A great spring day was at the rendez-vous for the monthly USK Montreal meeting. We met at the parc Lahaie at the corner of St, Laurent and Laurier.
I wanted to test the setup in preparation for Chicago. I am looking for ways to lighten the working surface so that I can work standing or sitting. Today I worked sitting and it was fine. I cut a piece of corrugated plastic - the kind used for elections stuff - 14 x 14. I have a smaller one, but I think I want to work on 8 x 10 or 9x 12 paper, so this bigger size is better.
I used clip-on water containers - I think they are meant for oil painters to hold linseed oil and such. I put the paint in an empty cough-pills container and attached it to the board with magnets, The container weighs next to nothing and has space for 12 colours. If I want more colours, I can easily add another container. So far, so good.
I chose to sketch the church instead of the firehouse. I also wanted to test the paper - it failed. I won't take this paper at the symposium. It is not white and it has to much texture for the pen to glide smoothly. I think this will be an issue because I had problems with my pens on other types of paper too. I made three attempts to sketch the church, trying to get the whole building on the paper. I still have issues simplifying the subject effectively because my building is missing various parts.
The setup is in the first picture - it works well with the paper landscape or portrait.
And my fellow sketcher Ludmila sketched me sketching the church - how cool is this? And I look 20 years younger!
That's right - week 10. The last one. Already. I am changing computers and all my photos are still on the old one. 'nough excuses now.
The topic of the week - make our own topic! Really. We were supposed to create out own assignment, with boundaries and all. I decided to explore pattern, but I did not define the assignment precisely enough. Just that - pattern. Pretty vague indeed. I did not have to time to explore the topic properly and I think it shows in the results. Having precise boundaries helps direct the flow and eliminate distractions. The more options there are, the more paralyzing things can become.
I think I did however came up with a few interesting pieces, worth exploring further.
Speed painting anyone?! This was the assignment of the week - cover the paper with color in 20 sec! Then add scribles and layers with opaque and transparent paints.
Needless to say, 20 sec are very short! In my case, it took about 1 min to cover the paper because of "technical difficulties" with the paint. But it was fun!
More appropriate would be to call them paintings or studies because drawings are not. But I digress...
Topic of the week: layering and line in black and white only. Vary the opacity of the layers. Do not stray into shape or pattern. Vary the lines.
As usual, I find it hard to work monochromatic. It is always a struggle to not drop some color somewhere ...
I tend to gravitate towards continuous lines that flow relatively smoothly. so I had to pay extra attention to make other types of lines.
I know ... 5 weeks into the new year it is sort of late. Suffice to say that the new year did not start in the best way possible and there are no signs that things will change soon.
At the moment, I am busy with the 100 drawings on cheap paper on line course with Jane. Week 3 already.
I also did the workshop with Veronica Lawlor over at Sketchbook Skool. So all in all, I've been plenty busy!
The first four sketches are from Veronica's workshop; the other ones are continuous line sketch of some stuff on the table, chocolates, more objects and portraits and selfie.
One of the three works in progress posted here is finished. At lest for now. Here are some of the intermediate steps.
I wasn't happy with how it was turning out, so I covered a big part of it. Jane calls this phase "monkey-ing" the piece. It means covering a chunk of the piece to force it to go in a different direction instead of brooding over something that is not going anywhere.
It might be done now ...
I played catch-up over the Christmas break - my sketching habit took a hit lately. I decided to sketch some of my presents and some leftovers.
.I found three 300lb pieces of paper that I used as warm-ups during the Bob Burridge workshop in Vermont this summer.
This is a particularly busy time of the year at work, so my art time is reduced to minuscule increments here and there.
I decided to start by painting a dark background and then adding 2 big shapes on each paper. That's it.
Then I added more marks on each paper: dripping high flow sepia paint, splattering acrylic ink etc.
Here is the beginning:
This is few iterations into the process:
Stay tuned for the evolution of things ..
One of the classes I am taking over at Art Tutor is about watercolor pencils. I bought a while back 10 Inktense pencils and I seldom use them. I also have watercolor crayons - and I use them even more seldom that the pencils.
I also think that they might be a better choice for sketching out - at least for now. They are easy to carry around and I can use the water brush. When I will get better and faster with watercolors, I will take them out again.
Inspiration - a photo taken in Girona. I am pleased with the result. Different from pure watercolor washes of course, but not bad. What do you think?