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Landscape Inspirations

Above: A page spread from my Shinola Sketchbook in which I use gouache to play with new colors and the inspiration of John Harris' work.   I’ve been experimenting  with different colors selections based on inspiration from the work on John Harris, a science fiction illustrator who makes stunning land- and cityscapes. (I took a […]


If You Don’t Have a Plan—Quit While You’re Ahead (sort of)

090705Rooster Above: another small (4 x 4 inches) pencil and watercolor sketch of a bird, this time a rooster. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I frequently start without a plan, especially when I'm making a sketch that is a glorified color thumbnail. So if you start without a plan at some point you really do need to stop and think where you are going or quit while you are ahead.

Today I posted this small rooster sketch to make this point. I started this sketch because I wanted to work on using pencil and watercolor. I almost always sketch in ink these days, so it is a different thought process for me—what do I want to do with the pencil? The barest of details? A complete grisaille?

I also have been doing a lot of gouache work these days as I get some new paintings ready for an upcoming show. Mentally I have to turn my brain around to work in transparent glazes or in washes.

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