Wk8 – Art Activity – Sketching at the Japanese Garden



Sketching at the CSULB Japanese Garden was a great spot to get the creative juices flowing. I thought that the nature aspect of the meeting location helped in each student’s willingness to start sketching.


This is my primary sketch, which took about 10 or 11 minutes to complete. I actually had a great time doing this, since the Japanese Garden is genuinely relaxing. Sitting on a rock by the trail, I selected my panoramic view and started from the bottom upwards. The best part of sketches is its freedom from pinpoint accuracy or mistakes. Since the picture is by definition a “rough sketch”, I can draw quickly and boldly. The mini-railings between the concrete path and grassy edge were made very easily and quickly, but I was pleasantly surprised by how they turned out. The background took slightly more work, because through the increased distance everything looks densely packed together. The picture as a whole would be recognizable if held up next to the same real-life viewpoint.

This abstract drawing didn’t turn out well at all, and the vision in my mind would have taken much more practice to depict. The oval figure was inspired by the lake, as I imagined a hanging light over an empty table in a dark room, resembling LA noir detective cliches. I pictured a placid, night time lake in a dark void with a faint light shining over it from a distant background, and then a door opening to the side in a weird, alternate-dimension fashion. The picture to the right was my inspiration for the abstract lake setting.


These are my initial sketches that I used as a warm up before heading to class on Wednesday. These came extremely easy to me, since I started doodling when I was 15 in chemistry class at 9 in the morning. All of the mini pictures are completely improvised, and I never know what the final doodle will be until I start drawing it. Doodling is an immediate stress-reducer, and takes minimal effort. Personally, sketching is something that I will probably begin to practice on a regular basis in between lectures, or during lectures, or whenever boredom and a lack of concentration begin to overtake my focus.


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