Thursday, June 23, 2011
Art Journals and a Easy Painting Exercise:
Now I personally always have several journals and sketchbooks on the go and I try to keep my kids in the habit as well.
We sketch from life and sometimes from reference photos.....the important thing is to keep them engaged.
I also like coil bindings but a book bound sketch book allows you to do a 2 page spread.
Watercolor sketch books with good paper are hard to find and expensive! So I often make my own. I cut my large pieces of wc paper to size, I add sketch paper for every second page and a very thick cardboard back. "Staples", an office supply company, coil binds them for me for about $3.50 a piece.
I then pack everything into a small field bag.
So what's in my field kit........
- a small clipboard (these are great for the kids)
- my cottman wc kit (I just keep adding tube watercolor to it when I run out, I then let it dry out and I'm set)
-brushes, pencil, eraser, white crayon (for resists), quarter(for lifting out circles), fine black sharpie. I keep my brushes in a hard plastic case to protect the bristles, it's the only way, I have also used toothbrush travel cases for this.
- kleenex and paper towels tucked in the pockets
- for water I take an old water bottle and a small cup, the one here stays at the house
So now you're all set....how to get started?
Here is a really easy painting exercise that I do with the kids. It will help loosen you up.
It's a water reflection painting and you can change up the scenery and make several of these. Great for school too!
You can do reflections on a lake, river, ocean, pond, puddle, there are lots of possibilities.
If you want you can lightly pencil in a horizon line.
Start painting you sky in. Be more intense at the top and then fade out into a squiggle at the bottom. I have used the color to indicate my horizon line and I stay mostly down the center of my page.
I want this to be a city scene looking down a river.
I'm only going to use a few colors here (limited palette).
Start putting in some shapes on one side to indicate buildings.
When I reach that horizon line I dilute my color, my shapes are just smudges of color.
Do the same on the other side.
Add a few shadows and darker details. I also smudge a little color into that horizon line just to define it a bit more.
You can then add a little detail in ink if you want and you're done.
Here is a cabin on a lake at sunrise.
Keep it loose and don't fuss.
So break out a journal or sketchbook this summer and stayed tuned for my next post with more on art journals.
See you soon.