Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Value of Sketching

Newport RI - 4th of July at dusk

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!  I am back in Newport RI for the summer.  I love it here:  the boats, the light, the breeze.  I love it all.  I am eager to get out and paint and it looks like today will be a nice day for it.

In the meantime, I wanted to post a couple of pages from my old sketchbooks because I have been devoting a lot of time to sketching lately.   Sketchbooks are a great place to work out ideas, try different compositions and practice your value skills.  Sketching forces you to think in terms of value.  You can achieve the entire value range with a 6B pencil and an eraser.  I often sketch when I don't feel like painting or when the weather is too bad to go outside.  You can sketch from your reference photos or just sketch whatever is in front of you.  It's a great exercise to try to make a composition out of something simple or ordinary like a chair or a table with flowers.  The images here are a couple of sketches from an old sketchbook.  The sketch above was from a photo I took of our neighbor's little girl several years ago and the ones below are of simple scenes in and around the house.

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