I dabbled with watercolor sketching, but really fell in love with it when I lived in Hong Kong. I had so much wonderful subject matter around me andI wanted to try plein air painting, so I started going out on location and painting in my watercolor sketch book. The major thing I learned after I started doing itwas, it took away the intimidation of doing a painting in watercolor. Sometimes I would sit in the studio and look at a big piece of white paper and wonder if I was going to pulloff something I was going to be happy with. Even though artists shouldn’t get caught up in that way of thinking, that everything we do has to be a winner because it always isn’t! After all it’s just paper and paint, but I think deep down we always want to be happy with what we create at the end of the day.
Watercolor sketching is a wonderful thing to do for so many reasons:
- Sketching forces you to be quick and not over think things.
- It forces you to simplify what you are seeing in the environment and not get caught up in the details.
- It gave me a chance to feel more comfortable with the medium and took away the intimidation when I did do larger works in the studio.
- If you do it plein air, it’s great to be out in nature or really soak in the sights and sounds of a place, much better than a quick photo.
- Gives you a lasting memory of a moment in time when you were enjoying the act of painting.
- Sketches can be used to develop bigger paintings.
- Great way to meet people or connect with other artists if you go out together.
- My watercolor sketch books go with me when ever I travel. Your sketch books becomesa treasure of meaningful memories.
In future posts I will talk about my materials and share some of my sketches. I hope it inspires you to try it!
This sketch was done at the Lama Temple in Beijing. I had a nice older chinese gentlemen sit down next to me on the bench while I worked on this sketch. We talked about a variety of things. I will never forget it!