Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winter sketching gear

Sketching at Matthews Beach Park

This week I sketched at Matthews Beach Park for my Saturday column. Read it on my Seattle Times blog in case you missed it. It's about two women who started the largest organized polar bear plunge in Seattle. Brrr! I get cold just thinking about jumping into the lake. But these folks love to start the year getting into the frigid waters of Lake Washington up to their necks to earn a "badge of courage."

Urban sketching, thank goodness, doesn't require jumping into lakes, but it can still be cold outside to practice our sport. These days I don't leave the house without my fingerless gloves, beanie hat and scarf. An umbrella is also a must because you don't want to miss out on a sketching opportunity just because you don't have a way to keep your sketchbook dry. I brought two in this occasion just in case —one for my subjects— but it didn't rain. Sketching outdoors while holding an umbrella is tricky, but still doable.

The fashion conscious reader may like to know that I'm wearing a winter coat by Portland-based global outfitter Columbia Sportswear. Michelle got it for me a couple of years ago and I love it. I just wish it had more pockets to put more art supplies.

Below is another photo shared by polar bear plunger Lilette Player (thanks Lilette!) More on my flickr page.

Sketching at Matthews Beach Park


  1. There's a little town up the road from here about forty miles called Craig. The bartender started "The Plunge" a number of years ago, only this one involves jumping into the Missouri River - which is clogged with ice this time of the year. Not for the faint of heart!

  2. Hii. Just to wish you Happy new 2011.

    Your blog is very very nice. I like it.

    Ciao from Italy.

  3. Fun to see you at work in cold weather! I love my fingerless gloves, too---a pair I got in Iceland are the best, so soft and warm.
    I think of your drawings as spare and absolutely to the point, so I was a little surprised by how much gear you take with you, but you DO live there (i.e., you don't have to pack your portable stool in a suitcase) and it does rain a lot, so it makes sense.

  4. Thanks for the comment Dave, polar bear jumping seems to touch a nerve with people anywhere a cold body of water can be found!

    Ciao wawos, thanks for the comment, glad you like the blog.

    Hi Laura! It's been extra cold lately over here! Got 4 inches of snow where we live north of Seattle last week and it hasn't melted yet!