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View Full Version : WEEKLY SKETCH THREAD Sept.6-12, '04


prestonsega
09-05-2004, 11:58 PM
Welcome to the Weekly Sketch thread..Today is Labor Day the unofficial last day of summer vacation. Cooler weather is now within sight. The creative spirit is abounding, so let's use this thread to our advantage and have a great week!


Sketch directly from life or a photo. The goal of this thread isn't to produce a masterpiece, ( although you just might!!!) This is the place to post anything you've done during the week which took you under one hour....exercises, doodles, or complete paintings...in any style. It is a safe place to experiment, break the rules, or sharpen your present skills by working within a set time frame. Everyone understands that by working at such a fast pace, you probably haven't had a chance to properly evaluate you work, much less be ready to receive a critique, but if you desire suggestions from other members, just ask.

It has been good to see our new members using this thread, and I would like to encourage our more seasoned folks to join in by sketchng as well as providing support to their fellow members.

Try to keep your sketch time under 60 minutes, but if you go overtime, post your work anyway. Losing track of time while working is a sign that you're enjoying the versatile medium of pastels. ....and that's what it's all about!!!

OK..get those sticks clean and get some dust flying! I've got a good feeling about the submissions this week!

E-J
09-06-2004, 04:43 AM
I felt quite inspired after going back to Craig Nelson's book '60 Minutes to Better Painting' to remind myself of his approach to timed paintings. It has encouraged me to find time for pastel sketching again - I even did some oil and acrylic sketches too!!

This is one hour on blue 'Tints' paper, from a photo I took in the Lake District in the spring.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Projects/lib/560/completed/13865/5sept04_1hr.jpg

Khadres
09-06-2004, 12:15 PM
Wow, EJ! This is so cool! Love the reflections and it's good to see ya trying another landscape! Looks as if it was fun to do, as well! You've started the week off with a BANG! Oh, wait...it's not the 4th of July or Guy Fawke's...it's LABOR Day! Ah, well, doesn't look like you had to labor over this one, just enjoyed it! Good work!

prestonsega
09-06-2004, 02:06 PM
Absolutely great...and yes...what a great way to start off the week.. :clap: .This beautiful landscape is definately a pleasant view after all the rain I've been seeing.....hmmmm....I think painting a sunny picture is what I need to do.

I haven't heard of the book you mentioned. Going to Amazon and check it out if it causes this much inspiration!

bnoonan
09-06-2004, 07:51 PM
Nice work EJ - an inspiring way to start the week - looking good. You also got me to take out a few of my reference books as well today. thanks.

Here's what's left of the watermelon slices we had for snack this afternoon. Think I'll have to go buy some more. I love complimentary colors... red and green....

Barb 20 min.

bnoonan
09-06-2004, 08:33 PM
This isn't much better but I'm sure there is a subject matter there that needs to be explored more.

45 or so - I forget the time exactly.

B

SweetBabyJ
09-06-2004, 10:45 PM
oooooohhh! Nice mel- errrr- rinds, Barb! I really like the second one- nice comp and great form showing there. Great fun fast work!

E-J
09-07-2004, 08:30 AM
Love the juicy reds in the first one, Barb, and the sketchy background in the second. 20 minutes!!! That should inspire a few more of us to fit some pastel sketching into a busy day :)

bnoonan
09-07-2004, 01:24 PM
EJ - will you work some more on your piece? If so - think about lightening up the shadow of the tree - just a tad.

Thanks for your comments - time to get on to new subjects. spent the morning walking the city and got some inspiration going on.

As for quick sketches - it's the point - sometimes I like them and other times they get wiped right off but it's the practice that's important.

Barb (I also learned about color in this exercise)

prestonsega
09-07-2004, 03:49 PM
Well, well, well...I get trapped in a tropical storm all day and look what's here when I return!!!! Barb, these are yummy...they are watermelon portraits!!! I could spot your style anywhere!! :clap:

E-J
09-07-2004, 04:50 PM
Barb, you mean lighten the reflection? Do you say this because it's simply drawing your eye too much, or because it looks 'wrong'? I remember reading that a reflection should usually be darker than the object itself :confused: I think I may touch this one up a bit, yes - and maybe stick it on eBay - so thanks for your thoughts.

Tonight's sketch took 30 mins from an old holiday snap of the Blue Caves in Zakynthos, Greece. Boy did those 30 mins whizz by!! It's about 8x11", so I was forced to work fast and loose, mostly by sweeping the sides of the pastels across the paper.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Sep-2004/13865-7sept04_1hr.jpg

prestonsega
09-07-2004, 04:58 PM
EJ..what a neat painting..and only 30 min? It seems to me that a subject like this would be difficult to make "read" like what it is....but I knew exactly what it was upon opening the thread (not where :D )

I read in a thread about water reflection in which Dee responded with a nice tutorial....the thing that stuck out in my mind was that in reflections, the darks get lighter and the lights get darker......I haven't painted any water reflectoins so I am not speaking from experience.

Again,,this rock cavernous environment is ...... :clap: :clap:

E-J
09-07-2004, 05:43 PM
It seems to me that a subject like this would be difficult to make "read" like what it is....but I knew exactly what it was upon opening the thread (not where :D )

Preston - thanks for your enthusiasm. I guess it's getting the darkest darks and highest lights in the right place that makes the subject readable as a great big 'ole in the rocks!

I read in a thread about water reflection in which Dee responded with a nice tutorial....the thing that stuck out in my mind was that in reflections, the darks get lighter and the lights get darker......I haven't painted any water reflectoins so I am not speaking from experience.

I remember this ... the reflection has less value contrast. Something to think about!

dexonsbabe
09-07-2004, 06:49 PM
E J what great paintings can just see myself soaking up the sun on a lazy summer afternoon in the lake district one........and love the colours in the caves

Barb those watermelons are making my mouth water they are great.

Dont think I'll have time to do one this week got 2 drawing chanllenges on at moment :D

bnoonan
09-07-2004, 06:54 PM
Wonderful cave and lighting EJ

The reflection doesn't look like it's part of the water... I think they just need to be tied in together with some light glazing between them... B

prestonsega
09-07-2004, 07:07 PM
Dont think I'll have time to do one this week got 2 drawing chanllenges on at moment :D

Lori....you don't have to spend a whole hour, ...a 5 minute thumbnail is acceptable...perhaps one from one of your challenges...pleeeeeaaaassseeeee! :( (don't make me break out the whip again this week :evil: ) Seriously,,,,,if you have a chance, whip out something simple and fast,,,you might surprise yourself......in here,,its not quality or quantity...it' just doing. The quality and quantity come with practice, regardless of the time spent. If you're unable to submit we understand!!!!

Have a good week!

Khadres
09-07-2004, 10:06 PM
Anybody know where Deborah's tutorial thread on reflections went? I was wanting to find that myself the other day.... is it archived or just pushed down in the list somewhere and what the heck was the thread called? :rolleyes:

prestonsega
09-07-2004, 10:55 PM
I know I posted a pic earlier but it never showed up :confused: ...anyhow here is a 1 hour sketch of my neighbor's tree, I did this same image for last weeks OP 2 hour sketch thread. I am showing them both for comparison

9"x 12" 1 hour soft pastel on Laarte gray

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Sep-2004/29946-fusseltreesoft1hr.jpg

9"x 12" 2 hour oil pastel on paper

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Sep-2004/29946-fusseltree-op.jpg

bnoonan
09-08-2004, 12:21 PM
Preston - both of these are exceptional. Love the colors that you have used and your wonderful loose strokes.

hmmm... you got me thinking... maybe if I start landscapes in a sketch approach I'll have better luck.... Barb

dexonsbabe
09-08-2004, 01:08 PM
very nice as usual Preston, I love the light on the building :clap:

Deborah Secor
09-08-2004, 04:02 PM
Anybody know where Deborah's tutorial thread on reflections went? I was wanting to find that myself the other day.... is it archived or just pushed down in the list somewhere and what the heck was the thread called? :rolleyes:

Sooz, I started searching for the thread and then realized I could just as easily put the info here if Preston doesn't mind.. I can find my article much more easily than the link! Here's the very condensed version.

_________________________________________

You must first consider your point of view when painting reflections. How high above the surface you are will determine what you see reflected. The reflection you see depends on your relative distance away and degree above the water line. The angle at which you view the water’s surface will determine the amount of bottom details and reflection to paint.

Reflections have an otherworldly look, subdued by the water. This is partly because all the values shift slightly due to the diffusion of light, as some of the reflected light is scattered. To accurately show this shift in value remember to paint light values slightly darker, dark values slightly lighter, and middle values close to the same. This means there is somewhat less contrast in the reflection.

To achieve the liquid sheen of a reflection in clear, flat water, try feathering over many layers of pastels. Finger blending is another technique that can be used to create believable reflections.

Keep the reflections of upright, vertical objects straight, and make sure leaning objects lean in the same direction. Remember that the sky is reflected upside down, too.

To help you paint accurate reflections, turn your painting on its side and compare the alignment of objects with their reflections. Compare the length of each object to be sure you have accurately portrayed the length of its reflection. In perfectly calm water, reflections are not elongated. However, in moving water the reflection becomes broken by ripples, which makes it appear somewhat longer than the object. The amount of distortion is determined by the degree of movement in the water.

Remember that shadows and reflections are independent of one another. When there is a shadow cast directly over the surface of the water one of two things will happen. Sometimes the shadow will darken the water, obscuring all reflections and darkening the entire area. Far more often a shadow cast over clear water allows you to see down under the surface, breaking the reflection so that you can make out the bottom.

________________

Okay, hope that wasn't too long, Preston!

:wave: Deborah (who doesn't have a sketch to show... )

Khadres
09-08-2004, 05:09 PM
Wonderful tips, Deb! Thanks! I've finally begun to use my brain and build a sort of notebook of tips from here in the forum for reference when I actually run up against a problem like perspective, composition, reflections, etc. There's so much good stuff here, but sometimes it would be much easier for me to do a search on a Word file! I hope that's not a terrible copyright infringement!? I promise not to share it with anyone else or sell it to the Nat'l Enquirer or anything! :cool:

Khadres
09-08-2004, 05:14 PM
Lovely trees, Preston! Kinda fun to see 'em both side by side, too! Love the sense of shade...

Deborah Secor
09-08-2004, 06:36 PM
Wonderful tips, Deb! Thanks! I've finally begun to use my brain and build a sort of notebook of tips from here in the forum for reference when I actually run up against a problem like perspective, composition, reflections, etc. There's so much good stuff here, but sometimes it would be much easier for me to do a search on a Word file! I hope that's not a terrible copyright infringement!? I promise not to share it with anyone else or sell it to the Nat'l Enquirer or anything! :cool:

No problem, Sooz. Ya think the National Enquirer would want to print an art book? Hey--good circulation! I'm afraid I'd have to say it was predicted by Nostradamus or inside you could see paintings of the alien babies or something....

E-J, as far as your tree reflection, my feeling was that you kept the tree inside the top edge of the paper but let it get taller in reflection. There may be some value issues, too. Maybe just a touch too dark. But the overall effect is quite beautiful. It's neat to show the sky in reflection only. I like this newer one of the cave, too. I'd just float a little of the green through the reflection, in a slightly darker shade, which would help to show the water line at the foot. Love the loose angularity of it--very nice!

Preston, you clearly put more time into the OP version of this tree and I like the contrasts of color on the tree and house. It'd be neat to see the same degree of finish on the SP one, too, just to compare. Love the blues as an underpainting! Very rich....

Deborah

prestonsega
09-08-2004, 10:20 PM
"Preston, you clearly put more time into the OP version of this tree and I like the contrasts of color on the tree and house. It'd be neat to see the same degree of finish on the SP one, too, just to compare. Love the blues as an underpainting! Very rich...."

Thanks Dee and you are right....the op looks is more finished to me, too.. Actually I plan to take them both to a completed state. Op's technically require more time and effort, so 1 hour just wouldn't cut it ...that's why they set their time limit to 2 hours.. The additional time of the op sketch thread allowed for more refining. To get to the same refined state in the softie, will take more than the hour, but I stopped right on the second in both sketches. It wasn't till I looked at it this morning that I realized I left an entire limb out on the softie (not on purpose :eek: )...each version has its strong and weak points. It was a fun learning experience to do the same image in 2 diff't mediums :)

Barb...maybe you're on to something with the idea about fast sketching landscapes.

Lori and Sooz....I appreciate your comments...showing ones work if half the fun of painting....and the kind words just encourage me to do more!!!!

Khadres
09-09-2004, 01:22 AM
Hey, now there's an idea, Deborah! Let's try our hand at painting some alien babies' protraits! Neat thing abou that would be who could complain about the "likeness" factor? Also a really good chance to use some of those baby pooh greens I seem to have ten of for some reason!

Preston, I'm glad to hear someone admit that OPs take longer and more effort to do! I thought it was just ME! I figure I'll mess around with my OPs more when I feel more adept with the softies. I doubt I'll ever prefer OPs, but then ya never know. What amazes me about your two tree sketches is that they DO look so much alike!

prestonsega
09-09-2004, 02:17 AM
I doubt I'll ever prefer OPs, but then ya never know.

Each has its own merits...framing of ops is much less frustrating,,,the surface is much less apt to be accidentally disturbed.. Like you, I doubt I will become an official "oily", but it is a fun break from the softies. I must be serious about continuing to play with the ops.....I just ordered 8 new colors to add to my beginner set of Caran D 'Ache.

dexonsbabe
09-09-2004, 06:44 PM
Ok I managed to do one tonight took about 75mins faber castell pastels on ingres paper.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Sep-2004/47357-Desert_scene.jpg

prestonsega
09-09-2004, 07:01 PM
:clap: Lori...you are astouding!!! This is such a powerful painting....and executed in such a short time.....It has a mood of desolation...nice complimentary color combination..very interesting negative spaces...each cloud , dune and tree uniquely different!!! I just don't know what else to say!

Tell me,,,now that you have your first box of soft pastels are you eyeing anymore???? Bet you are...tis the nature of the beast :D Thanks for contributing..you are an inspiration!

dexonsbabe
09-09-2004, 07:29 PM
Thank you Preston and yes I am thinking about getting some more pastels at moment got a very limited palette, also think I need to try some different paper as I seem to have trouble covering the paper I end up with a thin layer of pastel with paper still showing and a whole lot of dust just laying on top (I expect its me applying it wrong) :confused:

prestonsega
09-09-2004, 07:46 PM
(I expect its me applying it wrong)

I don't believe there is any "wrong" in pasteling..only different.

hahaha...I knew you would want more soon..Because your quality of work has drastically increased, you may want to consider using better quality pastels...Yes, they are more expensive but I find out I use less because they have a higher pigment content. Last night I ordered a sampler set of purples from Dakota cause I can't find that "right " purple.. As for the dust laying on the surface...I will turn the painting over and lightly tap it ever so often.

Khadres
09-09-2004, 08:51 PM
Lori, you're doin' great! I like that desert scene a lot! And you're right in that non-quality pastel paper just can't hold the pigment as well. If you can try some other paper as you also expand your colors, you'll be amazed at the difference!

Preston, I was eyeing that purple sampler at Dakota myself (I have a thing for violets and purples)! Let me know what comes in the sampler and how you like it when it arrives? I may order a set too, eventually. Really nice intense and clear blues are another favorite and not that easy to find. Kitty made a pure ultramarine stick for everyone in the pastel making class and I'm keeping it locked up in a safe! (kidding, but I do consider it almost priceless...and it's beautiful just to look at...it almost GLOWS!)

prestonsega
09-09-2004, 11:33 PM
Here's yet another 1 hour 15 min (oops,,time got away from me) sketch of a yard in my neighborhood. It is an old victorian that is in a severe state of disrepair...the street its on is named after the original owners. I walked around the block the other day and the sun was just perfect.. For some reason I have started using purples and blues with light peach colors for sunlight.. The picket fence is actually not as in bad a shape as it appears, but I had no time to do any refining,..Because this scene is well known here I plan to finish it(or redo it in larger format...have to see) for my solo show coiming up in 2 weeks..,I can already see that the fence isn't straight...an easy fix.

9"x 12" on Wallis

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Sep-2004/29946-picketfence.jpg

SweetBabyJ
09-09-2004, 11:40 PM
Oh I like it! The colours are yummy! You have a very soft, but very strong style, Preston- I'd recognize it anywhere. You could put this in the foreground thread, too, 'cause your street/gate are a fine example of minimal foreground treatment.

Deborah Secor
09-09-2004, 11:46 PM
Very nice one, Preston! I love the colors, too, and the whole thing just takes me back to Mississippi again. I loved the moss in the trees and the lushness there-so green. That blue on the roof is inspired! And your tree is strong. Julie's right, it would do well in the foreground thread... iff'n ya wanta add it there!

Deborah

prestonsega
09-09-2004, 11:48 PM
You have a very soft, but very strong style, Preston- I'd recognize it anywhere.

You made my day...I have had some concerns that because I have not painted the same genre of subject matter that I was appearing to be floundering. I'm finding loose and fast work best for me.

Thanks bunches.

prestonsega
09-10-2004, 12:08 AM
Julie's right, it would do well in the foreground thread... iff'n ya wanta add it there!

Deborah
Actually I had intentions of submitting it to the ESP thread also but wasn't sure the foreground was the percentage of picture plane you requested...Now that I have your approval. I'll submit it as is. :)

Khadres
09-11-2004, 04:26 PM
Love this one! Only an hour and 15??? Woooo! This one works the size you mentioned, but what if you pulled back a bit and included part of the house next time in a larger format? It's soooooo cool and inviting and yet has lots of light to it. I liketh it!

prestonsega
09-11-2004, 06:31 PM
.."but what if you pulled back a bit and included part of the house next time..."

Thanks Sooz....but you forget I have the reputation as the crop king!....lol