Watercolor Wednesday: Sketching from Life Tips & Hints
- Before tackling large, complicated, intimidating scenes, begin with familiar everyday objects.
- If necessary, prop the item up in front of you on a slanted surface so you don't have to cope with foreshortened perspective. I put a little sticky poster putty under the object as well so it doesn't slide off. I do this with objects that normally lay flat on the table.
- Edit out small details that are too difficult to draw/paint and that are not essential to understanding with object you are trying to render. For example, in reality, my glue bottle is covered in dried glue fingerprints but I didn't think I needed to show those hard-to-paint bits of glue to create a painting that screamed "Glue bottle!"
- Try outlining your object two times with a loose line. This can give a sketch energy and interest as well as distract from any perceived imperfections. (Remember that imperfect sketches are almost what define this style of journaling.)
- Distinguish between primary and secondary lines by using different line weights. For example, for the outline of an object (a primary line), I use a .05 Micron pen and for smaller interior, or secondary lines, I use a .01 Micron.
- Include your own handwriting and lettering. Both complement this style nicely.
- If your object seems like it is floating on the page, try stamping lightly in the space surrounding your painting. My favorite color of stamp ink for this purpose is Staz-On's Dove Gray. In addition, frames around the page can help enclose a painting; cast shadows also help the object look as if it is sitting, rather than floating, on the paper.
- Most importantly, relax, have fun, don't give up, and stay loose!