Here are the drawings for the fifty-first week of daily sketching. All are watercolour and ink. Since we are in the deep freeze, I though I would illustrate Olympic and general winter sports.
As I am nearing the end of the one year project of daily drawings, I am wondering what will come next. I am kind of hooked on drawing every day now but I would like to work on bigger projects too.
One thing I have in mind is compiling all the drawings and the blogs pertaining to them into a book.
After completing most of the drawings in very small size in order to fit them into a specific book, I now moved to 4 X 6 inches, not that much bigger but more of a standardized size.
Lately I had some requests and questions about my process for these drawings, especially watercolours and papers.
I have identified favourite papers. I prefer smoother paper rather than bumpy. I found out not all 140 lb or 90 lb are the same.
I love the 90 lb paper by Artist’s loft. It comes in a pad 12 X 9 inches and is made in France. Don’t bother with student grade papers of 80 lb. Their strange texture might discourage you from pursuing watercolour painting.
Strathmore makes ready cut 5 X 7 inches hot pressed watercolour paper in 140 lb, a wonderful support for smaller sketches I only now discovered. It would have been handy when I painted the small house projects, which I did on Stonehenge Hotpress paper in larger sheets I had to cut to size. I would not buy this paper again as I found it too fragile and not taking the masking fluid very well either.
When it comes to large standard sheets in140 lb, I find Fabriano superior to Arches.
I don’t “size” any of the paper I use contrary to what is often suggested, I am always too eager to paint.
When you want to paint life, whether in small or large projects, one important thing is to learn to look. Looking deeply involves patience and the self-discipline to observe what is in front of us, without labelling or listening to what our brain thinks it sees. We must learn to focus without letting language intrude or influence what we see. For example, a chair has four legs of equal size and shape, but it is not what you see when you look at it.
We have to avoid naming things and look at everything as simple shapes and colours, shapes inside the object and empty spaces and shapes around the object. When we look at things this way, we begin to see the visual world as interlacing shapes.
Colours constantly change with the play of light and shadow while movement changes shapes, instilling life into the subject. Nature and humans are very rarely still. You can improve a colour by changing the colours that surround it, something to keep in mind. You can warm a colour by surrounding it with cool colours and vice versa.
But the most important thing in drawing is to draw freely without attachment to results and enjoy the moment.
Keep on creating and stay safe!
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