What Ideas Do You Have For Sketching Topics? – A Giveaway For Our Valued Readers

Please do write a comment onto this post or any other post on roisincure.com with ideas for sketching topics you would like me to cover, or workshop locations, or any difficulties you have with your sketching or watercolour. We really value your feedback and will tailor future articles to what you are looking for.

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  1. jane dean

    May 27, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Roisin,

    Of the many things about your sketches I love is how you put people in them and bring them to life. Your sketches always tell a story. I would value a class in which you teach some of your techniques.

    I also need to learn so much more about watercolor. The medium is still a mystery to me.
    Thank you. Jane

    • Róisín Curé

      May 28, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Jane, that is a very good idea. I love the story aspect of a sketch and people never fail to say something…I will enjoy putting something together for that. Thank you for the suggestion!

  2. Makeda Sylvester

    November 29, 2019 at 4:04 am

    Hi. I would like to know how to measure on location as I really struggle with scale.

    • Róisín Curé

      December 2, 2019 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Makeda, the way I do it is to start with the foreground and work around, making sure not to change my viewpoint. That way you just draw everything at the size that is correct for the bit you’re next to. It sounds much more complicated than it is. Good luck and tell me how you get on.

  3. Anne

    September 26, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Could you give a lesson on how to draw different types in f trees?

    • Róisín Curé

      September 26, 2019 at 10:40 pm

      Hi Anne, yes, if you mean foliage, it’s a topic I return to all the time with my students. I will try and get onto this one soon. Thank you for the suggestion!

  4. Jason Howard

    July 10, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Textures I would like to know techniques for creating texture on buildings, pavements, adding patina to objects Im sketching
    Thank you Róisín

    • Róisín Curé

      August 29, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Jason – sorry for the delay, I missed this one! I think adding textures is a good idea. I have lots of techniques I use for converting texture into a representation in paint…thank you for your suggestion.

    • Jane Dean

      April 19, 2020 at 7:03 am

      I love your minimal, confident line work. I always end up with way too many sketching lines, and the result is not as clean as I like. How can I overcome this? Thanks.

      • Róisín Curé

        April 19, 2020 at 10:53 pm

        Thanks Jane. The long answer is that I grew up on a diet of Tintin and so understood line from the age of about seven or eight. So I get what it does and where it is supposed to go. That gives me the confidence I have. The short answer is that you will gain that confidence in time but it will take A LOT of practice, of ‘ink under the bridge “. I recommend you get some of your practice in by copying Ukiyoe prints, whichever ones take your fancy. You can use a finely pointed brush or a pencil followed by a pen. In the end you’ll understand what line is supposed to do. We would need to talk more!

  5. Jane

    March 31, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    I need to start and then I need to discipline myself to stop. I find it really difficult to do both. I’m probably not the only person who’d love to get in to a regular sketching habit but I find it really easy to find a reason not to. 😀😂

    • Róisín Curé

      April 6, 2019 at 8:36 am

      Not sure if I replied but just to say…only sketch what you MUST sketch because you can’t leave it unsketched. That way you’ll feel inspired, which is half the battle.

  6. Susan

    March 2, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Roisin
    I’ve just ‘discovered ‘ you after your YouTube video with the yellow chair and cushion fell into my feed. Wow. I have watercolour envy!
    I’m now a fan. So it was a joy to find your blog.
    I’m very new to drawing but adore ink and wash.
    Could you possibly teach me about shadows? I see how clever you are adding depth and dimension with them. I struggle in this regard: wrong place wrong colour
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

    • Róisín Curé

      March 2, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Susan! Nice to meet you. Delighted you’re enjoying my blog. I would definitely like to do a piece on shadows. It will greatly help to be good at drawing – observing those shapes accurately is what makes a shadow look real. I’ve often considered talking a little about it!

  7. Clarisa Barua

    December 2, 2018 at 12:23 am

    I would like to know how to START on a blank sheet of paper. I have a view in front of me. I have white paper fear. I like watercolour and ink (Lamy pens and de Atramentis document ink and water I think it is best to go straight to ink? (Also interested in what sketchbooks you use, especially for the paper) I like Cynthia’s suggestion too. And this one from Barbara – ”
    How to develop a daily sketching habit – paring down your kit, setting aside specific times?” PS and you know I love everything you do!!! Your sketches are delightful! What a wonderful legacy to leave to your children too!!! Love to you and that puppy dog of yours!

  8. Geri Dunne

    November 23, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I am interested in all of the above😂especially adding people to sketch that is proportional… Ive added people that are taller than the doorway…..
    What I like about your sketching is everything!! You are versatile ,adaptive , full of ideas and are quite able to make a potentially dull scene come alive( waiting to pick kids up from school)!!!
    Looking forward to moving forward with sketching

    • Róisín Curé

      November 26, 2018 at 2:03 pm

      That is not an impossible task Geri. I SO UNDERSTAND about people being all wrong in proportion, but I have worked out a super-simple way to approach that. And thank you also for your wonderful, kind words. Writing a blog is terrific fun but I don’t know how it’s going down unless people actually tell me! A vote of confidence like that is so much appreciated. XX

  9. Robin Gookins

    November 23, 2018 at 6:45 am

    I would like to learn how to make big waves, small waves, and the kind that gently wash up on the sand.

    I would like to learn how to make reflections of people or buildings on wet pavement of a city street.

    I want to learn how to draw a cityscape of houses and buildings that shows depth, beside and behind each other, as opposed to a string of houses all in a row.

    I want to learn how to add people walking by, in an urban sketch.

    I would like to learn how to draw a crowd of people.

    I want to learn how to draw and watercolor an urban sketch and
    the time late in the day when it is starting to get dark.

    I want to learn how to make a sunset or sunrise on the water and in a city or town.

    • Róisín Curé

      November 23, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Hi Robin, I’m hearing “cityscapes” in your comment. Very Bladerunner! (The original version!) In fact…everything you said conjured atmosphere. I’ll have a think about it all. Obviously people in an urban setting is the first thing that comes to mind. I’ll start with that. Then reflections in puddles, which are distinct from other types. Thank you for your suggestions!

  10. Gina Glot

    November 23, 2018 at 5:40 am

    I love how you and Pat Southern -Pearce handle ever changing skies and clouds. So a focus on clouds and skies would be brilliant.

    • Róisín Curé

      November 23, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Hi Gina, I would love to do that. I actually have a skies tutorial on my website but maybe it’s time for further exploration.

  11. fiona godfrey

    November 20, 2018 at 12:32 am

    You are a BRILLIANT writer! And artist! And liver of life! I so enjoy every article you write, and your transcript of the conversation with your father has me understanding the system of payment a lot better, so thanks for that. I can’t wait to see your new book; in the meantime, happy sketching, writing and living!

    • Róisín Curé

      November 20, 2018 at 11:03 am

      Hi Fiona! Thank you SO much for your kind and generous words! I hoped the conversation with Dad was a good way to explain what folk might fear…! And thank you, you know, I am such a believer in sketching as a way of life.. It makes you FEEL everything so acutely…as I know you know XXX

  12. Luís Batalha

    November 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    I think it could also be a good idea to do a focus work on more simplified objects of study, almost as an introducing step to get the art bug without feeling too overwhelmed with pressure maybe in a fun and carefree way! Something along the same principles of that food drawing workshop with the kids 🙂

    • Róisín Curé

      November 20, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Hi Luís, I’m really glad you said this because you have helped me crystallise something that was in my head. It’s easy to simplify a class for children whilst still ensuring that they learn loads about how watercolour works, the principles of superposition and so on, but I’m sure the same could be done for adults…if you have any ideas for subject matter, please don’t keep them to yourself! Maybe learning to draw glasses of wine and bottles of vino (a great way to get to grips with light) – we could pretend it’s for educational purposes only! 😀

  13. Cynthia Moran

    November 16, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I’d love to learn how to simplify the subject matter by knowing when to add colour and where to leave the sketch as pen and ink with no colour. I also want to learn more about sketching people showing action and expression .

    • Róisín Curé

      November 17, 2018 at 8:36 am

      Thank you for that thoughtful comment Cynthia. It’s something I hear quite a bit. A good way to address it is to draw whatever you like, then concentrate on painting one thing you particularly liked, but fully, complete with light and shadow and everything. That can look amazing. Another thing to do is to just paint one colour – say, all the blue bits. Gimmicky but lots of fun. Thirdly, you cab draw a box around a small section, and paint everything inside it, to the corners. Also gimmicky but fun. Eventually the confidence in selective colouring grows and it becomes second nature!

  14. Barbara

    November 16, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Great idea! Here are just a few of the topics I‘d like to understand better and learn from you!

    How to use colour to create more depth in a painting – the role of warm and cool colours to convey distance.
    How to use colour to convey a feeling that draws the view in or best expresses the scene
    How to draw people – capturing a likeness without getting fussy – especially on the go
    How to add interest and variety to your sketchbook with illustrated maps
    How to develop a daily sketching habit – paring down your kit, setting aside specific times?
    How to simplify a complex scene – deciding what to keep and what to leave out.

    That’s just my top six! Looking forward to the competition and maybe winning my first tokens!

    You can find me on Instagram under bostoonz!

    • Róisín Curé

      November 17, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Thank you for these fantastic suggestions Barbara. There is a lot of food for thought there. I love the illustrated map one and can already think of a cool way to do that!

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