Saturday, February 9, 2013

Journaling 101

Week of Jan.13 - 19th, 2013:

  I departed my workshop in Eustis, FL, headed to Sebring, FL, then on to Parkland, FL, to spend the week here- near Fort Lauderdale- finishing up some of my previous sketches with simple watercolor washes. I leave today, Saturday, Jan. 19th, for next session in Key West, FL, which looks to be a very busy three days, Jan. 22-24. The Key Largo session, starting Jan. 28th, is already filled, with four 'standbys'.  I have suggested a change there, to a Mon-Tuesday session for 15 and a Thurs-Friday session for another 15. We'll see how that develops, as I prefer a max of 15 students per session.  This week I was the guest of Allison, Michael & family in Parkland, FL... very nice folks and art lovers to boot!

I will again review some of the items I cover, in these 'journaling' workshops:  When working in 'plein air', I recommend that you limit sketches to simple scenes, such as eliminating items which are not key to the story being told.  KEEP IT SIMPLE!  Do a contour drawing in inkpen, so that all areas in the sketch tie together - use single lines - not a bunchof 'henscratchings' - this outline drawing consists of the outlines of major shapes in the sketch.  I constantly refer to shapes, NOT THINGS... it pertains to getting the right side of the brain into action.  You will know it, when you have reached this creative situation.  After the basic shapes are established, then add basic detail within those shapes.

It's time to paint! ... I pick a cool color & a warm color, to start the color washes - usually going for dark negative areas, such as dark tree shapes behind a white building shape. This start begins with doing the FOCAL point, then areas around the focal point, continuing to add color washes to include the background.  I add other colors from my palette, as I need them... again, keep it  simple.  Add  basic colors by mixing colors ON THE PAPER, not mixing on the palette - that is the very First step (mixing colors on the palette) to make MUD!  Example: blue with raw sienna... you will get plain blue areas, plein sienna areas and a number of combinations by MIXING ON THE PAPER! ... and start by laying in washes lighter than you feel you need, as they can be darkened as you proceed. I prefer to paint the darker areas first, then lighter areas...kindabackward, from what most watercolorists practice.  I find that this helps to save white areas and the lighter washes are easily to keep subtle and not get them too dark. I also recommend signing, dating and titling my journaling sketches, as it helps to identify the time & place later on...

More guidelines later on... so, keep your brushes wet and KEEP IT SIMPLE!  After all, these sketches are supposed to happen in a half hour or less!

No comments:

Post a Comment