Sunday, September 11, 2022

Another Sketchbook is Born

 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 sketch landscape desert open land
"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.

autumn landscape painting sketch Ogden Valley
"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 landscape rural Utah mountains
"Painting Sketchbook 1 Sketch 3"

Another rural Utah landscape, this time in summer with a green farm field in the middle ground, barns, a silo and a granary on the horizon and the Wasatch Mountains in the background.

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