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Making a Mess and Enjoying Every Moment

September 30, 2016

160917-two_woman-test-andodd-colorsLeft: 6 x 9 inch Canson watercolor board, with quick pen sketch—Platinum Carbon Black Ink Solid Brush Tipped Pen (worn down). There are some brush cleaning marks on this board, made by cleaning my white pen in the negative space, after I had infected it with color doing the next sketch shown below.

Since there was a surplus of Canson Watercolor boards left after the 2016 Minnesota State Fair, I’ve been continuing to play with them. This post rounds out the week of messy fun that came out of this year’s Fair.

In this post you’ll see two 6 x 9 inch boards on which I sketched one evening will nursing an injured back, sitting on a heating pad, and watching TV.

160917colorWomanBoardBRLeft: the next sketch I made, using the same Platinum Carbon Black Ink Solid Brush Tipped pen but adding layers of gouache and Montana Acrylic Marker, and a white Sharpie water-based paint pen. I painted in acrylic marker over my gouache background as I didn't like the shade of blue.

The pen sketch was actually pretty good until I decided to “fix” it by going in with revisions that would make it look more like the actual person. Hence the comment you see on that board.

But then I simply couldn’t stop. I made a new sketch (that looked a little more like the person I was sketching) and played with some paint and acrylic markers (with 15mm tips). I didn't want to put any new paint out, but I also didn't want to go to bed until I had painted something that day. You can tell that I am, as usual, really interested in hair.

The resultant image is fussy and overworked, but I love it, because I remember each moment of fun I had while executing it and playing "what if?" What if I paint over that background, layer green about the face, add some of that background blue on the shadowed cheek, the tonality of which I didn't like before adding that…and so on.

Have some fun this weekend embracing mess. You'll learn a lot, work out some frustration, and get an idea for some new directions. The heating pad is optional.

It might even be a good idea to make this a Project Friday!!!!

    • Paul
    • September 30, 2016
    Reply

    It’s comforting to know that even you occasionally suffer from fussy-itis. I have the same affliction, only much more severe :o). I really like the color portrait. I should be so lucky to make such a beautiful mess!!

  1. Reply

    Paul, I’m a recovering photo-realistic sketcher. I’ve been making my way towards loose for 30 years. I fight fussy every day. Depending on the direction and what you want it can get easier over time. Glad you enjoyed this sketch.

  2. Reply

    Thanks so much Julana.

  3. Reply

    Thanks for the reminder to make a mess. I get super precious about my supplies sometimes and forget that sometimes it’s okay to make a mess. I am also a recovering photo-realistic sketcher too. I guess I should try to channel my inner 5 year old a bit more.

  4. Reply

    Lili, yes, let that inner 5-year-old out! We can’t develop skills if we don’t dive in and use our materials, often to disastrous effect.

    Only when we do that do we begin to see forward the directions we want to go.

    Have at it.

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