Thursday, June 30, 2016


Friends, 4x6" gouache/watercolor, Diane Mannion


I've been playing in sketchbooks a lot lately which is a comfortable place for experimenting.  

Started these with a loose pencil scribble and watercolor underpainting.  Gouache can be painted over anything, the dog from yellow to black for example.  Endless possibilities for making changes are sometimes not a good thing, at least for me.  But then, the sketchbook gives me the freedom to push an idea to another level.

And no time fiddling in a sketchbook goes to waste, it's all practice for the next one.  There's no better exercise for sharpening skills than drawing from life, especially from a live model! 
Friday afternoon at the Venice Portrait Studio, sketched from life... sleepy model kept nodding off.  Experimented with composition and value mass changes... like the one on the right best.
 Another Friday portrait studio sketch from life.
Painted this with paynes gray watercolor and a brush.  Did not use pencil because my favorite mechanical pencil... Graphgear 1000 ran out of lead.  When I tried to add a new piece, the pencil came apart in a million pieces and I could NOT figure out how to put it back together!  (Why can't these things come with directions?  Emailed the company but never heard from them.) But I'm happy with this twenty-minute sketch.  And later... did get my pencil back together.  I like a mechanical pencil because I don't have to stop and sharpen them or carry a pencil sharpener.

***Leslie Saeta is doing a thirty paintings in thirty days challenge in September!  I've done it about four times and found it a great way to improve technique and self-discipline.  I'm in need of jump-starting my work after this two month healing hiatus.  Will do a 30/30 for July and also paint with Leslie in September.  Let me know if you want to join me!

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