New Years Resolution: Watercolor Sketching

Like most people, I started the New Year with a handful of resolutions, many of them likely to be forgotten by February. I am happy to report that at least one of them is still holding up. Specifically, my resolution to create four watercolor sketches per week, with the goal of filling one Moleskine watercolor sketchbook every two months. While painting has always been a passion of mine, I can get paralyzed by the desire to create a finished, beautiful piece.  Time commitments, expensive supplies and weather are just a few of my excuses.   To help me address this paralysis, I’ve made sure that my resolution emphasizes “sketch”  (for me, anything taking less than an hour including setup/dry time) over “painting”, which lets me focus on generation vs. refinement.   In this sense, it will help me exercise the same set of skills I put to use when I brainstorm and do early prototyping for work projects.  I also learn something from each sketch. And, best of all, I’ll end up with a bunch of sketchbooks full of colorful artiness! And, of course, some documentation.  Here are scans of sketches done to-date:

A bench. Some colorful leaves. It was cold.

Fun with feathery textures. Also my first attempt at using liquid frisket.

A rather quick, impressionist sketch of an apricot orchard.

An imaginary snowscape, and fun with washes.

Based on a photo I took of an alley in Rome. I really loved the earthy tones and dramatic lighting.

Playing with a new tube of Cadmium Orange.

I took on the challenge of adding color value to a white flower. I am not yet victorious.

The massive blackbird die-off was on the news, and I wanted to play with expressionism and salt. Voila.

Capturing some afternoon shadows and sun in the afternoon.

An uninspired, stream of consciousness approach. Eh, skin with papercuts, I guess?

Used a quill pen to apply frisket for highly detailed branches. Happy with the tree (could care less about the rest).