I go out Plein air sketching most weeks somewhere around my local area . Most of the time I start out with watercolour. Sometimes they are successful, sometimes not. Often looking at it at home away from the scene I can decide if it works as a painting or it’s a bin job. If I’m unhappy with my result when I return home I often “fix” it with gouache.
This little sketch wasn’t working for me at the time. It had too much green and was rather boring, but it had possibilities. A loose approach like this gives me a lot of leeway.After fiddling with gouache for a while it started to come together. Sometimes when I’m away from the scene I put a bit more effort into making the painting work, instead of simply copying what is in front of me. The only original part left here is the sky 😄
Another day, another Plein Air session and another failed watercolour. I really should bin some of these attempts and regard it as experience, or as added miles on the brush, but I don’t like to admit defeat. So I tried a Gouache makeover again, but I still wasn’t satisfied with the result. This time I resorted to adding pastel for the grasses and touches here and there on the foliage.
I’m continually learning with Plein Air painting. Each one is a challenge and sometimes I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to approach the painting.
Recently I have been trying to plan a bit more before I start by mapping out a composition with a preliminary thumbnail sketch using a Pilot V pen, a cheap disposable fountain pen with watersoluble ink and a waterbrush.
These are only quick scribbles, then a few strokes with the waterbrush to create different tones or values.
This tiny journal was a bargain buy, reduced from $10 to $2, originally bought as a notebook, just because I can’t resist an art bargain, but I started using it for these quick scribbles and found that I really enjoy using it for ink and wash thumbnail sketches.
I’m now remembering to note where they are sketched but I must start adding the date as well because it is becoming a good reference as well as a nice little memory journal to flip through.