Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Preliminary Sketches

Today was another sick day, but at least I kept my hand in doing some preliminary sketching in Pitt Artist Pens. I used a small 4" x 6" ProArt sketchbook with lots of thin pages and worked on designing an oil pastels painting I plan to do tomorrow or the next day. Above is the final color thumbnail for it along with a romping gray kitten from a photo challenge on WetCanvas.com.

This one is the penultimate color thumbnail, a bit larger. I wasn't completely satisfied with this layout but it was a color version of the previous gray scale one.

Notice the white gel pen scribble extending the light value mass of the aspen trees over some of the pines. I realized when I did this one that I'd made the dark and light tree clumps about the same size and both extending to the middle. One had to dominate, so I wanted the bright yellow aspens to dominate.

This page has a life sketch of Ari, my long hair Siamese cat. Also some saplings with ranches flicked in with a Pitt Artist Pen, practicing graceful twig and sapling forms. If you have a day when you don't have the time or energy to paint, it's good to visit your sketchbook and at least give a few minutes to the idea of painting. Planning can always improve your rendering skills and of course seriously improve the paintings you do from the plans.

I may not stick to these preliminary layouts. For all I know, I'll come up with an even better one when I'm sketching on the painting itself. But they're a start - and if I hadn't done them I might have come out with a poorly designed composition no matter how well I paint the trees.

I don't know if I'll have space to put the kitten in too. He might have to wait for a larger painting or one with fewer other subjects to distract from him. But he's cute and cat sketching always improves my day!

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