Apr 21, 2016

Getting Loose and Free - Watercolour Painting & Plein Air Tips/Techniques


Loose and Free!  Running with the wind.  Do you wish sometimes you could do that with your work? You know just letting your senses flow and colour happen.  Strange words from a realist, wildlife painter like myself but when the sun shines I am drawn in two directions: capturing my animals and letting it flow.

Lakeshore Trees - Ink & Watercolour - Sketchbook 

The answer to the dilemma: a sketchbook, some colours, a pen and a passion to create!!

Your sketchbook is your friend, it captures your special moments, your explorations, your thoughts.  It takes you into places you have never been before!

Your sketchbook doesn't have to be lots of 'stuff' - Keep it Simple

My sketchbooking work is always changing but my two favourite books right now are the top book which is more watercolour based - a moleskin 5 1/4 in by 8 1/4 in. and the mixed media book also the same size.  I find the different formats inspire me in different directions. I always carry a 2B pencil, kneaded erasure, .03 pigma pen and a paint box of some kind.  This is a new one I am trying out and having great fun with it.  It is a Koi Water Colours Pocket Field Sketch Box by Sakura. It even comes with a small water filled brush that fits in the case.  Skaura makes a bigger case but I wanted this small one.  So far I am finding the colours working well and really forcing me to do some colour mixing!!

Working in a sketchbook is very freeing.  The pressure of producing a masterpiece is gone.  You can be in the moment, work small or big, sketch or write, try new materials - anything goes.  Don't think it is all about fun! Many sketchbook pieces have become a study for future work and a learning ground for new colours, materials and styles. You always learn something new when you create.

Lakeshore - watercolour & ink - Sketchbook

Loose Lily - Watercolour & ink - Sketchbook

One of my favourite combinations is ink and watercolour.  A pen flies across the page, lively and free. It has its own way with paper, so unlike a pencil.  Try dropping in colour to bring out the darks and then drawing after.  There is a sense of excitement as the line and colour jostle back and forth, both trying to grab your eye and take control. Fun to do and works up fast!

Get a sketchbook, create some memories, treasure the moment or try something new.  Your sketchbook, your friend is waiting for you.

I love working with a sketchbook, in my next few posts I will tell you more of what I like to do in my book.

If you would like some instruction on getting your sketchbook started, working with ink, watercolour, graphite and/or coloured pencils, just give me a call.  I would be happy to set up a drawing session with you.
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 Have a great artful day, Wendy

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