Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Line and Wash

Here’s a sketch from Jerusalem. It’s an example of the “line and wash” technique, a favorite with travel sketchers.

The line is pencil, and the wash is ivory black watercolor mixed with water in a film can, whose snap-on lid never leaks. It’s one of the easiest ways to get started with painting on the spot, because the tools are so simple. It all fits in your pocket.


May I show you a page from my wife Jeanette’s sketchbook? The line is from a ballpoint pen, and the washes are raw sienna, ultramarine, and burnt umber watercolors. She was thinking of the colors that John Singer Sargent used in his Venetian watercolors (too bad it's Poughkeepsie, not Venice). To see more Sargents, visit the post on “warm and cool.”

Tomorrow: Taboret

7 comments:

Adam Paquette said...

Beautiful! I still find these sketches communicate captured moments so much more efficiently than a long sitting of oil painting... sure, you dont capture all the information or achieve the same level of luminosity, but you cant beat that sort of immediacy and the enjoyment of doing it and then moving straight onto another one...

Your wife's work is beautiful. When can we expect a book from her? If there isn't one already... :)

Patrick said...

Thanks for reminding me of something so simple and convenient. :)

Eric Orchard said...

Wow! Tell Jeanette I think her work is beautiful. I'm glad your talking about this because this is something I'm always trying to refine: the way to get good on-location sketches. I carry a tiny Windsor & Newton watercolour set but it's almost too small and finicky to use easily. I need something simpler.I tried to get one of those pens you posted about earlier but my local shop has stopped carrying them( or was it a loading brush?)Do you find a small sketch pad like your Moleskine is sufficient for these types of studies?

Jeanette Gurney said...

Thanks for all the compliments, Adam and Eric! I've tried to get my line-and-wash sketching rig as simple as I can, just like you, Eric. It's a 5x7 sketchbook, laid finish paper. Can't let those washes get too wet. I use a W/N Bijou watercolor box(fits within my palm) that I got 25 years ago, but they still make them. An Isabey travel brush, size 8, that has a metal tube to cover the brush tip. A ballpoint pen, and a film can of water. And don't forget a paper towel in your pocket in case of disaster!

Lindsay said...

What a fantastic idea! Both drawings are lovely. You have a great blog and I'll be back.
PS My kids and I are big fans.

budoseemit said...

Thank you so much! I love the idea of being able to carry around my paint in a film can and stick all of my supplies in my pocket.

Faridah said...

Lovely paintings.. both yours and your wife's.