Last weekend I led the Saturday Sketching at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens. It wasn't *too* hot so we went to the garden and I gave them a brief demo for planning out their sketches so as not to be overwhelmed by all of the choice we had of what to draw.
This is the demo I did (above) while talking to them about setting boundaries for what you are going to draw. In this case, the sketch was only going to be as wide as the bush at the bottom, and as tall as the far group of trees. Then I talked about judging measurements and distance based on the thing you've already drawn. So, we knew how wide the bush was, and we used that to see where to put the planter.
Then everybody went and sketched while no one used the ideas I had given them - ha!
I sketched with just colored pencils, which is kind of unusual for me. I enjoyed working on it but wasn't that crazy with the result (top sketch). I didn't really know why I wasn't crazy about it, so I went home and redrew it - based on the original sketch - using watercolor this time (below).
Of course this one is much neater because I was sitting in my air-conditioned house, and maybe for that reason the color selections were a little more thoughtful. I guess I like this one better, but I think maybe the composition just wasn't that great to begin with. I was trying to get both the sculpture in the foreground (center) and the structures in the background, which made the whole thing a little too horizontal. It could've used a big tree along the side or something. Of course to get that I would have had to move out of the shade!
Because I teach sketching I think about these things a lot - what's the best angle? What's the best place to "enter" or start a sketch? What are the best materials for right here, right now? But I don't think about these for every sketch - mostly I just want to draw something.
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