Thursday, 4 June 2015

Do you have trouble sketching en plein air...

It can be intimidating.  The main thing is to take things gradually, don't try to sketch a vast scene, just pick a small portion of it.

If you're sketching buildings, or views in general and have trouble with angles, then try this little tip.

Get a piece of clear acetate.  You will need to support it as it can be quite floppy to hold, so I used two mount boards for mine and taped them up, this holds the acetate nicely and makes it easy to hold.

For my example I'm just showing a line of hills, but this could be the tops of buildings...You will need to use a fibre pen eg: tikky graphic, uniball etc that sort of pen ~ or any that will show the lines on the acetate (I then just use a wipe to clean it off afterwards)

When drawn, hold the acetate over your paper and follow the lines with pen or pencil......

Top Tip: it helps if you close one eye for focuses you better.

and there you have it

A simple way to get the Outline you want, especially if you are
en plein air drawing.

~ hope this tip helps ~


  1. Great tip! I am always busy holding a pencil in the air to try and get the angle of a subject right, but this is much more 'advanced'. :)

    1. Thanks Judy, it's a handy little piece of kit to have...okay, my outlines may be slightly wonky sometimes with it, but it gives me enough to work with :-)

  2. Replies
    1.'s saved me more times than I could think!

  3. love this idea - i'll have to locate some acetate and try this! thanks so much.

    1. You're very welcome Sandy. For acetate, I bought a pack of those sheets used for photos on screens (like at meetings when they project the picture large for people to see)...hope you know what I'm on about. A pack only had about 12 sheets in it, and I can use all of them for other things besides this little idea.

    2. I think i know - i'll go to our local Michaels (down the hill a bit far away) next time I'm shopping and see if I can find it there - or Aaron Brothers. I love this tip. It should help tremendously.

    3. Glad to be of help Sandy. When you try this, remember the one eye closed part...sounds silly, but when you do this with the acetate, you will realise what I'm on about :-)