Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sketchbook Pages: Sunset Fields

Since "My Creative Space" is no longer being hosted over at Village Voice, I was debating whether I'd continue with it as well. Lately, I feel as though my blog is drifting in a slightly different, less structured, direction than it has been in the past. And I'm ok with that. So "My Creative Space" will no longer be restricted to Thursday - it'll be whenever I feel like it! At the same time, "My Creative Space" was often sketchbook-related, which conflicts with my "Sketchbook Pages" series. My conclusion? Anything in my sketchbooks gets this label, whereas anything else (particularly art pieces with step-by-step process photos) will fall under "My Creative Space".

Anyway, enough administrative stuff, here's a peek at the latest page in my sketchbook (this one is the extra-long, 6"x12" Strathmore watercolour 400 series).

Sunday, I really had an itch to get out the paint. So that's what I did. I'm really kicking myself that I didn't take photos along the way though - the background may have only had two steps, but I really would have liked to capture just how the second layer changed the first. I guess I'll just have to repeat the technique!
As I said, the first layer was paint. I started with phthalo blue mixed with some gesso, and nearly covered the entire two pages. I blended in a bit of permanent red violet on the extreme right side. Then I used my dry brayer to roll some azo-orange on top (just a bit for a patchy look, picking up the texture in the thick paper).

All I could think was sunset, but the placement of colours was all wrong, so I gathered some fiery gelatos (red, orange and shimmery melon) and added pops of colour here and there. I meant to keep it here-and-there, but soon, I was washing it all the way across, satisfying my sky-on-fire vision. These photos don't even come close to showing how vibrantly juicy and shimmery the gelatos are (and make them seem less even)... I love playing with those little sticks of colour! 
It took me a second or two before I determined where I wanted to go next, but ultimately it was inspired by nature. Lately, during my walks to the subway station to and from work, I've been staring at the wild flowers and grasses that grow alongside the train tracks. I've sketched some and decided to silhouette them against this sunset page. I accomplished this using collage for the "wheat" - I cut the spindle shapes from patterned green paper. I finished the stalks with a dark olive green glaze (permanent green light + burnt sienna + glazing medium) and a quick doodle with a black pen. 
I love the bright simplicity of this page. I'll definitely be exploring this theme some more!

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