I’m happy to help friend and artist (and musician) in promoting her new ‘Field Artista’ compact portable watercolor sketching kit. I have been working with it and it is a fun little set—includes a small sponge, two short shaft soft hair paint brushes, and 12 colors. Two fold-out palettes are very handy and an additional small metal screw cap water holder can be clipped onto one of the palettes keeping a small amount of water right where you need it. Good range of 12 watercolors that rewet quickly provide broad mixing possibilities.
The biggest advantage of this set is its small size—able to be used in inconspicuous settings such as coffee shops, bars or restaurants—or from the seat of your car. Easily sketch with your favorite pen or pencil and then add bold or subtle color—or vice versa. Beginner or experienced artists will find this little set is just the right size to get you started on a fun pastime or provide a new approach for your serious work. Very reasonably priced as well and sold on Amazon at $29.99. Hope you’ll check it out! And please share with your artist friends, thank you.
So go sketch from life, or work out designs for larger artworks, or…
(photo shows a small plastic cup-not included in kit)
(Blue fountain pen is found at The Goulet Pen Company)
Changing my mind early on before I go too far
Sketchbook work is the foundation for almost all of my paintings. I depend on small scale sketches to discover the design foundation of each piece before I proceed to finish–or at least that is my plan. But sometimes just a few lines on a canvas derails even the most promising sketch. Here is a good example. The black lines–done first just didn’t make as strong a design as I hoped when I scaled up from a thumbnail to this 18×18. I first sketched on the grey gessoed canvas surface with soft charcoal, then added fluid black acrylic to further solidify my design.
Then I sat back in my comfy yellow stuffed swivel chair given to me by a painter friend, the wonderful watercolor painter, Judy S. McLean. These few black lines on the canvas quickly voiced their opinion that I was NOT to proceed any further. Think again they said. Try another sketch today. Don’t you just hate pushy sketchbook voices? So, I went back to my sketchbook, flipped a page or two and out jumped a much better idea to pursue.
I then flipped the black line painted painting upside down and grabbed my white fluid acrylic paint bottle and drew the white lines right on top. This was a better start and I felt able to continue with the process toward the finish line. You can still see some of the white lines in final piece below.
Coming Through, 18×18, acrylic on canvas
Lesson learned through this particular painting process was to be decisive when I feel something is amiss. Being honest with yourself as an artist and letting your intuition guide your moves will improve your chances of finishing strong.
How do you solve your painting design issues? I’d love to hear from you.
This post is a recent lesson in listening–no, not to jazz music, but to the sounds of my own improvised thoughts. Hearing what the painting is trying to tell me as I add my part to the conversation–lines, color, shapes, forms, textures. Instead of a straightforward journey this one turned into a ride down a windy country road. Finishing up at a quiet place. Click on the image below to read the details of just how this journey evolved. And please feel free to share this post or go to my website to see new works. www.anntrainordomingue.com
How many options are there with a photo reference such as this? So many I still haven’t exhausted the possibilities and I have done at least 12 paintings of all sizes to try to capture the essence of this scene. So much to work with. So much to leave out. The trick is which is which. And that is the most fun and challenging. Some landscape images thrill me, others do not. I use my sketchbook to work on figuring this out. Lots and lots of pages. Each one getting closer to what my sensibilities say is right. Yours, and any artist’s will be different. Isn’t that great? Visit my website to see more www.anntrainordomingue.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive my newsletter.