :0)

    Abby - Thank you very much! I am not surprised that you like the dog because your dog is featured often in your beautiful blog! :0)

    Carmelina - How wonderful that you and your husband can share your hobby! That must be so nice! Somebody asked if I was an 'actual artist' when I was out sketching with Sue. I opened my mouth to say, 'Oh no, not me', but before the words could come out, Sue said 'Yes, of course'! Though I saw Sue as a 'real artist' I never saw myself that way. She made me feel more confident in that one moment than i had ever felt!
    PS - I am on my way to your blog right now!!!

    Pat - Thank you! It's funny that as children, it doesn't occur to us that we can't draw - We all just do it and we are always pleased! It seems to be as we grow up that we lose that ability to just do something asnd not worry! :0)

  24. Like your sketch and thank you for sending me to Carmelinas' wow ! is all I can say. I'm in heaven.!!!

  25. Barbra - Thank you! And no problem - Enjoy :0D

  26. good for you sandra ... you're good ! last time i really enjoyed sketching people in public was in an airport waiting for a plane ... really quick sketches pen and pencil with a pocket size sketchbook ...i love sketching on location....i think in time and the more you do sandra you're feel happier about it.

  27. Jane - Thank you very much! I think sketching in an airport is a wonderful idea! Most people are either asleep or engrossed in a book - Perfect opportunities :0)

  28. Sandra, that's awesome!!! You did a fabulous job capturing the pose. I haven't sketched in a while I should probably start again. I used to sketch all the time in college, mostly during lectures. I sketched instead of paying attention:)

  29. Carrie - Thank you ever so much :0D
    That's exactly what I would have been doing had I have been sketching back then! :0)

  30. It's always a challege to paint/draw from life,..nice work!

  31. Hi Sandra!
    There is no need to say how important is such kind of sketching. You did it very well!  The first time I sketched in public was in the art school for kids, many years ago. Every summer we had a mandatory plein air sketching classes. I didn't feel any discomfort. On the contrary, it was fun. But now I nervous to sketch in public a lot. You are very brave, congratulations on this! :)

  32. RC Reece - Thank you so much for popping along and leaving your lovely comment! Hope to see you again :0)

    Maria - Thank you very much! It's strange that when we are children we have no fear and yet as we grow older our confidence weakens, isn't it? I hope that the more I do it, the less self concious I will feel - I hope! :0)


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Where possible I will respond via email. I really do love to read them! They always make me smile ;0)


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