Monday, September 17, 2012

Savannah Sketchers

Blog reader Cale says: "If you have time to do any watercolor sketches please post them. I'd love to see your rendition of Savannah, also I have questions on pushing value range in wc!"

Here you go, Cale!

Jeanette and I walked through Forsyth Park and saw the mermen fountain, and I also sketched the Daniel Chester French statue in Chippewa Square. Then we set up on the corner of Bull Street and West Park Alley.

The sun was setting just to the left of the alley. As far as pushing values, I saved darkest and lightest accents to the end. There are some white, blue, and brown watercolor-pencil touches, and a few gouache touches here and there.

Hope to see you today at 5:00 at the SCAD Museum of Art Theater.


Matthew Meyer said...

So beautiful... I wish I could capture atmosphere like that!

Rich said...

Clever man! You did well by saving darkest and lightest accents to the end. That left you with all these glowing options.

Andrew said...

Why, that looks like the Art History building for SCAD if I'm not mistaken.

Hope the lecture goes well! I know some sequential art professors are excited to see it!

Tom Hart said...

Beautiful sketch and a master-class in atmosphere, to boot.

James, do you ever feel tempted to go a little larger with your field sketches? I love those little Moleskine books, but my personal preference is for something a little larger (that is, for my own work). Too bad there aren't more choices in the Moleskine sizes.

Finally, I would love to see Jeanette's sketch too!

John Fleck said...

There are larger Moleskine watercolor sketchbooks. They make A3 (11¾" × 16½" ) & A4 (8¼" × 11¾" ) sizes.
(I had one, and liked the larger area to work on, but kind of missed the portability of the smaller size.)

Tom Hart said...

Thanks John. I was aware of those size Moleskines, but my "sweet spot" for certain sketches seems to be something not quite that large. I definitely agree on the portability point.

(Sorry for diverting the discussion.)

Greathouse said...

I wet to Scad in Savannah and lived there for about five years. I won't lie, I do regret I learned how to paint after living there. I need to do some more plein air studies. Amazing piece, takes me back to college.

Also, for anyone that has some watercolors but not a cool metal case. This company kremer makes some empty ones for 16 bucks. They also make some of the best watercolors I've seen. Nothing beats there teal.


en_b said...

That spanish moss in the trees behind you looks amazing

Vladimir Venkov said...

Such an atmosphere!

dove said...

I had the pleasure of attending tonightat SCAD and spent most of the time holding back tears of joy (does that make me less of a man?:-) Thank you so much for coming, it truly touched my soul. Hope we can get you back down soon.
-Dove McHargue

Sketching Artist said...

I attended vicariously through my daughter who is a student at SCAD. She said attendance was so great, the overflow had to see a telecast in the classrooms upstairs.
You really pack them in, James.

Mark said...

Beautiful painting Mr. Gurney. If you could, please tell how you mix a shadow for a particular hue. I've read that mixing in a bit of its complement is the correct method, but my shadows just don't look like they belong. Your shadows are perfect.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Mark. Most of this subject was in shadow, so mixing the colors was an interesting challenge. Think of the shadow color as a combination of the local color (the actual color of the surface), and the color of the light shining on it. I washed a cool bluish color over most of the shadow area in one pass, then covered that with the local color, such as the amber color of the big house.

Sketching, yes, it was a wonderful turnout, but I felt bad about the almost 200 people who couldn't fit into the auditorium. The tech people heroically set up a simulcast feed to an adjacent classroom. I hope it came through OK.

Dove, thanks for saying that. It makes you more of a man in my book.

EnB and Vlad, thanks, I love the moss, mood, and atmosphere. I can see why Savannah has been used in so many movies.

Greathouse, thanks. It's hard to find watercolor boxes with metal cases these days.

John and Tom, the midsize Moleskine fits in my belt pouch, which is a big plus. And somehow the size feels right to me for a 1-3 hour sketch. I do have a larger one -- but I feel it calls for either an expansive landscape or a longer session.

Thanks, Matthew, Rich, and Drew.

Unknown said...

What a masterful sketch. Seeing light as you do is no easy task and one that comes with tons of careful observation and practice. Just beautiful.
Wish we could be there for the show.

Cale said...

Thanks James! Sounds like there was a good turn out

Jess said...

The lecture was wonderful, thank you so much for coming! I had been hoping for such a visit from you at SCAD, and we finally got it( luckily in my last year here too! ). It was a true joy to have you come.

Frank said...

Brings me back to last year when my wife and I went to Savannah for our honeymoon! Beautiful sketch!

Chari said...

So glad you got to visit Georgia in September! The weather is much nicer for plein air this time of year than during the summer ^_^. Beautiful work, as always. I love the contrast between the warm and cool tones -- makes me want to try some more plein air painting, too!