Monday, July 22, 2013

Pages from the watercolour sketchbook

The sketchbook I used for my London Journal was not originally intended for that purpose. It was supposed to be my new on-the-move sketchbook to replace the small square sketchbook, because that was getting more and more impractical (mostly because it was hard to keep the book open).

However now my London trip is over, the journal pages are done and I'm still left with a bunch of empty pages in the book, so I have decided to fill the rest up with watercolour sketches and play. I suppose the London Book now has a double purpose, but who cares? As long as I keep filling those pages and keep practicing my skills! ;-)

Here are some pages that I have done after I came back from London.

Office garden. The sketch is only half done. A coworker came to talk to me and I never finished it.

This sketch taught me that it's nigh impossible to mix a bright pink yourself with a limited palet.

The North Sea on a gray and cloudy day.

Very fast sketch of the pond near my house.

Boat on the Wadden Sea.

Boat on the North Sea.

Some trees on a dune.

My wonderful assistant.

These sketches were all done either from life or from my own photographs. I'm not always comfortable sketching en plein air. Not so much because people can see me, but because I like to have some room to put my things down and not have my sketchbook be blown open by the wind over and over again. So when I say I'm not comfortable I mean that very literally. ;-) I prefer taking snapshots and than picking one after I come home from a walk and sketch in the comfort of my own home.

The picture of Peer obviously was done from a photograph. There's no way my assistant would ever sit still for me to pose for a painting like that. The only time you can sketch him from life is when he sleeps! I'm pretty proud of that painting though. I really struggled with it and was just about ready to throw in the towel, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I think I really got his expression down quite well.

I'm really enjoying sketching again on a regular basis and also practicing my watercolour skills. I love watercolour, but I have my challenges with it, so the practice is good and needed. ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!


24 comments:

  1. These are all wonderful! Especially Peer - his expression in your sketch is perfect.

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  2. Fabulous! Love seeing how you paint water.

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    1. Thanks Teri, I'm just winging it really. I have no idea how to paint water either. :-)

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  3. I have the same problems en plein air and prefer to photograph then sketch later. I'm glad to know I'm in good company. Your portrait of Peer is terrific.

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    1. En plein air I'm often in my own way somehow. At home I can just put my supplies on the table before me.

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  4. I agree that the portrait of Peer is really solid, and I also really like the North Sea and the pink flower that gave you such trouble. :) I know in all my media, the fuschia runs out first. I seriously need to buy 2 whenever I shop.

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    1. Because I also doodle a lot these bright colours go first with me too. Pink, yellow, turquoise, apple green and bright orange are my favorites and it shows in my paintboxes. :-)

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you Alex, that means a lot coming from you. :-)

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  6. Great sketches. I like the muted colors in most of them and the flower is my favorite. All very nice.
    Barb
    USA

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  7. These are wonderful! I especially like the one of Peer, glad you stuck with it it turned out beautiful!

    Carolyn

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    1. Me too Carolyn, but it took a lot of sighs and curses to finish it. :-)

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  8. Oh wow, these are beautiful! The 'North sea on a gray day' is my favourite. Well done, watercolour can be very challenging. It seems like you are really enjoying your 'new' rhythm of life.

    Love from Alison (South Africa)

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    1. I'm not sure I've found my rythm yet, but I am trying to make the most of all this extra time. Thanks for your kind words.

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  9. Very nice watercolors! Commend you on taking up the challenge to learn how to use these fabulous paints.

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  10. Love your pages. Your cat came out terrific as did that bright pink flower. What kind of watercolor are you using? As in the flower picture, it seems more of a gouache type but maybe that's just a result of how you painted it? I really like it.

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    1. Thanks Timaree. I use a mixture of Van Gogh and Winsor & Newton watercolour in half pans. They are student grade I think. In my studio I have an artists grade set by Rembrandt, but I don't use those in this book since I usually work in it outside of the studio. Some colours are more opaque than others, but I do believe that the way I use them is very 'gouachy'. Traditional watercolorists use the white of the page and make colours lighter by using more water. I'm very bad at both, haha. I layer a lot and fill in every spot.

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  11. Caatje, dear heart, your after-London journal entries are superb. Your perspective is excellent. you chose your shades most appropriately. I especially enjoyed Peer's portrait and the Boat on the Wadden Sea. Look forward to a lot more of your work. Maria from Sacramento, California

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    1. Thank youvso much Maria, happy you enjoyed my sketches.

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  12. Wauw! Mooi zeg! En die van Peer....geweldig.... Je kunt echt zien dat je er meer tijd in stopt!

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