May 4, 2017

Finding Time - Travel Journal - Painting and Drawing Tips


How can you lose TIME?  Somehow you do.

Steve, Max and I just returned from a little spring holiday to Osoyoos and the Similkameen Valley. We have had a very cold spring this year.  Would you believe our grass got its first cut April 15.  So we were looking for a bit of Spring Sunshine.  What better place than Osoyoos, the warmest, driest place in Canada in the winter.  Well, not this year.

Osoyoos Lake - Constantly Changing Skies. Ink & Watercolour
My plan was to enjoy the sunshine, do some sight seeing and of course do a bit of journaling.  Weather was up and down, sight seeing was good but journaling had a few lumps and bumps.  Like many of you, I do not travel with fellow artists that like to stop and sketch a bit.  Max, likes to chew on brushes and pens if he gets a hold of them. Steve is pretty good at reading for a bit but even that can only be for so long.

The problem is to FIND time.
A Spot of Green - Still gray in the valley so these little shots of green really stand out. Ink & Watercolour 
Time Finder #1 - Skip a Step

For 'ASPOT OF GREEN' I skipped a step.  Rather than doing a layout with pencil, I jumped to it and put down some watercolour.  It is similar to blocking in with colour but with a bit more detail.  As soon as it was dry I firmed up the detail with pen work.  The Final darks were added at the end and 'A SPOT OF GREEN' was ready to go.  I really like the liveliness of drawing over the watercolour, hitting and missing the edges.  But if it is raining out, which it was, it takes a few minutes to dry between steps.  I was in the car so I used the heater to dry my work.  (cheating, I know but it was raining out!!)

Mountains surrounding Hope, BC - I really wanted to capture the feeling of the mountains hemming in this little town.  Ink
Time Finder #2 - Drop to 1 Medium

The sun came out briefly in the evening when we were at Hope so I grabbed the chance to sketch the mountains.  They really dwarf Hope, the way they circle it.  With the blue sky and snowy peaks right in your face it is an awesome sight.  Catching my main idea in ink told my story and somehow colour just seems redundant.  A Panarama of inkwork in your book always makes you feel good.

Time Finder #3 - Time Yourself

Yes, get the stopwatch out and time yourself.   I don't mean try and beat the clock kind of timing but just time yourself as you do a sketch.  Small sketches, larger ones, mixed media ones and single media ones.  When you are working you are in your own place and really have no idea how long it takes to do a sketch.  Timing yourself let's you how long it takes to grab your sketch.  This means if you are standing in line for 30 minutes, you know if you have time to sketch.  If your party wants to leave and come back, you can say, sure, give me 25 minutes.  (Or more or less depending on your speed.)  You will find knowing how fast you work will free you up to do more.  And of course, the more you do, the faster you will be.

More time saving tips can be found in my Travel Journal Series which starts  HERE.  

Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing: My  Drop-In and Draw Sessions  for May are Monday, May 8 & 15,  10-12pm, or  1-3pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.
       Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.

June 11- Art on the Farm, Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills. Join us for an Awesome ART Filled Day - sketch on the farm, join in hands-on drawing and painting sessions, see the sights.  My Hands-on Sessions will be at 12 & 2pm.  We will be drawing one of my flower favourites, Blackeyed Susies.  Have coffee and fresh pie afterwards at the cafe.  My personal favourite.  No registration, cost site fee only. 

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