Sketching and proper planning

I am determined to plan my paintings out more. No more trying to fix mistakes that I should have thought about earlier. It’s a work in progress, but it means I am carting a sketchbooks around with me. Currently top of the pile is this little Daler Rowney Ivory sketchbook with very thin paper. It makes it ideal for compositional scribbles and can mostly cope with tonal drawings in pens. It’s also only A5, which is too small for me to comfortably fit a ‘proper’ drawing in, but fantastic for basics. With the added bonus of preventing me from getting to carried away with detail.

I always feel like I don’t have time to plan out my paintings as I have spent my work day galloping about, from one job to the next, so letting myself slow down and let the process develop seems like such a waste of time. Only to be followed by days of frustrated trouble shooting.

I decided on the sketch to the left, (landscape format for those that can’t decipher my scribbles) and giving myself the chance to see how each format looked made me decide I wanted to try two paintings. One about the rocks showing through the sea and the beach framed by the cliffs with it’s shadow. The other about the red and white boats at anchor against the clearest bluest sea I’ve seen in the North East of England.

I have been reading Laws Guide to Nature Journaling where there is a section on sketching the sea in motion. He recommended doing a strip of colour and tonal studies (right) I then used up any paint left on my palette to the left. I had thrown in the towel as the sun had moved around and the sea and sky had changed so much. I was also very tired.

In a bid to practice the sea I did a quick study in my sketchbook, but I didn’t want to put more white out. The problem with carrying acrylic paint in a rucksack is the paper slides down inside the container and ends up mushing all the paint together.

As it was close to going home time I did a quick tonal sketch as the contrast between the cliffs and the shadows was amazing.

Looking at this overexposed photo it’s hard to believe it was so sunny just a week ago. This is what I woke up to on the Easter Monday.

Models are Peter and Lily how now have their own instagram so I have somewhere to post all my dog photos. It can be found @peterandlily192

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