Tuesday, September 23, 2014


9/23/14 Van Gogh watercolors, Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook
It’s a sad day in September when rain finally keeps an urban sketcher indoors for the first time in literally months (according to KOMOnews.com’s weather blog, Seattle nearly broke a record from June 21 through Sept. 21 with an average high temperature of 79 degrees – the second hottest summer since 1945). I’m not complaining – it was an incredibly beautiful sketching summer – but it’s still sad to see it end.

At the Urban Sketching Symposium last month, I heard a lot of talk about going straight to watercolor with a sketch instead of making a line drawing first. Unfortunately, I missed Behzad Bagheri’s workshop and Kumi Matsukawa’s demo on the subject. But fortunately, I found a huge peach (yes, we still have fresh local peaches! Surely an outcome of all that sunshine) and a banana on the counter asking to be painted.

Technical note: I usually prefer white paper for watercolors and sketching in general. For two of these still lifes, I used my Stillman & Birn Delta book, which has a creamy ivory color. It might not be apparent in the scans, but I sure like the way the warm fruit hues came out on that Delta paper. The white Beta paper in the second still life gives the sketch a cooler tone. The same Van Gogh paints were used for all three.

9/23/14 Van Gogh watercolors, Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook
9/23/14 Van Gogh watercolors, Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook

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