Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Practice Sketches

Here are some interior practice sketches.

Practicing Architectural Subjects

Here are some more quick sketches done while waiting. You can practice your skills anywhere at any time.

Sketching People

Here are a few sketches done while waiting: to vote, for breakfast, and for church to end.

Quick Night Sketches

Here are a few quick sketches I did while waiting in the car for my friend. I used my Aquabee 6" x 9" sketchbook, a Uniball Micro pen and Holbein watercolors. I did the sketch on location, and painted them later in the studio.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Adding Color to My Five-Minute Sketches

Here are the same sketches from my post a few weeks ago but with color added.

Train Trip With My Brother

Last year my brother and I took a train trip through the Royal Gorge. While we were waiting to depart, I took a photo of him taking a photo of the locomotive. I love this image. I painted it yesterday, substituting some thick trees for the concrete overpass that was originally there.

Back Seat Sketching

I have been taking a few road trips lately where I have been sitting in the back seat. This gives me plenty of time to practice quick sketching. Most of these sketches were done in five seconds or less. That five seconds is for the basic line drawing. I paint them later in my studio, remembering the colors and values, or just making something up.

Please note that the second sketch took a little longer, about 10 minutes or so. 

This is a good way to keep your eye/hand coordination in excellent shape.

Trip to Texas

I just returned from a trip to San Antonio, Texas, to visit both the city, and a friend who was graduating from basic military training at the air force base there. These were all done on location with my Sanford Uniball Micro pen and my 6" x 9" Aquabee Super Deluxe sketchbook. I painted all of the sketches later, using photographic reference and some imagination. See how anything can be sketched, and how there are many opportunities to practice?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Five-Minute Sketches

Here is a series of quick sketches I did yesterday at lunch time of the Athenaeum in Pasadena. They took about five minutes each. My goal was to  get the essence of the architecture and the trees and make a quick compositional study. I took some reference photos but I am finding that the images I get from my iPhone, while being incredibly detailed and of a high quality, are of such an extreme wide angle view that the subject is sometimes distorted. A quick field sketch lets me see the proportions correctly. I will use my photos for details later, but use these sketches for the overall view. I am trying to use my sketchbook more, and not rely so much on photography. Besides, I really need the practice.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A New Sketchbook

After suffering from blank page fear syndrome for two weeks, I finally broke out of it on Saturday morning with a friend of mine. We went to breakfast at Foxes, and returned to my studio for a brief painting lesson. I demonstrated the use of abstract study sketches for the purpose of exploring non-representational compositions that focus on design and value only. I used my new virgin sketchbook (going a few pages in – a new technique for me), and did a series of nice little studies. That was all I needed to get me off the precipice of performance anxiety.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rainy Night In Los Angeles

This is another of my favorite scenes. I have done it a number of times but the night time version evokes the most feeling for me. I love the city on a rainy night.

This view is from the bridge overlooking the Harbor Freeway as it passes through Elysian Park  with downtown Los Angeles off in the distance. Across the top is a series of small study sketches from different vantage points.

I did this sketch on hot press paper using pen, watercolor, and titanium white for accents. I mounted the painting and the sketches to a cradled foam core panel that I had coated with three layers of gesso.

Sculptural Painting

I took a break from my usual painting activities to prepare a special piece as a gift for someone. It is a woven heart made from three pieces of 300 pound Fabriano cold press paper. I made a half size mock up from thin card stock (top photo) to work out the details. 

The next photo shows the piece in progress, with the mock up on the right. I wanted to emphasize the dimensionality so I built up a spacer from 1/4" foam core. I used white glue to fasten alternate strips to more fully express the woven parts. I added some pastel strokes and some scribbles with colored pencil and then finished it off with an acrylic box frame.