Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Making the most of sketches

Recently I visited a Lavender farm and was bowled over by the beauty of the colours and the richness of the fragrance. Even though I have been there before I had forgotten what a potent mixture it was for the senses.

I think it is because it is a relatively short season when the fields are all bursting with full strength colour. A bit like painting daffodils in Spring or pumpkins in Autumn, one just gets the hang of it and then they are gone for another year.

Sketching on site on occasions like this - when you have not gone there for the whole day with the intention to do nothing but paint - can often be nothing more than quick 'note-taking' whether on paper or in a sketchbook. Here I had a small block of watercolour paper.

Because it was busy I tried to be discreet and not get in anyone's way - however, painting seems to attract many people (and repels others !) so one has to get used to being engaged in conversation despite an urgency to complete something before having to be elsewhere, or more usually, before the next burst of rain comes along.

Sometimes what is produced here works well in it's own right - little gems which have more to say than a painting which has taken longer.                                                                                                   
Mostly, I find the smaller sketch is more useful in providing a reference for a later painting, for hopefully it will have 'captured the moment', the feelings, the impression of what was there at the time. Referring to it will bring back the memories, colours and fragrance of the day just as if you were there. 

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