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  • Writer's pictureJim Gummerson

Doing some watercolour sketching

So today I pulled out my sketchbook and some watercolours and started to paint. I love the mood that can be created with watercolour. Here, I sat by a large boulder that's outside my cottage. I think while I was painting it I thought how very prehistoric it is. It looks to me like some kind of dinosaur. I also scrubbed the surface with my thumb a few times to get that rough look. It also kind of reminds me of a Wyeth painting. I love how abstract his compositions were. I think I was also trying to create an abstract as well. It's just more interesting that way.

I didn't use any masking fluid here as I never usually do (although I admit I should). I would rather scrub it out, naturalize it I guess. I think you can create some great stuff with watercolour as long as you can stay open to other ways of doing things with the medium. If you just stick to learned techniques you can get kind of a "typical" look to your watercolours. I know Wyeth's son uses them like oils which is fantastic as well.

I like to design the page as well... even if its just a sketch. It comes out in your other work as a practice. Leaving white and areas can add to the design. It's important to note too that you have to look for big shadows. I have a lot of students that first start out with horrible photos. All front lit and no shadows to play with. The large shadows allow you to design and play. Trying to create every leaf isn't necessary as far as i'm concerned. Let the eye fill in some of the painting. I remember Bateman has a whole thing on coleslaw vs salad. Basically he says salad is defined... easy to pick out the elements. Coleslaw is all mixed up and confusing and lacks interest.

Well that's all for now!

Back to painting.

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