Friday, July 29, 2011

Working Small and Fast

A few years ago I was in Vermont teaching a number of watercolor classes for Holbein. One of the classes was how to paint outside, so we packed lightly, braved the August heat and humidity, left our hotel/conference center, and walked outside and across the road to this little farm. The scene was very commonplace: just a white frame house with a screen porch, a detached garage and some trees. I found a comfortable spot and did this series of scenes using my Sanford Uniball Micro pen and my 6" x 8" Aquabee sketchbook.

I was under a little pressure for two reasons: one, it was hot out; and two, I was teaching a class and I like to keep things moving and interesting. That has the advantage of forcing me to work fast and loose and intuitively. I don't have any time to massage things, I have to draw and slap on the paint quickly. The result is either a sharp little vignette, or a spectacular failure, but either way, I don't waste much time.

I am pleased with these little sketches because they express an immediacy of thought and application. Each one has a nice and simple composition. The darks are very dark, and the lights very light. Some areas are even left unpainted. There is very little detail, most everything is left to the imagination.

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