Today was a day spent doing a drawing of a courtyard scene here at our home base. Normally I like to paint…and I don’t necessarily choose to usually have photorealism or even detail as my goal.
When it comes to drawing, it’s a funny thing…when I get a pencil in my hand or take pen to paper, something changes. All of a sudden I get interested in detail. When I draw something, I develop an intimacy with the subject of my drawing that is unattainable by any other means. It’s incredible the nuanced details that jump out at me. I can see something fresh about my subject after drawing it for 2 hours and think,” How did I not see that before?”
That happened a lot to me today. I took pen in hand and decided to do a pen and wash painting the way Karlyn Holman does it. She likes to lay in a pen drawing and then do cast shadows. She has a color formula for which colors should go underneath which. Basically, she advocates complimentary shadow colors as foundation for developing your final colors.. This was my subject:
“Before you are able to draw, you have to learn to see, and you learn to see by drawing. (Mick Maslen)”
The quote above is a good one. I felt that I was seeing intensely today. I admit that I was very distracted by the crowded conditions and the dark space in which we were painting. I had to move outdoors to get a little space and some light. It was lovely, but a little chilly. Once I found my spot and organized my materials, I started to draw. Then it was time for lunch. Then it was time for a lecture on perspective done by another Instructor, Bonnie.
One thing that we have here at the workshop is a great little eraser on an elastic string…a gift from Karlyn. It comes in very handy worn around the neck. It’s also a great tool for perspective. Those of you in my class be sure to remind me to show you how it works.
Then it started to rain. Then it started to hail! By the time I gathered my things and took cover, I felt as if I’d accomplished very little. Once the sun came out, I took some photos and started up again. I came up with a few cast shadows, going in with some Cobalt blue and some Permanent Magenta. Before I knew it, they were ringing the dinner bell and it was time to head to a local Agritourismo winery down the road. I had to stop and leave it at this sketch…which will have to be completed at a later date.
“If one draws the subject precisely, only then can the freedom of the brushstroke be achieved.” Gayle Lee
I never draw except with brush and paint… (Claude Monet)
Drawing helps you become familiar with the subject. It releases you from working out so many things on canvas, and thereby increases your freedom as a painter. (Richard McDaniel)