Wanderlust: warm-up

Series: Wanderlust 2021 #35

I suppose I could have created a single page with all of these on, many people did just that with their versions, but the intention was for these to be used as quick sketches to warm-up and get in the right frame of mind for creating, and very much not as finished elements.

So instead, I fussy cut the sketches, grabbed one of the many spare notebooks in this house and glued them in there so they don’t get lost.

There were various techniques demonstrated in this Wanderlust lesson, some of which worked better for me than others. The main principle though was to keep it loose, even to the point of blind or semi-blind sketching, and let go of perfection.

I always say that I can’t draw but it’s more that drawing is only there to support whatever else I’m doing, it’s never the final form. I can manage rough sketches when I want to and even turn them into finished pieces with the addition of other media, like with the house portrait which started as a pencil sketch.

Here the sketches were mostly finished off with watercolour as that was the closest thing to hand. I was quite pleased with how the ink bottle turned out. Not so happy with the small pieces, though that’s more down to the combination of the watercolour markers (rather than paint) and paper that didn’t work well together.

Most of the others were done on scrap paper that was covered with paint and ink from being underneath other art while I worked and that added a base layer of interesting texture to the ink bottle as well as the two botanical pieces. Those, along with the butterfly, are my favourites from this experiment.

For the ivy, I painted watercolour loosely through a stencil and then roughly outlined it once it was dry. The vintage flower was traced using graphite paper, outlined in ink, and watercoloured. These were fun techniques and produced results that I enjoyed — being able to deliberately ignore the perfectionism made a huge difference.

The only thing I wouldn’t rush to try again was fixing soft pastel colours with clear gesso and then sketching over it — a different subject on a different scale might work better, but it’s not a technique that made me want to do more with it.

I’d like to say I will use some of these as warm-up exercises in future, but, if I’m honest, I’ll just dive straight in to the next project like I usually do…


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