Art is not a static endeavor, if it was it would soon be boring, it is the dynamic aspect of trying new tools, techniques, and styles that keeps it interesting, and challenging. The cruise we just returned from refined a number of changes that actually began in August on our trip to Paris.
One of the big changes is in the tools I am using these days. I have not used a traditional watercolor pallet since that trip to Paris. I bought markers while there, and have used them for color ever since, they are so versatile and convenient. Koi Coloring Brush Pens, in warm and cool grays fill out the markers that I carry. Along with a waterbrush my kit is complete.
With my pens and inks I have stayed with Platinum Carbon for black, but have Noodler’s Golden in my Ruby Fude pen for accents and highlights; at this time of the year the color is perfect for golden autumn leaves.
On the cruise and in Rome the most common kit I carried was just my TSWBI Mini with black ink, my fude with golden ink, and a light cool gray marker – so light and so satisfying. It all fits in a leather pocket protector which is easy to carry.
One of the challenges I have addressed many times about travelsketching is the time and crowd factor. In my travel style I don’t always have an hour or so to sit and complete a sketch, even though Tricia always tells me to take as much time as I need, it still seems that the skill of quick sketching is often optimal for capturing the moment. When I sit for a long time I find that my mind is thinking more of creating a “work of art” rather than the spontaneity of the moment.
We talk in art about shapes not lines. That is what you do with a pen in a fast sketch, fighting the urge to add detail you use the lines to define the major shapes. One technique is to do the sketch using the light gray marker, then add detail with pen. The results have been quite satisfactory.
The last thing I have discovered is that limited use of color works well, rather than trying to capture all of the colors in front of me, just the colors and objects that stand out. This sketch from Corfu used limited color from markers.
Here are two I did this week with just the three tools.
Now I know that the way I sketch today is not how it will be in the future, but for now I am enjoying it, and that of course is the most important thing. I recently read an old blog post of Liz Steele where she said that she sketches for herself- as usual she has good advice.
The important thing is that you keep on sketching and traveling. As always I love to hear your thoughts and see your work, tag me on Instagram.