Sketching for pleasure

Hi there

During the summer I wrote about following in the footsteps of the greats, and in particular the sketching method of J M W Turner.  He used to pre-tint his paper in a mid tone, then use this for sketching on location.  The enormous benefit of this is that the tinted paper provides the mid tones, leaving the artist to then sketch in the dark and light tones to quickly capture the essence of a subject.

I really enjoy sketching this way and did a few during the summer months.

This week I have been doing some more, this time on Kraft brown paper.  I have found it particularly nice to work on and have been sketching birds, animals and inspiring scenery.

The only colours I used in these sketches were white and black gouache and occasionally brown madder or burnt sienna for house roofs.  I started with a pencil guide for general form, and sometimes used a black pen first to make me concentrate!   What I love most is that for such a simple way of sketching it is a really effective and enjoyable method.  I will be attending a life drawing session soon, and I will be taking my kraft paper with me for the initial sketches, and a pre-tinted canvas for the long poses of the life model.  I will of course share my efforts with you.

In other news, I have a buyer for my recent large painting, and I have a commission in progress, so I’m busy with that.  I am setting myself a new goal to go and sketch on location more regularly, all year round (I will be sitting in the car when it is raining!!), to get even more practise in.  My general aim is to loosen up more in my main painting work, and I believe this practise will go towards helping me to achieve that in 2015.

Well, best get on with my plans – I’ll just leave you with this quote:

“There’s a sketch at every turn”. (J. M. W. Turner)