Saturday, February 21, 2009

Start to finish Watercolor

Jarrells Cove StoreSOLD
Jarrells Cove Store-watercolor 8" x 10"
I decided to put contour (modified) drawing and paint to a test. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make a complete drawing using the contour method and have it resemble anything when I completed the painting. I tried to use a loose method, which is always a challenge for me.

This is my reference photo. This is a little store at a nearby marina. There is a lot of green going on, but still l like the photo.

I ususally don't take advantage of thumbnail work, but decided I'd try a few, working out my values and colors.

This photo above is where I stopped. I let it set a while wondering where it was missing "something".

Jarrells Cove Store
This is the same as the first photo....... finished after adding some value here and there. I am pretty happy with the results of my drawing. It may not be photo realistic but it has something I am pleased with. I wish I had taken a photo of the drawing before I added some pigment. I will definately continue with my contour drawing.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The last of the sketches ....

Contour sketch 2-5-09 for awhile that is. I did these two pages in my sketchbook on the 5th of this month. This time I had added some line shading to a couple on this first page and some watercolor to this second page, the sketch below.
Contour sketch 2-5-09 Sketch of my husbands feet on the reliner - as he naps
Working from Charles Reid's book still, I am now into the section were some measuring is suggested. As I start measuring I think that will make my sketches more recognizable. Still, even in these latest sketches I notice that I'm not taking my time when I sketch, as I would normally. True contour drawing, where the artist focuses on the outline of the model and not taking their eyes off the subject ... convinced that the pencil is touching the subject you are looking at, is different than what I'm trying to do here. I am doing modified contour drawing where I glance at the drawing at intervals noting relationships of sizes lengths ... and angles.
Lin had asked in my last post, "how do you turn off your 'it's wrong' mind???!! ". Wonderful question Lin. After my first modified contour sketch, I was thinking 'I recognize this, but as far as looking like the subject, it looks like a 2nd grader sketched it (no offence to those 2nd graders), then, almost in the same breath I said....... that's what this work is all about, learning to see and draw with out getting the proportion's perfect. Exact proportions would defeat the purpose of me doing the contour drawings. The contour drawing should add life, excitement and joy to my work. Hope this helps Lin. I guess it's just my personal journey at this time, *wink.
Just noticed that where I've placed the date of the sketch in the top photo, I wrote 2-5-08. Geesh, it's a little late for me to still be hooked on 2008 isn't it?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Contour Sketch - from an older photograph

contour drawing with photograph

I decided, still reading from Charles Reid's book "Pulling Your Painting's Together", to attempt his first assignment in the book. He suggests we find an older photograph with diffused light ... (I've tweaked this photo in Photoshop so you could see it) and start drawing outside shapes. Then also try drawing only the inside shapes I see. After my attempts, I can't say it looks like the photo, but it is "expressive". He suggests that you try doing the same drawing numerous times. I think that I need to pay attention when I attempt something I've read in a book. I forge ahead and do not read it thoroughly. I was suppose to, in the second assignment, avoid drawing outside contours. Just keep my pen on the paper as much as possible and concentrate on the shape. Show small details in some places (where you want people to look) and leave them out in others. Seems it was all or nothing with me on this one ... *wink.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another Contour sketch

This time I found my prop in the pantry. I chose this Folgers Instant Coffee jar because of the bright recognizable container . To keep this from getting too serious I decided to do this sketch standing up with the sketchbook in one hand and my pen in the other hand. I didn't spend time with measurements. I wanted to get down some lines, keeping my pen on the paper as much as possible and not trying to make this a "correct" drawing, yet, as Charles Reid says, make it an expressive drawing. I think while it may not be accurate I've accomplished what I set out to do.

I find contour drawing so freeing. In researching contour drawing the other day in my art books I didn't want to sit down and work in my Nicolaides - The Natural Way to Draw book or my Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain or my Key's to Drawing book .... but I did remember seeing in my books by Charles Reid's his wonderful contour drawing approach. A year ago or maybe two now I purchased his "Pulling Your Paintings Together" . In the beginning on page 9 he says "When you do a contour drawing, you must think of your pen or pencil as being on the model, not the paper. You must concentrate totally on the model, the drawing itself, good or bad, doesn't matter. This doesn't mean that you're slashing about with your pencil. On the contrary, you're working slowly, with great care, totally absorbed in your subject. For once this communion is gone, you will never have more than a passable drawing." "In contour drawing, it's also important to attach the subject to background shapes with out explaining all the subjects boundaries. " In this sketch above, I decided afterward to show some magazines and binders that were on the table .. as well as the edge of the table. All too late I think. I'll take note and try to remember this in future contour drawings.
For now, I am thinking I'll work through this book. Maybe you can expect a book review in the future.
I have a lot of trouble getting my scans to show the light colors in my sketches and watercolor paintings. For instance, the light shadows past the shadow you do see ... I've tried just about every thing I can think of. Do any of you have this trouble?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday's watercolor sketch: contour hydrangea

1.2.09 Hydrangea Contour Sketch- Nancy Van Blaricom
It was a beautiful sunny day here today yet still this morning a little cool at 38 degrees. With the sun shinning I wanted to sketch this hydrangea plant someone had recently given us. I did this contour drawing in my Aquabee 6" x 9" sketchbook using my Noodler's Ink and Lamy Safari pen and finished with some watercolor washes. Although I didn't see any pink in the blossoms I found I kept wanting add some to the white petals I saw. What I did see was GREEN. The leaves were a variety of greens, the cellophane around the plant was clear with some green swirls and the white blossoms had an occasional green flower petal. I think it would be wise for me to make some green color charts so that I can reproduce the greens I see.