June 9th, 2014

A Veggie Sketchbook

Most artists will include a wide range of subjects in their sketchbooks. But watercolor artist and teacher Valerie Weller prefers to created themed sketchbooks. “I just love my sketchbook to have a theme that I can pull from later, to produce larger pieces. I tend to gravitate toward organic things… flowers, leaves, veggies, and fruits. I suppose it’s the graphic part of me that leans towards those subjects, or maybe it’s just the idea that within those shapes, you can really experiment with color and let the watercolor do what it is meant to do.

I like to work loosely — with a lot of wet into wet and glazing. The glazing technique allows one to achieve a glowing depth of color. The strength and the surface of the Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook pages takes to this process quite well. It’s pretty forgiving, if you need to lift a little, while layering your color. Watercolor pools on the paper well, allowing the layers to produce the richness and glow that I seek.

I’m sharing a page here from a series I am working on with veggies. These are always simple sketches, from either life or a photo. After sketching lightly, I will layer my color from the lightest to darkest, being mindful of letting the watercolor do its thing. The glazing process involves letting one layer dry before adding another. I tend to almost mix my colors right on the wet puddles of the page. A little quinacridone magenta with a dab of mineral violet in a wet pool of water can make some magic happen. My palette is made up of Holbein and Windsor Newton paints. I’ve been experimenting with my Lamy pen to either do some outlining when the watercolor work is done, or draw in some fun calligraphic styled words. Again — that graphic designer part of me coming out.” You can read more about Valerie Weller’s themed sketchbooks on her two blogs: http://www.twig2neststudio.blogspot.com/ and http://valerieweller.blogspot.com/

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Beta Series – 180 lb – 270 gsm – Natural White – Cold Press Finish

CARROTS2 (2) (640x633)


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