Cisco, Utah

Cisco, Utah

Cisco, Utah

Sketch Text:

On a trip to Moab we decided to go off the beaten path of I-70 and visit the abandoned spot in the landscape known as Cisco…uh, Utah.

I've lived out West for five years now and Deni informed me today that Cisco…and Moab…are both in Utah…not Colorado. Mere details. I do know where I live at least. Colorado.

Anyway, there are numerous little abandoned patches of human activity out here. And they are great sketch journaling opportunities…even painting ideas.

Even when you only have a minute you can catch a scene that appeals to you…and then get back on the road :) This little group of buildings was interesting to me…the way they were placed. They looked lonesome.


7 thoughts on “Cisco, Utah

  1. Oliver

    I’m always interested in knowing how much time it takes for a quick sketch. Could you possibly include that in your blog, just a rough estimate would be great.



  2. Don West Post author

    Thanks for commenting Oliver! This little sketch is on a 5×5 Hand.Book Journal page and the group of buildings took about 5 minutes to sketch as I sat in the car and put them down. Since I was riding in the passenger seat I continued with the sky and lettering at my leisure. Color for the buildings took place while eating in a restaurant and chatting. The “story” took about 10 minutes to compose in my head and lay down on paper :) Thanks for being a reader!

  3. Oliver

    Thanks for the short turn around. I’ve been sketching (ink &W/C) for a while now and my goal is to get fairly nice drawings in a short time. My wife & I are planning a trip to Europe next year and one of my goals is to keep an art journal of places and events during that trip. I’m. not doing this for studies for further painting but rather a way of getting more out of the trip so I want to get images, etc. down as quickly as possible. That’s it in nut shell.



  4. Don West Post author

    That’s great Oliver! The trick is to keep things simple and don’t look at the sketches as works of art needing high detail and perfection. As you can see throughout Idle Minutes, I even explain the obvious mistakes :) They are part of me and the state of mind I was in on the day I made the sketch…so they belong in the journals too :) Journaling is just that…recording what happened or what one sees AND experiences. If you have the time to create a nice sketch (meaning illustration of what you saw) then by all means do it. If not, scrawl something anyway! Even a contour drawing looks nice and has its own appeal :) Above all, make it fun and enjoy yourself! The big secret is: the more you sketch the better and faster you get ;) Sketch every day! You’ll be shocked at how fast you learn to see and sketch with ease and confidence :)

  5. Cathy

    I really like the bldg. with the roof partially coming down. Do you have any tips on getting the angles of the bldgs to look right? Great blog!

  6. Don West

    Hi Cathy, good to hear from you! The best way to do it is to observe the lines and their angles in relation to everything around them. For instance if you draw the line representing the ground, how does the roof relate to it? How far above the ground it she starting point for the roof and likewise for the end? All those lines relate to one another visually. It is a matter of observing how and then putting that on the paper :) Sometimes I place dots as reference points, say at the beginning and end of lines, to see if they are relating properly to one another before drawing the line :)

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