Sketching is such a foundational skill, but I have been lazy about creating good sketches for my painting. Today I have not picked up a brush, but I spent some time sketching photos I would like to paint. I have an absolute fear of doing a quarter sheet watercolor these days. It has been so long since I attempted one. I have spent months painting only in a small sketchbook, or postcard size, or even trading card size.

So now I have sketches for an abandoned chapel in a fairly large format, a smaller outdoor scene that looks like the source photo was from somewhere in Greece, and you can’t see it on the small Fabriano block, but it’s a western scene that is probably from Arizona and New Mexico.

I also worked on my colored pencil class. I should not have traced out the reference line drawing as it has made these trees get off to a very confusing start. I have a whole fistful of green pencils, but it seems that in every one of these classes, I don’t have the shades that the teacher is using. Hopefully this can be addressed somewhat with the final watercolor washes. I did the first class samples on cheap cold press watercolor paper, but this one is on the recommended Stonehenge Hot Press.

I have seen some inspiring posts around the blogs today.

Smitha painted a beautiful large scene for a friend. Which reminds me I wanted to do a gouache painting of one of her recent travel photos. I should add that to my sketch list.

It seems that even great watercolorists like John Haywood have their struggles. A lot of good takeaways from his assessment of a painting gone wrong, along with a view of another beautiful painting gone right.

David Tripp is weathering the storm and sharing good thoughts on the creative process as usual.

I love the way Judith approaches her art in a studious way–it yields great results. Get ready for spring with her post today about greens. I had been thinking this morning that perhaps it’s best to limit a palette to a selection of yellows and blues, and then build your greens from there, with a touch of payne’s gray. I think not, when I look at this old color chart I made. I got lots of additional greens from blending tube greens with my primaries.

Come quickly, greens of spring! We miss you.

6 thoughts on “Sketching

  1. Thank you Jo for linking to my post and the other references. There are so much of catching up to do with regards to reading your posts. I do not wish to miss any of your posts because I always leave learning something new or simply feeling better.
    The first trees you’ve painted are beautiful. I’ve not done watercolors since a month too and I’m waiting to go back to them.
    Wishing you a wonderful day ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry, you are not missing much over here. I haven’t really been posting anything special. The trees are colored pencil work that will be overwashed with watercolor. It’s from an online course I am taking.


  2. Thanks so much for linking through to my recent post and for your kind and generous comments. I can really empathise with your fear of striking out on a quarter sheet! I’ve only painted on quarter sheet for over a year now I think. I used to mainly paint on half imperial sheets but everytime I look at a half sheet now I come out in a cold sweat – it looks enormous! (I’ll do a half sheet if you’ll do a quarter sheet!)


      1. Thank you so much. I love sharing what I’ve learned along the way. Art is an ongoing journey, and I’m delighted to have so many fellow artists traveling alongside me.


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