Sunday, June 20, 2010

Seeing a Lantana

Seeing is a big word when it comes to making art.  In fact, seeing is everything.
Seeing your subject, the shapes, the detail, focusing in and capturing what makes it of interest to you in the first place.  And simplifying, focusing out to capture the essence, the larger shapes and values, without becoming distracted by detail.  Both are necessary, a balance that only practice and preference can achieve.
Sketching outdoors is relatively new to me.  I'm more prone to snapping reference photos and painting later through this record and my experience.  But I've seen beautiful work done on the spot.  So I keep giving it a try to see what happens. Because I'm embarking on an exploration and only looking for what new I can discover, I'm finding myself delightfully free of expectations.

I've recently done some practicing on my patio, making a retreat to the cooler in-doors easy when I've had enough of the heat and mosquitoes.  My main goal has been practicing the focus required, learning to filter out distractions and decide just how I want to capture the subject.  Below, you see the end result of my first try to capture my patio pot of Lantanas.
The top photo shows what I completed on the spot.  I sketched without an eraser on this occasion, leaving all the pencil marks, mistakes and otherwise.  Not generally my style.  But I found this okay, even relaxing. The image above is the finished sketch after I added ink and more color.  This is one way to sketch a pot of  Lantanas.  But Lantanas are light, airy.  So this sketch motivated me to try again, see if I could capture more of that lightness in the next sketch.
I created the pencil sketch first, and then began to add color, loose spots of yellow in the area of the blossoms.
Above you see the sketch I finished outside and my working space below.
When I brought the sketch inside, I played with the values, making some areas darker to allow the blossoms to come forward and giving the leaves some variation.  This was nice.  I liked what was happening on the right side of the page.
Above you see the final result, a sketch that expresses something different about what I see in those flowers, a brightness that the first sketch doesn't quite capture.  It's interesting, though, I like both sketches.   But don't they have a very different feel?

Links:
Lantana

2 comments:

  1. Quite beautiful; you have capture a splendid moment in bloom. The first piece has an illustrative quality that works nicely with the plant stand, though the loose quality you accomplished in the second piece is striking.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, I like both of them. Thanks for sharing the process! I never take time to do this at home then wonder why I can't pull it off away from home. Practice! Good reminder!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome! I am glad to hear your comments, questions and feedback! Vickie

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