The summer term for Travel Journaling at Linn-Benton Community College, Benton Center has begun! We meet on Wednesday evenings to sketch. I line up students willing to open their backyards and gardens to the class and we gather at a different yard every week to work-I mean play! If you've ever wanted to learn simple techniques for sketching when on the road, this is a great class to take.
Week #1 and #2 we learned about supplies to travel with, the ins and outs of journals, learning how to sketch on the fly, and colored pencils. Whew, that was a lot of information in only 2 classes. But hang in there, we get the rest of the summer to make it all work together.
|Turn the paper over. I'm now using a large Sumi brush and my travel watercolor kit. With plenty of water on the brush and only 2-3 colors, quickly brush on a light layer of color. This should be done quickly with LOTS of water as the paper is absorbing it almost faster than you can apply it and you don't want to have unsightly, over-worked brush marks. It should look loose, varied and light. Splatter it with remaining pigment in your brush by hitting it on the back of your knuckles for a bit of texture. Allow to dry completely.|
|Now, again, sketch 2 designs side by side. Go ahead and add another leaf or flower to add complexity to the composition. Careful not to have too many tiny little sections (You're going to need to get your paint brush in them) I had students draw their images much bigger if they were new at painting. My drawings are a bit small-but that's how I sketch.|
|Starting with the image on the left side of your paper, fill in the sections with color. Treat every section as a separate form to paint. Try arbitrary colors. The undercoat is the magical effect, blending and mixing with the colors painted over them. It integrates the picture. Don't overwork the sections. Practice laying down a line of color. USE the brush as how it's intended. Ask if you have questions!|
|Now the image on the right. Paint it. Try new color combinations. Try to lay down the color with one stroke. Find the balance of water and pigment. The pigment sits on the tip of the brush, the top 1/4 of it. Use the side of the brush to draw the water out and disperse the pigment. It's such a lovely process. If you're struggling with it, take another sheet of watercolor paper and just practice 'laying down a line' of color. Know your supplies and how to use them.|
|On that last quadrant, after it is dried, apply colored pencil. Play with a variety of colors. Find ones that make the picture 'pop'. Often it will be a complementary color. Or use dark areas to help shade and darken certain areas. More on that next week...|
now stop reading and get out and PLAY!