Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sketching Shapes and Shadows

As part of Liz Steel's Sketching Now Foundations course, we are studying the creation of shapes through basic shapes, negative shapes (the space around the objects), and shadow shapes.

I painted this piece for the holiday as an exercise in this week's lessons.

First I painted the basic colored shapes (ceramic pumpkin, glass, candlestick, placemat) looking at both the shapes themselves and then the negative shapes between them.  Painting one color--say the pumpkin--requires looking at the shapes that are not pumpkin (like the leaves and the space between the pumpkin and the glass) so that you can leave white space for objects of another color.  For me, this is not as easy as it looks.

Then after it had dried I painted the shadow shapes over the existing shapes.  That is a rather magical process--it is like putting on 3D glasses!  The structure of the shapes really pops.

Then, finally, the ink.  Because I just like the way ink looks over watercolors.

It is the leaves and shadows on the pumpkin that I am most pleased with.

Only because I wanted to draw them did I even see them--those leaves, those shadows.   A sketchbook practice really does change the way you look at the world.  How the world holds meaning for you.  How you then go forward into the world a new person.  I know I look at things completely differently since I started a sketchbook practice.

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