Watercolor Sketching



Watercolor Sketch, in sketch book on hand made paper, Yonghe Gong Lama Temple, Beijing, China

I dabbled with watercolor sketching, but really fell in love with it when I lived in Hong Kong.  I had so much wonderful subject matter around me and  I wanted to try plein air painting, so I started going out on location and painting in my watercolor sketch book.  The major thing I learned after I started doing it  was, it took away the intimidation of doing a painting in watercolor.  Sometimes I would sit in the studio and look at a big piece of white paper and wonder if I was going to pull  off something I was going to be happy with.  Even though artists shouldn’t get caught up in that way of thinking, that everything we do has to be a winner because it always isn’t!  After all it’s just paper and paint, but I think deep down we always want to be happy with what we create at the end of the day.

Watercolor sketching is a wonderful thing to do for so many reasons:

  • Sketching forces you to be quick and not over think things.
  • It forces you to simplify what you are seeing in the environment and not get caught up in the details.
  • It gave me a chance to feel more comfortable with the medium and took away the intimidation when I did do larger works in the studio.
  • If you do it plein air, it’s great to be out in nature or really soak in the sights and sounds of a place, much better than a quick photo.
  • Gives you a lasting memory of a moment in time when you were enjoying the act of painting.
  • Sketches can be used to develop bigger paintings.
  • Great way to meet people or connect with other artists if you go out together.
  • My watercolor sketch books go with me when ever I travel.  Your sketch books becomes  a treasure of meaningful memories.

In future posts I will talk about my materials and share some of my sketches.  I hope it inspires you to try it!

This sketch was done at the Lama Temple in Beijing.  I had a nice older chinese gentlemen sit down next to me on the bench while I worked on this sketch.  We talked about a variety of things.  I will never forget it!

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