Thursday, August 28, 2014

Going Back

Last week, I sketched again at the Fields park in NW Portland. I didn't finish it, so I returned today. I think I was sitting in a spot that was nearly the same as last week, but the weather, the sun, the cranes, the sky and my perception had all changed in a week. It felt kind of like solving a puzzle to try to finish what I was seeing last week. I ended up taking lots of liberties and changing some things  significantly. I hadn't realized how hard it was to return to the scene.

Here are a few home grown (by friends) tomatoes to finish up the summer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Practice better

Today,  another sketcher and I sketched this view from Grand Central Bakery in the Beaumont neighborhood. The first time I sketched it, I started with paint, putting in blocks of color. There were some cars parked in front of us, so I had to guess on some parts of the building. I guessed wrong and my perspective was really off--so far off that I'm not even going to post it.

Tonight, at home, I sketched out the building while thinking about its actual shape and where the lines must go. I used logic instead of guessing and this time it's more accurate, if not very interesting.
I still need lots more practice before I can decide on: color blocks vs planning, paint first or pen first, thinking vs not thinking, accuracy or spontaneity. Decisions, decisions...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Construction in the Pearl

Today, sketching in Portland's Pearl district, I tried something different: I used Inma Serrano's method  (from the Barcelona symposium) of sketching buildings by starting with paint first. I didn't care if the buildings were very accurate or not; I was going for an impression. I used Gail Wong's suggestion of using a bigger brush  (in this case a flat one) for a looser look.  After painting, I added the ink and some of the details.

I had a lot of fun sketching like this. I wasn't concerned with how many windows I was drawing or how precise the balconies were---or anything else. I wasn't really thinking very much,  just adding paint and then lines, and it was very refreshing.

Portlanders, if you're in the mood for drawing construction, I'd suggest you head for The Fields. There are at least three blocks filled with cranes, drills,  rebar and more. You may want to take ear plugs. Happy sketching!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Views from Patios

These first two sketches were done from the patio of the Oregon Historical Society. The top one shows the Tom Hardy sculpture, 'Flying Together' and the next shows a north view, looking toward the side of the First Congregational Church. The crane in the background is near Directors Square.

This next sketch was made from the patio at Kennedy School.

This last sketch wasn't actually done on a patio, but from a chaise lounge in our backyard. You can probably tell from the splatters that I was quite relaxed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Summer Sketching Slump

I've been in a sketching slump for much of this summer. It's always easy to be inspired to draw when I'm in a foreign place, but it's harder when I'm in familiar territory. 

I tried painting in a loose and carefree way,  starting with paint before line...

                                              but then I returned to my old favorite: line first.

                                          I decided to try the safety of  pencil--with an eraser,...

or  sketching things I've sketched before,...

Then I just let it all go...

Nothing seemed to make the sketching come easier.

Just slogging through sketch...

after sketch, ...

after sketch...

is finally leading to more frequent moments of pleasure.  

I wonder how many times I'll have to relearn this lesson.