A Windmill in Solvang

Solvang is a city of Danish origin that makes you feel like you’re walking through Europe without stepping out of California. Solvang has rich Danish culture, shown through its architecture and food. The numerous bakeries and wine sample rooms make Solvang the perfect city to get outside and explore a whole new world.


The Danish architecture in Solvang contrasts the modern buildings of California cities that give this town a comfy vibe. The tree-lined streets and the Danish buildings transported me to a different time and place. And as I was walking along Mission Drive in Solvang, I stumbled upon a windmill that caught my eye.


The only windmills I’m used to seeing are the white, towering windmills that stand along lonely highways. Looking at this windmill was something I wasn’t used to and something I wasn’t expecting to see.


I decided to sit down nearby to soak in the beauty of this windmill and my surroundings. I held my sketchbook as I walked when I decided to draw the windmill. I had two pencil and an eraser with me to complete this drawing. More specifically, I had my 2H and 4B pencils with me. As I looked up again, I thought to myself that the windmill in front of me was the perfect addition to add my sketchbook.


I started my sketch by sketching the wooden railings and beams of the windmill because they offered me a base for drawing the rest of the windmill. I then outlined the windmill body and the wooden wind blades. I finished my initial sketch by drawing the building to the left with the table umbrella.

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Whenever I sketch, I keep my sketches rustic but still refined enough to capture the beauty of my environment. I don’t see the need to strive for perfection. I just wanted to accurately sketch what I see.


After doing my initial sketch, I like to finish my sketch by drawing the details and shadows of the drawing. I started with the windmill; I shaded in the shadows and shaded the walls.

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After finishing the details on the windmill, I completed drawing the building to the left by detailing the roof shingles and shading in the panels and windows on the exterior.

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Taking a picture of the windmill was one thing, but sketching it into my sketchbook would make my stroll through Solvang even more memorable. The calmness of just sitting down and drawing was relaxing for me.


I had looked up at the windmill and back at my sketchbook about a hundred times before I finished. I routinely erased and redrew my incorrect proportions. But after a while of time trying to capture the detailed lines of the windmill, I stood back and looked down at my sketch. I thought that the windmill was a lovely representation of the beauty and charm of Solvang. 

Andrea is an artist from Southern California. You can see more of Andrea’s work on her website.

Andrea Monis
Artist's Website

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