"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Out and About
Sometimes in the field you see something unique to draw that is not really uncommon at all but represents a great swath of people.
You need only get out of the house - open the door a crack. Yes, a crack. And draw what you see.
If she only knew.
This was a quick sketch while I was sitting at a Target with my wife and son. I colored it yesterday.
Here is a page from my Moleskine. Not untypical. Three opportunities to sketch. Three unwilling - or at least unwitting - subjects. I colored these yesterday as well, and then decided to try and unite them with a background (something new for me). In my mind they are three members of a family, or three characters in a story, and some drama is afoot. You might notice a fourth figure as well. The yellow is much more subtle than is shown; for some reason, the scanner magnifies the color's intensity.
Some of you have asked what I carry around in order to sketch/paint in public. I will share this because you ask, not because I in any way believe that this is the way to do it. I have seen a great many other options in artists' blogs online.
My wife bought me a flexible 6" x 9-1/2" case at Barnes & Nobles that says "Sketch" on it. I like to think that it looks like one of those cases stuffed with money for a sizeable bank deposit. Only without the money. I have much more in the case than I ever use. I carry whatever pad I am drawing on separately, and usually keep my pens in my pocket. It's not that they wouldn't fit, but I never want to be caught anywhere without my pad and my pens.
Here are all the supplies laid out on the table, more than I ever take out. Here are the extras: I have more brushes than I ever need. I figure you never know when you want a certain size, but the truth is that I never use more than 1 or 2 in a sitting, so it is sort of silly carting all of these around. I've just begun bringing a pencil or charcoal pencil with me. I worship pens so these are largely ignored. I have a waterbrush that I never use, and sometimes I have a cotton ball or gauze. Sometimes I carry pages of watercolor paper in a tiny manilla folder that I cut down to size.
Now, the essentials, aside from 1 or 2 brushes: There is my travel palette in a green carrying case I got at the Army-Navy store. I cut the bottom off of a water bottle that makes a nice flexible container for the water I dip the brush into. I have a flat tray for mixing that I bought for $1 and that I prefer to using the case itself (I have never used the case). I have a white piece of paper so I can test colors, a napkin or paper towel, and a watertight container with water in it. One great advantage is that I often sketch in eating establishments so water and napkins are plentiful and free.
Here is my palette. For now, I use Winsor & Newton Artists' Watercolors, and the colors I take with me are: Cadmium Lemon, Transparent Yellow, New Gamboge, Winsor Orange, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Indian Red, Permanent Magenta, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Manganese Blue, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Viridian, Permanent Sap Green, Ivory Black (virtually never used), Winsor Violet (virtually never used), Payne's Gray, Rose Madder Genuine, and Brown Madder (Great for skin tones). I need a darker red. [IMPORTANT UPDATE: I have removed Rose Madder Genuine and Burnt Sienna from the palette because I have learned that these are fugitive colors. I have replaced them with Permanent Rose and Perylene Maroon.]
I have this palette because the colors were among those recommended in the book Exploring Color by Nita Leland.
Most are half-pan, but after a discussion online about the fact that you can mix more with tube colors, I started buying tubes. So the pans on the right are filled with paint squeezed from tubes.
Swerving along the artistic road with every sight a potential target. * * * If you'd like to contact me about any of the art that you see - about purchases, commissions or just to say hello - feel free to email me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you!