November 27, 2015
Two little words intrude on my joy of sketching surroundings, capturing the moments alone or with friends, playing with pen and brush. They continue to rephrase the question they raise, but the question remains the same … “And then?” … “So what?” … “Next step?”
In my workshops I present numerous techniques that are fun while also developing different skills; drawing, design, color, observation. To what end? It certainly is acceptable to improve skills simply for working in sketchbooks. But if I am so inclined, how do those honed skills transfer to a larger format on paper or canvas? Can I take the sketchbook drawings further, to resolve issues that will crop up in larger paintings? Or do I just keep playing in my sketchbook, never translating a favorite sketch onto canvas?
Left: original en plein air sketch at Lynmar Winery, CA Right: Reworked sketch several days later.
As a travel sketch, the image on the left is fine. As a painting, it’s chaotic. The value shapes don’t work together to indicate my interest, a focal point, spacial relationships nor movement around the objects. I decided to listen to those two little words that echoed in my brain. Several days after sketching with Susan Cornelis at Lynmar Winery, I returned to the sketch to resolve the chaos. When I return to my studio, I intend to use the resolved sketch to create a small oil painting using only my resolved sketch. This is a totally new way of working for me.
Image: Ink and watercolor