Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What if...?

“Don't carpet your rut". The quote reminds me not to get too comfortable by doing the same thing over and over. Any form of repetition can be a rut: technique, subject matter, view point, perspective, lighting, materials... Artists can get in a rut because we want a successful outcome every time. Anything that seems  repetitive is playing it safe. If you want to grow it means you have to take a risk. The risk can be large or small. If you find yourself in a rut start climbing out!

I start by thinking, “What if?” How many ways can I sketch a subject but say it differently? The answer is countless times.

 I enjoy exploring new ways of expressing myself with watercolor, drawing techniques and tools. Instead of always relying on the same technique I sketch the same subject in different ways. This is a great way to explore new mediums by investing a small amount of time (not a full sheet watercolor). I’ve found many of my favorite ways of sketching and painting when I am playing and exploring, “What if?”

A few examples of ways to explore using one subject. I encourage you to find something to draw/paint. Get out your supplies and see how ways you sketch the subject in a new way.  The drawings don't need to be very big (3x5 or 4x6). 

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES: pen, pencil, marker, bamboo watercolor, ink, contour, crosshatch, wet into wet, dry brush…

#1 Pencil & watercolor: Drawn with pencil. Painted with watercolor

#2 Ink & Watercolor: Drawn with waterproof pen (Faber-Castell, Pitt). Painted with watercolor. 

#3 Watercolor Marker & Watercolor: Marker was slightly water-soluable. Painted with watercolor.

#4 Pencil & Watercolor: Drawn with pencil. Value study with Payne’s Gray watercolor.

I’ve done at least four more variations and I’ve got more ideas to explore. I've only scratched the surface.


Once you begin you’ll start to see sketching as an opportunity to explore. I'm curious to hear how many sketches you can come up with. I’m sure you can add a few of your favorites to the list! 

Happy Sketching! 
Brenda


11 comments:

  1. Thank you for this & your inspiration! The newest "risk" I want to take is to work larger...but I keep saying, "Tomorrow..." Maybe it will be sooner...

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  2. Great post as always Brenda.

    I tend to vary my sketching approach depending on time available and what best suits the subject matter - some look great in pencil, others lend themselves to pen, some to monotone...
    Here are a few more ideas, not necessarily with watercolour -
    *Ink and wash (using a waterproof ink but washing into it while wet)
    *Pen and ink (whether fountain pen, dip pen or felt tip pen) - cross hatched and detailed or with scribble tonal work
    *Watercolour washes to suggest the shapes first then pen work over the top for definition
    *Watercolour wash in a single colour worked in with pen and highlights lifted out
    *Water-soluble graphite sketch with watercolour
    *Limited palette studies using perhaps just a cool red, yellow and blue or (my favourite) an earth triad of yellow ochre, Indian red and Cerulean chromium
    *Sketch in a different coloured ink - brown or grey rather than black - with or without watercolour.
    *Painted in gouache rather than watercolour
    *Limited palette of just ultramarine and burnt sienna (or burnt umber)
    *Gouache study working dark to light for a change
    *a rectangle of one colour collaged background with a white border around it, drawn over with pen and wash...
    As you say, the options are endless :-)

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  3. Thanks for the reminder... I need to RIP that carpet up... TODAY!

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  4. Wonderful inspiration! thanks!!

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  5. An excellent piece. Thank you.

    Right now, my challenge is not detailing with the pencil and letting the watercolors do their work. I've placed a greater amount of time in pencil work before getting back to painting (19 years of not holding a brush!) so old habits become bad habits.

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  6. Dear Brenda just catching up on your posts. Your idea about moving out of the rut is very timely for me...not just in art but in life as well. Loved reading your life story a couple of posts before. What an amazing story. Such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

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  7. Dear Brenda just catching up on your posts. Your idea about moving out of the rut is very timely for me...not just in art but in life as well. Loved reading your life story a couple of posts before. What an amazing story. Such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete