Archive for sketching

Coping with Commissions

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Watercolors with tags , , , on January 14, 2018 by sebland

To be really honest, I’m not terribly comfortable about commissions. I have enough trouble bringing my own ideas to the canvas, much less trying to interpret another person’s visions. This one, however, is quite large and I know and trust my patron’s faith in me, so I’m taking it on. The space is wide – six feet, but only 26″ tall, so we’ve settled on three 24 x 24″ canvases, side by side. She loves bright colors, lots of friends around her, and just lost her husband, so this one  must be a narrative of the joy of life and the way we love and support one another. My way to begin is to sketch with watercolor the feelings, the emotions and some of the things I know she’s looking for. Then I’ll prime and begin in acrylics to paint the panels. This triptych may take a little while and may undergo many changes. I invite you to travel along with me and we’ll see where this one takes us. I’ll bet the finished product will bear little resemblance to this first sketch!

One Day at a Time

Posted in art, inspiration, Painting, Watercolors with tags , , , , on January 1, 2018 by sebland

I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions. I’m too likely to feel defeated when I don’t keep them after a few days of trying half-heartedly to lose 15 pounds and find I’ve gained seven, or instead of walking a mile a day, I drive the half block to the mailbox. I did promise myself to draw and sketch a bit more this year. No promises, I just think I will make an effort to act like a real artist and hone my drawing skills. I’ve always loved writing and keeping a prayer journal, starting each day with a list of the good things happening to me and around me, so in this new year I’m going to fill a new sketchbook with those things around me that I enjoy. Today it’s my soft bed, my warm blue robe and my thirteen year old cranky cat. Maybe tomorrow it will be my coffee cup. Or my warm house shoes. What are you grateful for today?

Getting A Little Sketchy

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Watercolors with tags , , , , , , on November 29, 2017 by sebland

imageI’ve always admired and been a little intimidated by those artists constantly sketching and journaling. I’ve even encouraged my students to keep a sketchbook handy and use it frequently to records events and sights along their journey. However I do confess that I could practice what I preach. When I travel or set out to do some plein aire work, I almost always will do a quick watercolor sketch, but I seldom record everyday events. I think I should. When I look back over old sketchbooks, I really get a sense of being there in the moment. In fact some of my sketches  before painting are more appealing to me than the finished work. Somehow those little sketches  along with the date and place, carry me back to a very special memory. Maybe 2018 will be the year of the “Art Journal.” We’ll see how that works out.

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