There is a group of artists that goes out every Friday to paint at Epcot and I'm joining them to make it a "painting practice" similar to a yoga practice. Just like yoga, it clears the mind and you feel great after you do it! I'm really enjoying it because it reminds me of watercolor sketching on my travels, and since we are painting the countries in World Showcase at Epcot, it especially feels that way! This was my third time and already I can feel an improvement in drawing, painting and time management. (I have posted a number or my watercolor travel sketches you can see by clicking here. You can scroll through and look at a number of older posts.)
These sessions I'm painting a bit more in detail than what I normally do in my watercolor sketch book but I'm trying to stay loose and spontaneous as I do while sketching. It's hard not to get too caught up in the details.
I feel the key has been for me to take time with the drawing, site measuring and getting the proportions accurate. There is nothing more frustrating than to put a really loose drawing down, start to paint then realizing there is something way off, which is what happened to me a few weeks ago. I spent about an hour on this drawing, block in. Knowing I was going to paint, I wasn't too detailed with the pencil work. I'm drawing with a mechanical pencil and painting on a 9 x 12 Arches Watercolor Block.
The last couple of times I stayed for two hours, this time three. One hour dedicated to drawing and two for painting. Having more time for the painting allowed me to get closer to a finished painting, but I still feel I have a few areas and values I would like to tweak.
I'm also being more conscious of composition and editing out details, not wanting to paint an area just because it's there if I feel it won't work in the painting. You can see from the view that I edited out the white building on the left. I didn't want a big white block on one side of the painting.
If you paint plein air or sketch in watercolor, I wold love for you to make comments and share any tips!