|A typical sketchbook entry with drawings, painting, colour testing and annotation
|A new sketchbook underway. Stillman and Birn Zeta series are favourites
This blog isn't about my work but is for all of the students studying courses with me, and participants will be added as authors. Hopefully they will contribute here to show off their books. But I will kick things off and contribute myself, over time I hope that a thriving collective effort can be created with perhaps a few guest contributors too!
In the past I didn't keep very good sketchbooks but since I started doing so can't think how I managed without them! Every year I used to feel as though so many plants had been overlooked because I simply didn't have time to draw or paint them, for me the sketchbook fills that gap. I believe that my way of 'seeing' and my work have both improved as a direct result and now keep books for a variety of different purposes, some are on specific colours, such as greens, others on certain subjects, such as flower shapes or particular projects ( e.g. graveyard plants) and many more that are just general sketching....basically they include anything I fancy! It's the freedom that really appeals to me and I've also been fortunate enough to be involved in an exciting Sketchbook Exchange project, which is incredibly rewarding. One of the things I really love about sketchbooks is documenting a plant in different phases at different times of year. Then looking back over them. Funny I always seem to recall where I was and what I was doing with sketchbooks. Much more so than with finished works.
|Page 1. Getting to know the plant! Starting with some simple measured line drawings and leaf rubbings. This helps me to get to grips with the basics, here the component parts of a Philadelphus, which grows outside my flat
|Page 2. Adding a drawing of the typical habit of the plant, a long branch with opposite leaves and multiple flowers at the end
|Page 3 and 4. Next up, a bit more detail, some tonal studies of the plant, figure out whats light and whats dark! make descriptive notes of the features.
|Page 5 and 6. Finally add a colour study. This allows me to work out all of the colour mixes and to try out different approaches and techniques
........I hope that the Sketchbook students will contribute to this blog documenting their journey too