Tips for Sketching Outdoors In Winter


As we had the first snow of the season this week, I thought it might be a good time to share my tips for sketching in winter again, in case you missed them last year. Winter is beautiful but it’s also often chilly and wet, which can make sketching outdoors far less appealing. But with a little preparation and an open mind, you can carry on Boggy Doodling, whatever the weather.

  1. As the famous quote goes, 'There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.' I feel the cold easily, so tend to pile on the layers and LOVE my fingerless gloves.

  2. If it's really cold - too cold to linger - focus on speedy sketching. Try to capture the essence of the landscape or feature with quick gestural sketches, using a minimum of lines. Experiment with charcoal or graphite sticks when your fingers are really chilly.

  3. Although I don't recommend trashing your sketchbook in heavy rain, you can still doodle in light drizzle, which is just as well in this part of the world. Water-soluble coloured pencils and crayons are brilliant on damp paper.  

  4. Tempting as it is to wait for the sunshine, don't be put off Boggy Doodling on grim, grey days. Foggy weather is perfect for monochrome sketching or painting. The fog eliminates details and colour, helping you focus on dominant shapes and values.

  5. Make a quick note of the weather conditions next to your doodles. It will make you smile when you later look through your sketchbook and remember how you braved the elements. 

  6. Take a snack and flask of hot tea! A hot drink is a simple luxury that can help keeps your hands warm so you can sketch for longer. 

  7. Have fun and don’t take it too seriously. Green sketching is simply a way to notice more everyday joy and beauty. Remember it’s the process of seeing and sketching, not the picture you produce, that matters most.

  8. Sign up for my newsletter to learn more about the joys of Boggy Doodling and be first to learn about upcoming 2019 events. And don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss an idea for your own green sketching event.

Happy Doodles!