Sketchbook

I made a start on some landscape sketches from some of my photo collection in my usual way on loose leaves of A5. I was pretty disappointed with the results, and not really happy with any of them enough to post pictures here. My way of working has been to sketch and rework sketches multiple times, and collect loose leaf sketches together to bind them in broadly themed sketchbooks later. Part of the reason I have always done this is a fear of working directly in a book and ruining it as an object with less successful work. I feel that now is the time to take some risks and enliven my work. My other problem haas been that the sketches lacked depth, and I felt that my use of light and shadow was very limited.

I have been contributing to a small group of OCA students on a closed Facebook group for sharing multimedia sketchbook ideas. Via this group, I was directed to some useful resources and ideas on starting a sketchbook. I also had some sage advice from my mother that a less successful page can always be painted over in white or collaged over. I have made a small A6 hardback sketchbook with 40 pages. I started to alter some of the pages by a variety of techniques including collage with thin paint over the top, pasting in pages of various textures, and washes with diluted inks.

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I also read “Keys to Painting Light and Shadow” edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf (1999 North Light Books, Ohio USA) which focussed on principles of reflected light, frontlighting versus backlighting, and how to approach a sketch by simplifying the light and dark families in the composition and connecting areas of similar tone. This has the effect of creating a more organised and flowing piece. The suggested approach is to do a block sketch of light and dark areas, arrange elements with sketch lines, fill in the lights and refine the details.

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