Sketching is not my most favorite part of the creative process. I'd much rather be layering one transparent color over another . I like making things luminous and they show depth and I like the effect and wait------I'm sketching, remember?
I was surprised at my sketching session the other day. I had planned on painting en plein but the weather was much too damp. I had my doubts whether I'd be successful. It had rained the night before and I was in a park that was nearly all woods. I settled for taking pictures in the morning and decided that once the sun came out fully I was gonna paint because that was my plan and I was "working my plan"!
I decided to set up an easel and paint out the the back of my car. I've done this a number of time before but with oils not watercolors. It was simple enough and once my supplies and brushes were all set so was I. I had three starts (small works)and none of them was drying. I found myself checking the skies, listening to rustling leaves and noticing that I didn't have much natural light. My paintings weren't drying-----I was away from my trusty hair dryer---and there I was with hours until my art meeting. I hung in my location until the raindrops came and still those starts weren't dry.
I had no choice but go for plan two which was sketching up some watercolor card patterns. I also had some photos I was considering using as references for autumn paintings. Here's the shocker. I actually enjoyed my sketching session (by now I'd moved indoors to the meeting location).
I used my pencil to measure and counted one eraser length or more and compared to the photo to keep things the right porportion; things I'd learned in drawing classes. It was automatic and I was making lines without searching for my ruler. I made bold strokes with my pencil and while I had my gum eraser I found I really didn't use it very much. I remembered scale and compared shapes and sizes, overlaps and all those elements in drawing. Yikes! I was making progress and actually enjoying myself. I even took the time to "shade" some values---OK, only a few----instead of my usual L,M, D in the empty spaces. My sketches didn't turn into complete drawings but I'm going to be able to use them in paintings and my afternoon was productive. Will wonders ever ceases?