Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sketchbook Work

Talking about vacation, what we do, what I think about it, the beauty of our surroundings - all that I have discussed.  Tonight I'm going to show you the sketches I did while away.

First these three sketches are all a combination of ink and watercolor.  The sketch "pad" contains rough watercolor paper sewn into a book with a leather-encased hard-core cover.  It is a pleasure to work in, believe me.  Because the paper is so rough, it doesn't lend itself easily to media other than water-based ones.  Using a fountain-pen isn't simple, but fountain-pen ink moves with water in the same water the water-based paints do.  Initially, when I sketched the barn up on the hill near where we stay, the plan was to create a pen and ink drawing only.  However, once I "finished" the sketch and was looking at it, I wondered what would happen if I added color.  I knew I would have to be careful not to stray into inked area with the watercolor because the two would blend together into an inky mess.

Having had so much fun with the above sketch, I continued with the same technique on the next one.  This was done looking directly across the lake at the water's edge cottages, the mountains, and the gathering clouds.  This is a view I've never worked on before, and it was more interesting than I anticipated.  Starting this sketch, I thought it would be merely an exercise in dealing with clouds.  Out came the fountain pen again so I could lay in a dark base for the clouds and, with a wet brush, pull the ink up into a blended, puffy-looking cloud.  Did that work?  Well, it's a beginning.  Anyway, I also became intrigued with the muted colors in the hills and water as well as the cottages nestled among the trees.  Few distinct details in this one as I was more interested in impressions.  I called this one a "Scribble Sketch" as I wasn't thrilled with it.

Then the final one was drawn the next morning during a rainstorm.  The storms come in from the south over the gap.  As I started this sketch, the clouds and the rain had not yet arrived at the camp where we were (a point pretty much midway between the south and north ends of the lake).  It was almost the same technique as the first two, but I pushed the experiment by using a fountain-pen with a sepia cartridge as well as the black ink pen.  Sepia is the color you can see in the cliffs (details in black).  It was a learning-thing; I won't do that again.  The sepia is too distinct, too warm a color for a rainy day.  Live and learn.  Then I did some other "new for me" things.  I inked in rain streaks up in the clouds - liking that a bit, I did some in watercolors over the hills and into the lake.   Finally, I splattered some of the same watercolor over the bottom of the hills and into the lake.  Those splatters may not show up too well at this size because they're not easy to see full size!  Another lesson - splatters might need to be a darker color of paint.

I had a good time doing these sketches, but what makes it even better is that I think I learned from the painting and even more from writing about them.

1 comment:

  1. That's going to be one fantastic book when you're done with it. I like the little bits of color - but that's just me.