The pencil is there for scale. The crack in the sidewalk reminded me of what they say– that when you find a fault, you shouldn’t dwell on it. But here we are dwelling in earthquake country and quite happy about it. I had fun backpacking Memorial Day weekend with a fun group, several of whom are geologists and point out really cool things about the shape of the land and the fossils hiding in plain sight. Here are a couple of watercolor and gouache sketches that I snuck in between the rains.
Who’d have guessed that the fluid nature of watercolor could be so well adapted to painting dancing flames? These are a couple of 8×10″ watercolor sketches made while enjoying campfires with friends on a recent backpack adventure.
I have been playing with watercolors recently. I can make a study of a painting in a fraction of the time it takes to make an oil painting, so it gives me a great way to explore compositions and experiment with design ideas. It has been a great way to get out my creative energy when I don’t want to commit to a whole canvas.
Fellow artists might enjoy this way of making an inexpensive watercolor sketchbook. I cut a bunch of paper types that I like working on and took them to the copy shop to have them spiral bound. I mask the frame with painters tape so it leaves clean edges when I pull it away.
You can see on these first two that I often make a pencil sketch before I start painting to figure out the design and value patterns before I begin splashing color. I used to paint with watercolor a lot when I was in high school, but haven’t used it much since. It is fun to rediscover and I think that doing these is going to help me discover new ideas for my oils.