Day 2: a sketch a day

Crazy busy day, but it would not do to not do a sketch on the second day of my year-long effort!

Decided to do a 3-color sketch with watercolor. Chose a flat brush for the owl so I wouldn’t try to perfect it, just wanted to learn about some elements of this subject as this is the snow scene for the upcoming class. (Isn’t that what sketches are for?) No pencil sketch, just the brush (a flat so I wouldn’t be too tempted to get bogged down in detail).

This felt really clumsy – I elected to use the paper for my palette, and mixing thin washes on paper is…messy. Just the three colors (and a mix of brown and green for my darkest darks) to keep that aspect simple. Wasn’t too concerned about something good looking; didn’t try to solve technical paint issues; was mostly using the sketch to learn about the masses in the photo, where the values are, shapes and the way they meet, etc. It was pretty relaxing to be doing a sketch rather than a painting, will be interested to see what progress I can make by doing watercolor sketches one after the other this year. 🙂

I was hoping that the spontaneity would lend the result some movement to make up for the lack of detail, and there  is at least some of that, some decent lines. Don’t be surprised if I do multiple sketches of this in the same way to see what I can learn before I paint this thing. I definitely would like to try to deal with some of the technical issues–lifting, maybe, for the brighter masses of background trees (not shown here), and I need to figure out how I’m going to use paper to suggest snow on the branch (again, did not try to do that at all this stage). I figure I’ll also want to explore with colors in the owl’s feathers, to make it livelier. And there may be an abstract background that would work well with this idea…lots of puzzles to play with.

Watercolor sketch of owl
Watercolor sketch of owl

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