May 12, 2016

Plein Air on the Run - Sketchbooking and Plein Air Drawing Tips


To Draw on the Run you need minimal equipment and that was my promise for today.  No equipment but still have colour and fun!!

Minimal equipment is key to get into the sketchbook habit.

Deep in the Forest - Ink & Watercolour - 7.5 x 9.5

Picture this: You're hiking, stop for a break, you want to sketch - no stuff.  On a 10k hike through 'hill and dale' you're not taking the kitchen sink. Minimal Equipment Needed Here.

Believe me, I know!

10 day canoe trip with 9 other people - 108 km, 53 km are portages. (that means carrying everything even the canoe over rough trails, usually making more than 1 trip).  All supplies dried, compacted, waterproofed and tied down - no room for that sink!!
So yes, you can 'capture the moment' with your sketchbook! But to do it, the full KISS principle is in effect.  ( Keep it simple s .   .)

I know I also promised colour as well.  How is that possible?

The secret: sketchbook, a pen (my favorite Micron 03 black Pigma Pen) and a little prep.

The Prep
Open your book to a random page, take your watercolours (I like 2 colours that look interesting together) and paint the pages. Wet the page and float in the colours. Let them do their thing.  Sometimes shapes happen, sometimes they don't.  Doesn't matter.  Make sure there are a few darks but nothing too dark.  You want your ink work to show.
My Pages - Note the blooms and lights and darks.  (Next week I will sketch on it so you can see the results.)
Most sketchbook pages will curl with this wet application but they will dry flat.  Don't worry about run backs or blooms, just put on the colour. Leave it to dry.  Do several pages; randomly or consecutively in your book.  Your choice.  Try different colours or keep them the same.

Now you are ready.

On Site
Step 1: Open your book
Step 2: Pick up pen
Step 3: Draw
Whoa!!  You say.  The colours are wrong!! The colour shapes don't suggest my location or subject!
Step 4: Take a deep breath, let it out, put pen to paper and draw.
Step 5: Watch what happens!!
Yes Watch!! You will be amazed.  As your drawing develops colours will tuck inside your shapes or distance themselves.  Those blooms you thought were awful will suddenly become the texture for a rock or building.  Maybe even clouds.  Your buildings might be orange or pinks, but hey?  They all have those tones and don't they look neat?

Capturing Summer Sunshine - I left the drawings partially finished so you can see how the colour is already starting to mix with the ink shapes to enhance the flowers.  Note the darks on the flower on the left how they separate to partially mix with the shape and the rest become background.  This definitely gives me ideas for a picture. I already have a working title!!

Word of Caution
You may fall in love with ink and abstract colour and have trouble returning to your old methods when you are back in the studio again.  (Sorry about that)
Your page can be used for writing, drawing or both!! This is one of my favourite pages in my Texada Sketchbook.

Get Sketching.  Your best memories will soon be in your book, not on your phone!!

Looking for a starting point?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art. Your sketchbook will soon be full of great memories and inspiration for the winter.

Do you have other ways of using this combination of ink and watercolour?  Do you have a favourite medium to use in your sketchbooking?  I would love to hear about it and give it a try.

To learn about other sketchbooking tricks see my last posts starting here and my Plein Air Adventure Page.

I have a few more tricks to share on sketchbooking.  Next week's post MAKING IT YOURS. Really personalizing your best friend, you sketchbook.  

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar) Have a great artful day, Wendy


Brenda Hill CDM said...

lovely little painting Wendy

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks, I really love playing with this combination. It is fun to have a coloured page to draw on, nice change from white!!

Ceci Lam said...

Thanks for this very good post!

Gillian Olson said...

Thank you for sharing this, I love the idea!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

It is fun to watch the colour and shapes work together as you draw - entertainment as you work!!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks Ceci, check out my last three posts, they have more on simple sketchbooking ideas. The next one is just icing on the cake!