Another new thing I decided to try recently is to keep a painting sketchbook. Yes, paintings can also be sketches. There's definitely an advantage to painting in a sketchbook but it's something I've never done until now. What's the advantage? Just like sketching with drawing mediums in a sketchbook, paintings in a sketchbook are not precious like a painting on canvas can be. Since artwork created in a sketchbook isn't so precious the artist feels more free to experiment. A failed painting on paper in a sketchbook is less painful than a failed painting at the easel, but even more important, the artist is less likely to fiddle with a failing painting, wasting time trying to save something that maybe shouldn't be saved. An artist is more likely to let a failed idea go when it's on paper. So, the bottom line is that a sketchbook is for experimenting, for testing new ideas before attempting them on a more permanent substrate. Also sketches are usually smaller and take less time, another feature that makes them less precious.
All that said I did make three painting sketches that I think worked out pretty well.
|"Painting Sketchbook 1 Sketch 1"|
I followed the same process with all three sketches. First I applied clear gesso to the paper, then sketched out the composition with charcoal. Next I blocked in the composition with thinned acrylic paint, and followed that with a thicker layer, also applied with brushes. I then made more adjustments using brushes and then went over much of the painting with thick paint applied with knives. Finally, I applied some marks using oil pastels to add detail and texture. The scene above is a dirt road leading into Utah ranch land desert.
|"Painting Sketchbook 1 Sketch 2"|
This sketch is an autumn scene on a gloomy day with a dirt road rolling through farmland in the Ogden Valley in northern Utah.
|"Painting Sketchbook 1 Sketch 3"|