View Full Version : The importance of Sketching

10-11-2015, 05:45 PM
In a recent discussion elsewhere, someone observed that they didn't think I sketched before I began to paint, because they could not see any lines. I explained that I did indeed always start with some basic sketching, to establish color fields, proportions, etc.

So today I decided to capture the sketch before I painted, to illustrate my general approach.

The sketch:

(I darkened it slightly after scanning so you can see the lines; generally I keep them very light.)

And the finished journal entry:

Not my best work, by any means -- the colors are too opaque, and I didn't spend a lot of time trying to render the lake realistically. But it gives the general idea, especially with a complex subject.

Sketching doesn't always guarantee that the finished work will maintain the proportions (washes run, and my inexperienced brushwork sometimes gets out of control!), but I am a believer in the process. Perhaps others find this less spontaneous, but for me, even for quick nature studies, the sketch is key.

10-13-2015, 09:17 AM
Thank you BeeG! That helps me! Beautiful duck too!

10-13-2015, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the demonstration! For half my life I didn't sketch under watercolor because I was afraid the lines would show. It helped a lot once I got rid of that notion. Love the duck! Very elegant creature. Good rendering even if you didn't elaborate on the water.

10-13-2015, 03:24 PM
Great work! Of course when an artist puts down planning marks in pencil he or she would keep the lines faint :)

10-13-2015, 03:44 PM
Great demonstration of the process. Thanks.

Joan T
12-05-2015, 06:11 PM
Nice to see the before and after!