Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sky Template Sketches




watercolour and gouache

I spend a long time looking at clouds. They are ethereal and mysterious and enthralling, and I draw them from life to try to understand how they work.

But… I’ve become aware that my cloud sketches sometimes lack context and scale. Looking at them later they seem to just hang in space, which is a shame.

As most of these little sketches are from our front window the roofline is constant, so I photoshopped some templates and printed them onto heavy-ish copy paper. Now, when I see an interesting sky forming, I just pick a pre-printed sheet and off we go. They’re quite small, 10-20cm across, so they get done very fast, and as the printed areas are narrow-toned mid-grey it’s very easy to modify them to the light of the time.

These are a few of the more successful ones.

However, there is a problem with this computerised convenience in that the printer paper is way too thin for extended water work. It’s also a bright cool white, which means that any gouache white comes across as creamy yellow. I’ve been trying lino and wood block skylines printed onto heavier paper, but unfortunately there’s a problem with that too – the results are a bit rubbish. Which is also a shame

It may be just a technique problem and I’ll persevere, but if it proves too much of a headache I’ll ignore the damned context issue and go back to studying the clouds floating free again.

MMMmmmmmm……   Clouds floating free…