well, here it is... my 'minimal' palette (5 plus a few extras... well less than 12 anyway) I am too lazy to do a formal mixing grid... instead, I mixed the colours in my palette that I would expect to do... so this grid explains why I chose certain colours (why I can't live without them in my palette) Please feel free to ask any 'but why?" questions... and yes, including Potters Pink in this selection is decidedly odd... but that colour is SO useful for creating muted granulating colours that are still nice and juicy with plenty of pigment (ie. not watered down washes!) and of course great for clotted cream(ah ha! the 'real' reason has just come out!?!?)
BTW, I would not necessarily recommend anyone go out and copy my palette as is... it is certainly not a standard selection!
I am away at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Brazil for a few weeks!
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
A simple sketch today... From now on for the next three months I am going to try to walk 4 evenings a week(rather than going to the gym) each time doing a quick 10-15min sketch.
If you are wondering why my crazy unrealistic time restriction... right at the moment I am unable to sketch longer without implications for my neck/shoulder muscles which are undergoing some treatment ... BTW this is one of the major reasons why I had been markering as it enabled me to work quicker than normal – now that I am back with watercolour it is more of a challenge. Thankfully I don’t have to give up sketching, just limit it (and a number of other things!) for the time being.
This evening I did a walk down memory lane - walked around Lane Cove Village...it was fun! The days are not quite long enough at the moment for me to have much sunlight to sketch when I leave work after 6.30pm! Not particularly inspired by what I saw today...no view caught my eye...but this was the one with the most significance – children playing around the band stand in the plaza. BTW I did touch up this sketch a little since getting home(not done a great deal to it).
I have now decided on my minimum palette ... It is 8 colours, rather than Kates five...but I am very happy with it (at the moment) ... You will just have to wait to find out what the colours are...I will tell you all later ...so don’t bother asking today!
One final BTW.... Looks like I am really come to terms with the fact that it is ok for me to write on ‘good’ watercolour paper! He he!
(funny how much I can right about a simple page in my sketchbook isn’t it?)
Monday, October 29, 2012
This looks a little forced... But this quick page of possible page layouts has helped me get a better feel for how to use the page.
As I said earlier, the moleskine watercolour book format is a little hard for me to get used to... I am used to working with a larger page which has more layout options and more room for text, Also I like writing on 150gsm weight paper, but it just doesn’t feel quite right writing on thicker, watercolour paper... So doing my typical ‘Sunday page’ has helped me get used to writing on this paper.
Today, I tried one of my layouts, and then ended up doing a second page as well...
I think that one sketch (plus maybe a smaller detail sketch) is going to work better and allow me to write more text (something that is SO important to me in my sketchbook) ... After these two spreads, I am feeling close to being in the groove with this sketchbook now. (I think that I will just get the hang of it when I finish it... I think the next one will be the BIG A4 size watercolour moleskine!)
BTW Saturday’s sketches don’t look so bad now(now that the memory of the frustration that was occurring in my palette has faded), but I am not sure I could be bothered to scan them...I have adjusted my minimal palette though (and am happy with it!) ...more to come later!
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I had a day out sketching today (numerous pages) but this is the only image/scan that you will see..
I had a truly wonderful day with sketching friends and it was a stunning day... but not very successful in my own book...this particular sketch was the high point of the day.
My new palette did NOT work for me today(the pthalo blue got so totally out of control and threw me out of balance), still not really at home with the moleskine sketchbook... the format and the fact that the paper makes my linework go scratchy (I am used to smoother paper)... as often, I try to change too many things at the one time!
It is good to have days when you don't feel happy with what you have done.... it gets the brain thinking... and I want to work out why? and what to do about it.
I was so much looking forward to 'nailing one' today... I have done so little longer time frame sketching lately that was looking forward to doing doing a more leisurely finished watercolour sketch. Well, not to be BUT as I love the process so much I don't mind days like today... and as always have a plan of what to try next. I was also very much inspired by the work done around me today!
Friday, October 26, 2012
Yes, it is a fact I am obsessed with mixing the perfect greys- warm grey, neutral and the right blue grey.
So that is the focus of this new minimal palette I am trying (refer to previous posts to find out more) and rather than doing elaborate neat (what is that word?) colour charts, I prefer just to practice mix the colours in my palette and doing a swipe of paint on the page. The emphasis is getting into the right mixing habit, how much paint to pick up and in what order, and how to adjust a mix on the palette. Therefore the colours are all from the one mix but testing different variations and ratios of colour etc. Having trouble matching a blue grey with what I am used to*... But I am happy for (and needing) a change.
* mixed from WN Cobalt Deep Blue and Daniel Smith Burnt Quin Orange... My personal gourmet version of the standard French ultramarine and burnt sienna
BTW these are done in my specific colour sketchbook – I REALLY love having this separate book and find it so useful to re-visit different exercises.
I am going out sketching tomorrow (all being well) and it is going to be my first out with this minimal set.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Not sure what my problem was last night. Was it the Daniel smith pthalo or the fact that I tried a mixed orange with it. Definitely pb and bs make green so need perm rose
I will set up my minimal set tonight.
thanks for all the comments (more on flickr and fb!)- this was my first attempt(from last night before getting your comments) at mixing greys using all kinds of combination of burnt sienna and pthalo blue - adding my perm rose or lemon yellow and also trying with some indigo... none of these achieved the colour I use A lot (which is so easily mixed with BS and French ultramarine) I will experiment further but I DO need to be able to mix a good neutral grey quickly and consistently.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
My first attempt at a sketch with the minimal palette... Help- how do I mix a nice grey- warm grey with pthalo blue (a scary colour when one is used to cobalt blue deep!)... These neutrals are a bit green. All done with a 15mm flat brush brush.
More about Kate’s color challenge here
For those that are interested (my Australian friends or those that love classical music) I am listening through (online) the Class 100 Music of France countdown from a fortnight ago as I missed most of it at the time. www.abc.net.au/classic/classic100/default.htm
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I can feel the urge to do a morning and evening sketch and complete the spread in a day... Going to take me a while to really feel at home with this format (oh! It is so small... Not that small I know!) Splashing paint in the morning with a large large brush working wet in wet and resisting the urge(at least today) to make myself a new palette. I do what to join in with Kate’s limited color challenge but I am need to find a suitable small container.
BTW it looks like I am back to mid week posting (daily posting) The weekly spread took SO much time on a Friday...and I miss out on adding my extra comments each day as I do my sketches. One of the reasons why I so regularly post is that for me, the posting and writing my wee ramblings, is the final part of the experience of the sketch _ I don’t see it as a separate task (does that make sense?)
Monday, October 22, 2012
Morning sketch and dinner sketching... Oh! It is nice to be using real watercolour paper for a change BUT it is a challenge to get used to the smaller size page as you can see here! Crowded page...and as often happens I draw the entrée too large. Great Thai meal with my parents to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary! Lovely evening and strangely the density of the page (it is all a bit too much) symbolises how I feel after eating more than I should, or am used to!!!
After the previous crowded spread, I opted for a more open composition. It does seem a waste to have a page of this nice watercolour paper without watercolour on it (or a sketch of any kind) but text is important in my sketchbooks so I just have to live with that! I am sure it will only take me a few days to get used to this format...but it is a bit of a shock to go from an A4 size book (rather than my usual A5 size) to this!
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Just to let you all know that watercolour is back!
For those that have been enjoying my markering (which I really have been myself) my markers will still be used but I need to make my daily bag as light as I possibly can so only one medium! I started markering to develop a technique for work sketches (and sadly for the whole period haven't had a chance to a single sketch at work!) and they suited my need to limit my sketches to 10-15 minute max. Now it is all about weight ... so I pick up from my abortive start of a moleskine watercolour book (a month or so ago)
The challenges ahead for me are
- work out how to do satisfactory 10-15min sketches in my morning skethc and walk using watercolour (any ideas are welcome!... I have a few myself...stay tuned)
- how to develop my watercolour to have more of the freshness of my marker work (I have a few ideas here too and want to find a book in my library on Cezanne's watercolours...might not be what I remember it to be...but that is where I am going to start)
I have a vague vision of where I want my watercolour work to go... but unsure at the moment how to get there!
My sketches from a few hours at the zoo (I have a zoo membership for the year that I have to start using!!) - I do not find sketching animals very easy but I am a lot more relaxed about having unfinished pages. The aim for today was actually to take it easy... but of course I still managed a few sketches... and somehow a T2 cuppa snuck in on the way home!
Actually I ran out of ink in my pen right at the start of my sketches so had to buy a zoo biro which I didn't really enjoy using....
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Today I just had a light bulb moment (like all light bulb moment they seem very obvious afterwards...)
As much as I loved working through the first moleskine- drawing only on one side of the page – I never fully bonded with the book. (getting severe water damage didn’t help much either!)
It is because I wasn’t working across the spread that it feels more like a sketchbook (each page a separate image that don’t connect) rather than a journal (a record of my life) Even though I did do a few journal type pages the flow between the pages wasn’t there. What is interesting is that a single page of this sketchbook at A4 size is the same size as what I am used to with my normal A5 sketchbook working across the spread. It is not the size but this ‘book-like quality’ to turning pages that obviously is so important to me.
The second moleskine cahier, that I using now, I am going to work every second spread (little I did with the smaller sketchbook in my last post) and I am immediately excited by the feel. Excited that I am now back to journal style but even more excited but the possibilities of working larger size. So even when I write a heap of text like I regularly do, I can still tie it together with an image on the next page. Also combining various images on a page (even over a few days...yet to do this) makes it feel more like a travel journal (ah! That is always a nice feeling isn’t it?) And just in case you are wondering, I am ALWAYS thinking about my next trip (whenever and wherever it might be and thinking about what I will do next time- very much like Alissa’s project recently)
This concept follows on from a discussion recently on facebook when someone asked why we don’t sketch on single pages... I replied
it is very important for me to work in a sketchbook since my sketching is all about the process of recording a moment and telling the story of my life. Individual sheets of paper is too disjointed for me- sure I could bind them later but I like seeing the narrative evolve through a book. I find that there is a lot more pressure to produce a perfect 'image' when all I really want to do is have fun and record the moment.
but since then I have realised that just being in a sketchbook isn’t enough – there has to be a narrative!
So, I think that by next adventure will be to try a large moleskine watercolour book (A4 landscape) I got one in the mail today. ... a little worried about whether it will fit on small cafe tables but excited by new adventures to come.
(the other sketchbook is the one I am currently using- my moleskine cahier with a cover by Paul Wang from Singapore) Ok... That's even rambling from me for today!!!
Saturday, October 13, 2012
International Sketchcrawl day....Needing a quiet day rather than the buzz of being out with the Sydney gang (expecting over 25 sketchers at Darling Harbour) so I had a lovely day (so far- it is 3pm) at home with a little visit to T2 teahouse!
Btw now that I am using my second moleskine cahier I am mixing it up by working across alternative spreads and sticking the bleed through spreads together with my orange dots. I much prefer the narrative nature of working this way rather than just sketching on the right page each time which made the last book feel more like a collection of single images rather than a record of my life. LOVE working at this size! Also mixing up watercolour with my markers.
And here is my quick (out and about) sketch last night after work. first friday of our summer time (even though snowy up in the blue mountains) but I made the most of the extra our of sun light...
yes ho hum, I am sketching the same old view yet again!
Friday, October 12, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Guess who is starting a new sketchbook... yes, finished the last one in 3 weeks (that is fast for me for a daily sketchbook at home) THis is the second of my Moleskine cahier with Paul Wang's artwork on the cover
THis time I am going to try a few new things... I am itching to get back to watercolour but not quite ready to stop markering, so this will be transitional.
This sketch is a combination of watercolour and marker... it is a little hard to tell which is which in places (apart from the buckling of the paper!)
BTW I am too lazy to remove my construction lines which I used to map out the page (and then ignored when I went in with the ink)
Monday, October 8, 2012
Packing for my little adventure... However it was not to be....so now I have to unpack! Some colours are impossible for me to mix with my current selection of markers, but right now I just don’t want to go out and buy more art supplies! I was looking forward to getting back to watercolour and using a large watercolour moleskine sketchbook (what did I say about new art supplies?!?) for my new adventure (see below to find out what that adventure was supposed to be)...so now I am thinking about what to do instead....
Waiting in my car for my physio appointment... Nothing very inspiring so I just drew the view in front of me as I saw it.
My little adventure was to be 3 weeks looking after 2 cats who live in a lovely house near the beach (while the owners were away). Sadly one of the owners was not able to go away so my services were not needed. I returned the key and went for a wee walk along the beach this evening- making the most of the first week night of summer time (daylight saving)... It was rather chilly so quick sketching was needed. I ran out of ink (while doing another page in the waiting room at my physio and so these are all inkless) Sketching beaches is not something that I feel totally in control of ... I really should get to the beach more- Sydney has the most wonderful collection of them!
Tree while waiting for my fish and chips
Super quick scribble on the walk back to the car in the fading light - past 7.15pm.
Friday, October 5, 2012
you have seen the pages before…but included in the weekly page
Not included in full in this combo …but I did three pages of sermon/ reading notes...Here is one ... that was badly affected by my
disaster with my sketchbook… water bottle leakage…I am just a touch distressed – mainly because it is a special gifted sketchbook…I feel more responsible as the sketchbook is half Paul Wangs(his artwork is on the cover!) I might give the pages another iron.
a public holiday and we had a family day- the attempt to sketch was made but the result incomplete…there is too much going on at the moment for me to bother the finish the page.
In the evening, I decided to start a comparison between watercolour and marker…not quite fair as the paper favours the marker… but this has been posted separately.
on the way to a weekly medical appointment at 8am- very quick sketch…I felt like this was 'urban sketching meeting work sketching'…I am very happy that the last few weeks has developed my markering skills to a point that I will be easily able to sketch in the rapid pace required during a design sketching process and use thinking sketches (colouring is part of hte process) for presentation to clients. At the moment I am in the middle of serious documentation phase... so no pretty sketches for me at the moment!
Evening: a sketch of one of the teas I got on Saturday. Alissa sketched the flowers as object, I sketched them as part of the experience of drinking the tea..and the cup as well!
a little late getting early to work (if that makes sense) so a quick brisk walk to the rest park and a quick straight to colours sketch from a seated position in the sun. Still unhappy with my big masses of dark green. Eneded up going to the same spot (almost) at lunch and then in the evening did some tests for green
Back to St Leonards church in the morning and then crazy sketch in the car in traffic (in the dark) and then quick sketch of a room in the house I haven’t sketched before
Another semi detached house morning sketch.
I was doing a programme for a project at work for the rest of the year, and so thought I would do a personal one as well… nice and empty at the moment.
A clothes packing page (slightly obscured to fill in the gap) …don’t worry I am not going on vacation again… but I am going ‘away’ for a few weeks…more later.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
I have been doing a LOT of sketching this week, so need to spread my ‘weekly summary’ over two posts.
Here are some watercolour vs marker sketches. Saturday’s little adventure in the tearoom made me realise how much I miss watercolour and although I am a little frustrated with my watercolouring at the moment... (I want to go in a slightly different direction) I still enjoy splashing and mixing paint on the page more than markers. SO here are four version of the same building... All done in my quick scribbly way in under 15 minutes each. You can see that 2 were done in my moleskine cahier(A4-ish size) and two were done in my watercolour moleskine(A5-ish size). I would like to find a way to capture the freshness of my marker work with my watercolouring!