June 4th, 2014

GUEST POST — Laure Ferlita: Keeping a Sketch From Becoming a Painting

Watercolorist Laure Ferlita writes about an issue that confronts most artists: staying mindful of the investment of time made to a sketchbook drawing. After all, unless the artist is prepared to remove the page from the sketchbook, the drawing cannot be framed or sold. This is a summary of Laure’s insights:

“My brother went down to the Venice Rookery over the weekend and came home with some fabulous shots. One of a baby Blue Heron just captured my heart. I decided on the spur of the moment to create a sketch out of this cute, little bugger.

Beginning with the bird, I sketched him out in pencil and then added general outlines of the nest without a lot of detail (my first miscalculation). Since the background is all suggested shapes, I didn’t draw anything back there.

Next, I painted the bird, my center of interest. With the main sections of the bird painted (details to be added last), I moved on to the background. It was easy to do by just mingling colors.

Then it was time to do the nest. If I had drawn in even a partial bit of the nest, I think I would have realized the chore I had set for myself. But I didn’t. In short order, I realized that if I continued to sketch the nest with a brush, I would have HOURS invested in this page. Rather than lavish hours on a sketch, I went to the studio and gathered up markers and pens in colors that would harmonize with the colors in the image. Then I went to work.

When I set out to sketch, I generally have a goal in mind of being quick, of capturing the essence of a place, thing, etc. However, I do occasionally get into something that can’t be “created” as quickly as I’d like. That’s when I change up my method of working, which is what I did. Why was it a problem? It’s not, but because I wanted this to be a quick sketch and not a painting I had to make a choice. The longer I work on something, the more detail I tend to put in and the greater chance I have of overworking the piece and regretting the hours I invested.

There is a constant decision process going on when we create. The more aware we become of our choices, the more freedom we have when we’re in the flow. Realizing we have more than one way to create goes a long way towards helping us to tackle subject matter that we would otherwise avoid.” This is the link to Laure Ferlita’s blog post: http://bit.ly/1oW85UH

MEDIA: Pencil, ink, watercolor
SURFACE: Zeta Series – 180 lb – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

Laure Ferlita is a watercolor artist and teacher that divides her time between the online world of  Imaginary Trips  ( http://imaginarytrips.com/ )and getting out on location to sketch and paint. Her favorite way to spend an afternoon is with her sketchbook, good friends and a glass of wine.

baby blue heron


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