Garden Island Another attempt

August 30, 2012 | Leave your thoughts


Having another (crazy – out of my comfort zone) go at the Garden Island view.

For various reasons (two new/different sketchbooks and not sure which to use and having my shoulder strapped (post physio appointment) which made it rather painful to lean over my sketchbook) I didn’t do a ‘serious’ sketch of the view on Saturday. ALSO I was having object vs context conflict…. I am an object based person and was disappointed that the lighting on the ships wasn’t more interesting (basically all in full sun and no shadows) … And it was only after doing a few quick sketches in my book that I realised that the overall view had very nice values. This was reinforced at the same time talking through Chris’s wonderful sketch and getting the values right on her sketch. Anyway, since Saturday, I have been thinking about having another go at the scene (based on my on location sketches and one very bad iphone photo) and tonight I had a brief opportunity to have a go… Deep breath!

In my current mood of trying something different I went for a big spread, strong colours, no ink and only flat brushes in my moleskine (too many different things at once???) I actually had an image in my head of what I wanted to achieve and this is far from it… I felt very very unsure of the result most of the time I was doing this.

I do not like the term ‘out of my comfort zone’ (although I used it in the first line) as most sketches with watercolour have a moment of uncertainly (often crisis!) at the 50-70% mark. But no doubt this one had a lot more of that out of control feeling!

I really feel that I should have attempted this paint on a bigger loose sheet of paper where my brush strokes could have had more freedom, rather than unnaturally trying to suit to a moleskine double page spread which I am not used to at the moment. Also I didn’t have enough reference material to define the ships – the photo was way inaccurate, my loose sketches were more helpful but did not contain enough detail. I do feel an urge to define this sketch with ink…but no, I am revealing it in its current state for all to see.

Anyway… It goes without saying, that despite not being very happy with this result, I had fun!!! It is really interesting to re-visit a scene via my on-location sketches. Not ‘urban sketching’ but more a traditional use of a sketchbook.

… actually two goes…but tonight’s first effort did not work so in the end I had to do an ink outline to pull the sketch together. This was done on an A3 sheet of paper and completed from start to finish in under 20 minutes.

I am a little disappointed that I couldn’t get the inkless version to work and had to go back to my ink lines… But I really had no information about those ships to go on … I had no idea what they looked like (I didn’t do any useful sketch studies and only one bad iphone photo). For some reason it doesn’t seem to matter as much in this version…but in the inkless attempt it was a mess. It is a touch ambitious to think that I can master loose brushwork only (without a real subject) in one attempt!

I painted this with the same brushes and colours as last nights effort but the size of the paper and the freedom that it gave me has made a huge difference…oh, and of course the security of my ink lines!!!!!! Ok, I can now move on to another subject now.


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