March Notes

See something and instantly go through, in your minds eye, how you would re-create it with watercolor and brushwork.

Notan means “dark/light”. The term refers to the harmony that results from the arrangement of dark and light spaces within the composition of a painting.

Attract the eye with white.

Everything is more interesting when you draw it.

Drawing is therapy.

Creative confidence is earned through practice.

Watercolor pencils have no time constraint. With watercolor paint, one must work quickly in some circumstances.

Start small. Over time, increase as the size of the sheets of paper that you paint on.

Changing paper size is always an interesting challenge.

The Elements of Design are Color/Value, Line, Shape, Texture, Form/Space, and Unity/Harmony.

Every image can be simplified. See the shapes rather than the details.

How much visual memory can you retain from only a few glances at the subject?

Seek progress over progression.

Drawing people: here’s the trick – about 6 months of 5 min life drawing poses! It’s the best training possible. Doing lots of 3-5 min poses keeps you learning at a good pace.

There isn’t really an ‘Undo’ option when using color.

Have a list of places where you plan to sketch and plan time in your day when you will be in that place.

Have a list of things you can concentrate on when sketching people — noses, eyes, ears, etc.

Sketch the place, add people later.

Trust what you see in front of you and draw it, over and over and over.

When used well, color can add a new level to a drawing.

During a quick sketch, it’s helpful to limit yourself to a few colors – perhaps even just one highlight color for areas of light.

Whether you are using white or colored paper, it’s useful to see the paper as one of the colors making up your drawing. You can experiment with different paper colors – they can bring out your white pastel highlights.

Painting, like any art, sport, or science, calls for commitment. Like a musician doing scales or an athlete in the gym, a painter needs to paint. Ideally, every day.

The goal is PRACTICE. Not perfection.


Develop sketching options such as quick (60 sec) line sketch vs monochrome vs full color. Sketching every day will help with this.

Take time — when doing a complex scene, such as a building —, to analyze it by doing quick warm up sketches and thumbnails. This will help you to understand the structure, rhythm, texture, context, etc.

An unfinished sketch will be better then an overworked one.

Masstone is the color when the pigment is applied full strength – as compared to when diluted.

Learn to stay focused on whay you are drawing.

Carry a small sketchbook everywhere – just pocket sized – and one pen or maybe a pen + brush pen. Minimizing your gear helps you jump-in whenever you see someone sketch-able.

Swap out any ‘lazy-time’ for drawing time.

Work up a list of crowded places to draw people – a park. the public library, a sporting event, a zoo, a museum.

Search out public performances (live music, theater rehearsal, a lecture, or a reading) – anywhere you have people on stage.

If you don’t want to do it live-on-location, cue up a you tube play-list, maybe sketch from movie.

Just draw.

You can often finish a person by combining a second passerby.
When you find yourself in front of something too difficult to draw comfortably – just go back to the basics.

If I can do it in ink, I can do it in color!

Just place color NEXT to color, and they will stitch together on their own.

The shape IS the drawing.

During life drawing sessions use spare time in the longer poses to go back and paint the faster sketches or to draw the other artists.

The Elements of Design are Color/Value, Line, Shape, Texture, Form/Space, and Unity/Harmony.

Make two drawings of the same thing at the same time.

Carry your sketchbook everywhere and pull it out whenever things get dull. Draw on the bus, in meetings, at lunch in the cafeteria, while the family is watching TV.

When I’m sketching something totally new, I just do a bunch of quick takes without thinking too much. It takes me a while to get a feel for my subject.

Each approach to art strengthens different muscles.

Sketch what attracts you.

Use 3 or 4 values tops.

Work FAST.

Omit 90 % of the detail.

Take your vacation on vacation with you.

Simplify complex images to simple shapes.

Always begin with the most distinctive features of the subject.

Light is the dominant factor in all landscape work.

Work fast, outlining shapes and building a complete sketch quickly. Do a slower, more detailed drawing afterward.

Morning shadows are long and lovely.

Published by rtsallie

Impasse I could tell you If I wanted to, What makes me What I am. But I don't Really want to – And you don't Give a damn. Langston Hughes

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