Friday, February 01, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

One of the best uses of a sketchbook is to use it for thumbnails prior to a painting.  

Below I used my sketchbook when in a workshop to figure out a few ideas about values, colors etc.  I made sure and write down a few notes where the sun was coming from, where the light was hitting the trees etc.

 © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom
After finishing the painting I realize I was pretty new at using my notes as well as I should have ... completely ignoring a few of them.  *wide-eyed in surprise ....  (don't think I even looked at a few of them).

 © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom
The value sketch above was more of a drawing + value sketch.  Also notice I used part of the opposite page to work out some thoughts on colors.

Mountain Brook, 12" x 16" watercolor on Arches 140 lb. © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom
I was happy to be able to find a few sketchbook pages to share with you where I had actually used the thumbnails to help me in some paintings.

Do you use your sketchbook to help you with a painting?  writing down colors, values, weather, what drew you to the scene to paint?


  1. You use your sketchbook in such valuable ways. I love seeing the thumbnails and then the painting. Still learning...

  2. I should use a sketchbook but I don't. I'm bad. Maybe you will kickstart something in me.

  3. I love seeing how you use your sketch book! It's an inspiration. Definitely has me itching to use my sketch book in a much more productive way. Thanks for sharing. :-)