Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Drawing the Scene Outside My Window

Recently I wanted to work on capturing my quick scribbly sort of style, the one I use so freely in my sketchbooks, on bigger 18 x 24 paper.

For some reason, when I work on bigger paper, I feel like I need a subject worthy of that size of paper.  So, instead of just drawing the thing in front of me, like I do all the time in my sketchbook, I fuss around trying to figure out what I will draw.

Well, a few weeks ago I decided to give it a whirl.  I was simply going to do a pen and watercolor sketch of whatever I could see looking out my window.  And I was going to create the piece in the same way that I work in my sketchbook--only bigger.

No fussing about doing better work because the paper is bigger!!

So, here is my direct pen sketch of two of the trees and a chair in my side year.

After I did this, I decided to add the split rail fence in my neighbor's yard.  Then I began adding watercolor--a first wash of colors, to identify the light and shadow shapes.

I liked this quite a bit, and had gotten this far in maybe a half an hour.   At this point, I walked away to let it dry (which didn't take too long).

Then I went back to add additional layers of color, to deepen the shadows and make the colors more vibrant.   Here is the final version:

This experience really pleased me.  I worked quickly and freely, without fussing, as I usually do in my sketchbook.   I captured the image of my side yard in late summer.  I practiced scribbling in a bigger format, which really has some delightful physical benefits!  I stand when I work.  I move my whole arm and my whole body in ways that I don't when working on a small page.

Yes, it took longer than a journal page because it required more paint and more water to cover the larger sheet.  But I certainly will do this again.  It's a great way to make everything feel different, and helped me overcome the mental blocks to working on large paper.

Beware perfectionism and anything that makes it come to life!  No need to fuss any more over big paper than on small paper.

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