Friday, February 24, 2012

Wrapping up the Previous Sketchbook

After I prepare my new sketchbook for work, I review my last one and finish up any unpainted sketches. Here are the final four pages, done while on break from jury duty a few weeks ago. I did the pen and ink sketches on location, adding a small value sketch and taking a digital photo to glue in later.

I am a comfort sketcher. That means I like working from a nice, shady spot, sitting in a nice chair, preferably with a nice lunch and a glass of ice tea on the way, or perhaps a cigar. This also means that I sometimes don't get much of a choice with regard to my subject. This however, is good, because it forces me to make a sketch rather than just copy what is before me.

New Sketchbook

It took me almost a year to finish my last sketchbook. You can see the old one next to a brand new one. I have a little ritual I go through to prepare it for use: first I date and sign the cover in silver paint from a paint pen; then I stamp my address in the front cover; finally I make a list of my current color palette and paint a swatch of each color. In this case, I did a quick sketch of my artist's paint box, just for fun.

Now I am ready to go.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Southern California House

Here is another sequence of the development of a painting. The first image is the finished painting. Next to that is my reference photo of the house. I did a quick study sketch while I was there, but I like to take a photo for later use. Frequently I only have time to do the sketch, and I paint it later in the studio.

Notice how the small sketch is a simplified roadmap of the basic shapes and values of the final painting. I refer to the sketch during the painting process to keep me on track. I am always free to deviate from the plan, but I want to do it by intention, not by default.