Friday, February 26, 2016

Learning Your Subject

'Needle Point' Holly - 6x6 - Watercolor - February 2016
My focus over the last few months has been to concentrate on learning some basics of drawing.   It started with a drawing class at University of West Georgia.   Our focus was sketch, sketch, sketch.  Sounds easy but it's actually hard to do.   Keeping my sketchbook by my living room chair helped me over the holidays.   Now I've drifted away and I think my next strategy will be to take a sketchbook and put one in my studio, living room, sun room, bedroom, etc.   I'm really anxious for some pretty weather so that I can do more sketching outside.     The other step was to take a illustration class at the State Botanical Gardens.   This required that we focus on the 'detail'.   We looked at things under a magnifying glass, we used a lamp to focus on shadow, we practiced, practiced, practiced value scales with graphite.   Then personally I decided to pick up the watercolor brush again and between trial and error, You Tube and practice, practice, I continue to learn some things.    What I learned in the watercolor above was to NOT use a charcoal pencil to sketch a watercolor and then put a watercolor wash on the paper.   While I was able to go back and work out some of the problems, I was left with some charcoal residue in the paint.    The other thing I've been doing is painting the same thing over and over.    I actually have done this before and a couple of my favorite paintings were ones that I painted dozens of time.   I'd sketch the composition, paint it in various color schemes and in different mediums.   It is a technique that really helps you get to know your subject.

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