Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back last night from my workshop in Lewes with not a lot of great paintings, but with a beautiful hammock from Shelby, some ideas from the workshop teacher, Judi Wagner, and the phone number of a watercolor painter in Chadds Ford (Hi Lois!) who I hope to paint with again.
One of Judi's suggestions is to do a "placement" and a "pattern" (of lights and darks) sketch before painting. I usually draw right on the watercolor paper and plunge in, which may work or not ... And this method may work or not too, but I like the mental space it puts between me and the subject: like grinding your own ink in Chinese painting--it's a premliminary that gets you in the mood. As Judi stressed, these should be quick, not labored, becasue you don't want to use all your energy on them and dissipate your excitement about the subject before you even begin.
A "placement" and "pattern" sketch from the first day out, on the grounds of the Lewes Historical Society. It was a bright day with wonderful shadows cast by all the lovely trees; a little overwhelming (and hard on the eyes).

Above, I accidentally did my pattern sketch right over my placement sketch (oh well).
Below is a sketch from day 2, of a huge tree in a small, old cemetaryy in Pilottown, a section of Lewes on the canal. Theodore Parker's tombstone said that he died, in 1861, of drowning, aged twenty years, five months, and fifteen days.

A view of a boathouse on the canal in Pilottown.

A Pilottown boathouse.
Tomorrow I'll post the paintings ... Today is for unpacking, baking a cake for Mother's Day, and retrieving my cats from said mother.
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1 comment:

Gwen Buchanan said...

I really love seeing your process in these big sketches... the sketchy feel always attracts me... it always leaves me with room for my mind to roam... thanks so much laura!!!


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