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Miscellaneous Sketches

June 20, 2011

Last November, I resolved to spend time occasionally with mediums other than gouache (see Fooling Around with Old Flames), and I’ve been enjoying the occasional change of pace.  Last week, before taking the weekend off, I just played with a variety of subjects, mediums and techniques.  Nothing major, but just different from my norm.  Here are a few of the results…

Self Portrait, Graphite Pencil

Another self-portrait.  I’m finding that these really are kind of fun to do.

Seated Figure, Transparent Watercolor

Figures, especially nudes, have been a classical subject for artists for centuries.  They have always been a challenge for me.  I think one can only get really proficient at this by working from a live model.  Since my life drawing classes in college, I’ve tried at times, but while photographs can show shape, they tend to omit much of the subtleties of form.  So I don’t experiment with nude figures very often.  This one was truly an experiment.  The figure was drawn completely with a brush, which really challenged me, but was a really enjoyable exercise.  I believe this was from a photo reference on

Seated Figure, Pencil and Transparent Watercolor

Another figure from a reference photo.  This time, I did a pencil sketch, then worked over it with watercolor washes.  The image quality on these is poor because I’m having some computer issues these days.

Old House in Alabama, Transparent Watercolor

This old house was a subject for several painters at the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational in June.  I didn’t paint it while I was there, but I did take several reference photos of it on my way out of town.  For this little 5×7 piece, I did a quick pencil sketch, then worked over it with transparent watercolor.

Nell and Hemingway, Pen and Ink

These pen and ink sketches appear in the recent blog article about our RV weekend, but they are appropriate for this little article as well.  Years ago, I did very detailed pen and ink renderings over pencil layouts.  The sketches here are nowhere near that controlled.  In fact, they were probably all done within five minutes because both subjects kept moving.

Exercises like these are valuable because they provide a change of pace, a shift in thought processes, and besides…  it’s just an enjoyable way to flex artistic muscles.

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