Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brother's Plant--Part III

This sketchbook spread started out as a field sketch practice, an attempt to sketch a subject that will be still, unlike the birds I enjoy painting.  It gave me much more.
In addition to the memories that unfolded, it pulled me deeper into this prolific and hardy plant, its beauty, shape, shadows and color.  I still wonder how it manages to withstand the cold winter.  I learned that this has something to do with its ability to store water and a unique metabolic process that happens when the temperature drops.  But in my brief research, I didn't learn enough to explain it to anyone.

I am often drawn to the visual detail of a subject, so much so, that it is sometimes hard for me to shift my focus out, allowing the loose sketch work its magic.  I love this aspect of art, especially in watercolor.  It is a challenge for me to hold on to this awareness as I paint.
When I added detail to the left group of flowers, I wasn't happy with the result.  It pulled my eye away from what I found to be the most captivating part of the sketch, the top and right group of flowers that spilled over the side.  The overall effect was "too busy".
So for this occasion, I pulled out my soft scrub brush and "erased" the added detail.  I liked this area much better flowing loose with just a hint of shadow and shape.
Above you see the area after it's been scrubbed.  And below, the same area with replacement color added.  I couldn't recapture the freshness of what was there before, but I did restore some subtlety.  
The final sketch gives me a lot of information for future reference.  Below you see the original sketch created on the patio on the left, the final sketch on the right.  See what you think.
Links and resources:
Wiki on Hen and Chicks

For more information about using a scrub brush visit:  Sketching a Limpkin.  For more about negative space visit:  Search for a Swainson's Warbler.  The first post on this sketchbook spread is:  My Brother's Plant

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

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