Edges is the second course that I put together and was the result of realizing that thinking about Edges is the secret weapon when it comes to working in ink and wash. It picks up on some important concepts from Foundations and develops it further.
I really love the content in this course as it contains the concepts that I am constantly using when I sketch in ink and wash, and it covers a very broad range of subject matter – sketching monuments, scenes with layers of trees and landscaping, streetscapes, work spaces, houses, food and teacups. I particularly enjoyed the last lesson where I explained my favourite way of sketching with lost and found edges.
Going through the concepts of Edges is an important preparation for my new course Watercolour On Location. And so I thought it would be great to work through the lessons with a group, as we did with Foundations earlier this year. Working through an online course with a supportive bunch of sketchers is such an amazing experience for everyone…. so if you have been thinking about doing Edges, now is a good time to join us.
Why Edges are important
One of the big challenges when it comes to working in ink and wash, is how many lines to draw. It’s so easy to get caught up drawing too much!
I want to share a little about my journey with some examples of my early work.
When I started sketching, my go-to subject matter was buildings (not surprising, as I’m an architect by profession) and these are made up of lots of hard crisp edges. So drawing in ink makes a lot of sense and I felt comfortable doing so.
However, when I tried softer objects (such as this 130 year old cup with lots of delicate fluting) I soon realised that ink was too harsh. So here is an attempt at limiting the ink lines and relying on my paint instead.
I also found that when I sketched complex scenes out on location I had to be even more careful about what I was drawing in ink as there was a real danger of adding too much detail and ending up with a sketch that was ‘all over the place’ and lacking in depth and focus. Drawing every detail also takes a lot of time.
Here are two very early sketches (of the Old Square in Prague and the delightful village of Portsoy in Scotland) where I was trying to draw everything. And yes, my work has changed a lot!
So what I discovered was that I needed to
- be more deliberate about which edges to draw in ink
- learn how to distinguish between edges that were hard or soft and/or edges that represented a change in plane or a change in colour
- start prioritising my edges to make sure that the eye was drawn to the important ones.
Thisimage, of Waterfall Cottage, shows a very deliberate use of ink for the hard edges of the building and foreground elements.
Once I had a framework in my head for analysing the edges in my subject matter, I found my sketches became much more convincing. I started relying on the paint edges to do the work, and using ink much more sparingly. My sketching also became more fun!
Can you relate to some of these challenges? Are these the kind of questions which go through your head when you are out sketching?
This framework is what I share in the Edges course.
Thinking about Edges is also important if you want to create looser sketches – but that’s another topic. Click here to read more about that.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the course.
And before you ask…
– All my SketchingNow Courses have lifetime access.
– If you purchased Edges previously, you will have free access to this Group Run-through – please visit your Edges classroom (via My Courses) and you will find the instructions for joining.
I’m really looking forward to going through the lessons again with an inspiring group of sketchers!