So, although I live just three blocks from the zoo, this past Saturday was only my third visit and my first time actually drawing there. I find it difficult to sketch from life because I'm either in a rush to see more, and I can't draw fast enough to capture anything -- and I'm a perfectionist, I focus on details, so it's very hard for me to draw fast and loose. When I do, I feel I'm just drawing badly, and reinforcing the experience of drawing badly by continuing the practice. But I know there is something to it, and I was happily rewarded for my efforts on Saturday.
I'm quite happy with a few of the sketches I got. I particularly like my loose expressive gorilla (although I really have no idea if it was a lady gorilla or if she was actually pregnant - it could have just been a very fat bellied gorilla!), it is just SO hard for me to work that fast and actually have it look like something. And I actually made myself pull out the watercolors as well, something I always hesitate to do while out and about - in my head, before I start it feels like so much 'work' up set up, so I usually stop myself before I begin. But this really wasn't all that bad. Very quick set up and clean up, and most time spent painting!
It was a really fun day - and bonus: it was FREE. And not just because I'm a member of the zoo - they were closing at noon for a charity gala, so they were letting everyone in for free in the morning. I was also thankful that I had the time limit (we arrived at 10am) to help focus on sketching.