2.3 At home

2.3 At home, Exercise 1, Quick sketches around the house

Today I got back my report from Assignment 1, and Joanne invites me to sketch more from reality. This is something I have been skillfully avoiding as it would mean to confront myself with all the aspects that I do not know how to draw, like perspective and human figures.

But I have decided to start practicing quick sketches from reality , so to pick small corners of the house seems like a great place to start.

Also I only have two more weeks at home before I go on tour again, all over Europe this time. So on one hand I want to do this exercise at home before I leave. I want to look at my most familiar surroundings with new eyes and pick out little corners of interest for future drawings.

AND I have the idea to keep sketching at least one quick sketch from every room I stay in for the next months- as a visual travel diary. Not sketching the whole room as you would see it most obviously, but finding some small corner or detail every where I stay.

But first: Quick sketches around the house:

The description of the exercise is to make FAST visual notes without getting involved in detail. This will be a challenge 🙂

This corner attracted my eye this morning- it is kind of bare with a stool and on it was a purple scarf and purple pants, over it is a blue purple painting- so it was a serene monochrome little scene. Very rough sketch:

At home rough

A little closer and a little more detail:

I wrote “fast hahhaha” in my sketchbook, because I had an eraser and was very obviously struggling for a VERY long time to get this stool look somewhat close to reality.

Definitely work to do on perspective! And speed…

This weekend we stayed in Canggu by the ocean in a friend’s villa, so I decided to start the “room diary” here,  although I haven’t really left yet.


Ria lying on the bed in our room. And another angle:


The bathroom (about the size of my living room!):


I am definitely struggling with perspective, but it is a fun way of learning it, so just practice, practice, practice…

Disappointing- but only one quick sketch from home before leaving on the European trip. I just didn’t find enough time to sketch as many corners as I planned… So here , just before leaving – one of my favorite corners of home, my desk.


Munich- June 8-9. Tom’s appartment:


Here I am learning how to depict a room and how perspective works. I am not staying long enough in a place to plan still life drawings, so I am not scouting out suitable corners for that, I just focus on drawing rooms and getting more confident in drawing from reality in general.


Mother’s house, Juan les Pins,France :

View from the living room to the kitchen, just slightly changing my position. It is interesting to observe all the details I notice when sketching, that I hadn’t seen before.


Guestroom/ office, view sitting on the floor and looking up slightly. I am doing this to figure out how walls and ceiling look where they meet. Also because I am overwhelmed by memories seeing all these objects in my mother’s house, although I remember the same objects from other houses and have a whole movie going on in my head.


After dinner on the balcony. I included my mother in one drawing. The portrait is really not flattering or very similar, but the body position and something in the expression really show her.

I am quite wobbly when it comes to perspective, but it is getting just a little looser.

Monaco, corner of the hotel room:


I chose this corner because it seemed like  a challenge with all the angles in the walls and the chair, and it is really a very wobbly drawing, you would lean backwards sitting in that chair. Not a lot of time for drawing here.

For all the drawings “at home” I used a soft pencil and – ERASER! fixing everything 100 times, so now I will try sketching with a ballpoint pen or a fine liner, so it gets more spontaneous and quicker.

At Monte Velho retreat center, Portugal. I am using a purple Uniball liner pen for quick sketches around the room. I bought a few different colours of Uniball pens and delight in trying them out- new territory! And no eraser possible!

It is obviously very crooked and incorrect angles and proportions, not being able to erase anything. But it forces me to draw more spontaneously so it feels like it is going in the right direction 🙂

Vilaflores Milfontes, Portugal- another apartment for a few days. I have not really managed to keep up with a “room” diary as I planned as there were a few hotel rooms and appartments in between that I missed, but still, I am trying to be content with all that I manage to sketch instead of counting what I don’t.


Here is just an enormous basket with a few pine cones in a random corner. Why black again? Just a relapse..:) Need to take the black pens out of my purse…

I found my pink pen!! 🙂


Andre reading with interior scene.


It is when I got to this rectangle lamp on the wall , seen from under when seated, that I decided that it is a total waste of time to draw any more rooms before I understand perspective. I was studying You tube videos about perspective for the Foundations course, but it seems like I still have no clue. So a break in rooms- perspective first!

Frustration, frustration , frustration- perspective does not come naturally to me 🙂 I get it theoretically and can draw from imagination in 1,2 or 3 point perspective, but then when I look at a rectangular lamp in front of me , that doesn’t help at all… But I have been watching a ton of You tube videos on the subject , so I hope being stubborn will get me there eventually..

Andre’s apartment, Lisbon, Portugal- quick sketches around the house.

The “quick “part is becoming more and more true. I use Uniball pens, so that I am not tempted to use an eraser.

Andre in the kitchen


Messy breakfast table


Little seeds of avocado saved


Here I try to draw the kitchen cupboards and have a moment of despair again

So back to lessons about perspective! I can’t believe I am this hopeless….


Switching back to pencil and eraser- forget the ‘quick” sketches concept:


So it’s still pretty crooked, but getting more real. I will stick to the pencil for a while.

We still seem to live in some wobbly hobbit house, but I am getting it. Now I have to travel again- Sweden next. New rooms, new sketches.

Vasagatan 17, Göteborg

Really high ceilings and patterns on the walls. A spacious beautiful apartment. I draw from the front, not looking into corners and just enjoy myself with my new beautiful orange ink 🙂

I love finding a hammock in this city apartment! I think I am homesick.

House in Göteborgs archipelago, Vikstands v 13. This is a very modern house, very white and Scandinavian in design. It has a very spacious living room with a long sofa that could fit a big family, and an open kitchen.



Back to disaster mode. I make a cubist version of the sofa out of all the wrong lines, in despair..


I have a serious problem getting this. When I look into the corner it looks like 2 point perspective, but it doesn’t work.


I will place myself straighter in front of the back wall and draw this in 1-point perspective instead.


This looks pretty close to reality. It is really a huge and long sofa. 1- point perspective is easier to grasp.

Now here comes 2- point perspective again- another corner:


I am getting there. This exercise has become a place to record distaters and despair rather than a diary of the places I visit. I feel like I need to move on in the exercises, but I never stay long enough in a place to really explore it in depth.

This mornings trials, still from this vast bright house:

I feel like just hiding under some old rug right now. It seems like my entire family gets this easy, my father, my two brothers sighing deeply at my incapacity at drawing a straight line and a wall that doesn’t crumble…

I DO get perspective in theory. I just proved it to myself by drawing these 1- point and 2- point perspective drawings from imagination. Yes, I used the eraser, but it was really quite quick and easy.

1- point perspective of an imaginary room:


2-point perspective of an imaginary room:


So my issue is seeing this when I look at a real room. This seems to be pretty obvious to others, so I don’t know why it isn’t to me 😦

HOME!!! As much as I like traveling, I love coming home again! And I am excited to get back to this exercise in my own home.

I start with my daughter Ria’s room as she is not back yet, so I can draw there for a few hours in peace today. One challenge is that it is really quite small, so I can’t get a fair distance to anything. I am sitting on the bed here and drawing into the corners.


The curtains in the foreground is the mosquito net of the bed I am sitting on. The picture on the wall is actually that crooked. I am drawing in pencil to give myself a chance to use the eraser, and yes, I am overusing it and over and over and over again..


This is another corner, the night table, entrance door  to the room and the door leading to the bathroom. I would like to back more, but then I only see the bed…


It is not perfect , but it feels like (with a lot of erasing) it is much better than when I first started. And turning to the last corner of the room:


So I got the book shelf.. but something went terribly wrong (using the wrong point!) for the window and weirdly only saw this now that I am logging it. My brain still doesn’t get this easily… And I promised myself NOT to comment on the mess in the room. Luckily my point of view is too high to show the heap of clothes on the floor.

Open closet/ bathroom- I am bravely switching to Uniball pen and store my eraser away:


Phew, this actually worked more or less… ok it’s not perfect, but I didn’t expect it to be..


So there is a “halfwall” between the open closet and the toilet, so I am not sure what corner to look at. I look at everything from a little too high here.


Shower corner with niches for products and towels hanging. This looks pretty accurate.


Shower side..

For someone who can actually sketch, this is probably quite terrible, but for me I feel immense progress just for getting more or less a feel for in what direction walls are leaning (ok, with a few mistakes..)

Here are 4 drawings from the 4 corners of the living room/ kitchen/ dining area/ living all the time room 🙂


Hm, so the last one is somewhat crooked (understatement). I went for the pencil and eraser again and I am not even allowing myself to think of how much time I wasted for these drawings, but its the best part if two days…

This room is open to the garden , so there are corners, but no outer walls and you see the thatched grass roof.  I guess these drawings are not really that good if I have to explain that:)

So for the last room of the house, my bedroom, I switched back to Uniball pens and picked up the notion of “quick sketches around the house ” again . ( well, relatively quick…)


This is still really an exercise I struggle with. So I need to go on with the course, but I commit to continue with a little drawing of reality , with some form of perspective challenge, every day.



4 thoughts on “2.3 At home

  1. I’m not sure if you meant it but this section is really funny, particularly the bit about your family getting perspective when you can’t! I find 2 point perspective a nightmare when I’m painting outdoors but as you have proved, the more you do the better you get. I really like the way you get lots of different sketches done – I have a bit of an obsession about “finished” drawings and tend to destroy anything I don’t like the look of which isn’t the point of the course! Look forward to seeing more of your work


    1. Wow! There is a comment on my blog! – the very first one. Thank you Alastair!
      That section with perspective drove me to despair… but I am laughing about it 🙂 I think I need to learn from you to work more and longer on one sketch instead of jumping to the next one as soon as it gets tough 🙂


      1. I think people mainly comment on the forum but it sort of makes sense to comment the blog when it’s directly about the subject in question. The one big problem with this sort of learning is you miss the chance to go and peer over someone’s shoulder like you would in a normal class but at least the blogs go some way to help! One thing did strike me when you said you can get perspective drawing when it’s an imaginary room but find it hard when you are drawing from real life. Sometimes (although not many admit it) the professional artists I know tweak reality a bit so that the 3D illusion still works. I’ve drawn a building that was a really weird shape and all the lines just looked wrong! The only way I could coax the drawing into looking lifelike was to draw it as it should have been not like it was!! So sometimes you have to cheat but it wasn’t me who told you that😀


      2. Thanks Alastair! I will try that 🙂 I definitely miss the peering over shoulder possibility. It is only now that I have been starting to look at blogs and share mine- a beautiful experience! Thank you for your feedback!


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