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Tag Archives: Chicago

  Value Sketch


This week I had the opportunity to attend a Don Andrews Workshop offered by our Allen County Public Library.  What a wonderful experience. I learned so much!

The above painting was created after he instructed about how to create a pathway of light by first doing a value sketch to use from reference material you choose. He spoke about how to lay in granular washes and what an artist can do to furthur enhance a center of interest and where it should be placed. I actually took the time to do a value sketch and found it less time consuming than previous times I have done this. I learned to simplify and bring out some of the important things I wanted to focus on. I painted in the darks on my sketch paper to save time (rather than shading with graphite) and I actually ended up using my value sketch more than the reference photo for this image. I found this to be totally freeing and, as I painted, I began to sense that the painting was telling me more and more of what I needed to do than the actual reference material. A day spent on composition was very helpful.

This was the first time my Grand daughter saw Lake Michigan. I remember the first time I swam in Lake Michigan and the first time I went running into the ocean. There is something special about the grandeur of it all.

  New York

The above project is what we worked on the last night of watercolor plus class. It is a combination of using some gesso, found or purchased papers, and watercolor.

Here are the steps we used:

 step 1

We drew a line for the top and bottom of our skyline.

  step 2

We gessoed (acrylic gesso) the city and left the sky and foreground the surface of the paper. This would not have to be done, but I wanted to try this technique for future reference. I do think the gesso added a textural quality to the skyline area that wouldn’t have existed in these, otherwise.

  step 3

Wash in the sky and foreground areas with watercolor. The burnt sienna swish you see on the left was to demonstrate how you can watercolor on the gesso and then lift it out using water and also the different appearance of watercolor on gesso.

  step 4

We then cut pieces of pictures or print in the shapes of our buildings and glued them to the gesso using acrylic matte medium. The matte medium dries without a shine and is acid free. I used mostly different rice papers for this Chicago scene.

 step 5  Chicago skyline

We then painted in the remaining spaces of the skyline with watercolor. I also added a second wash to the water to darken it.

Other collage work can be found on Jack’s Blog.

Beth Parker has taken this a step furthur on her blog here….and here.

lakeshoredrive   click enlarges

I promised to have some sort of cityscape going when I posted “Walking the Dogs”. This is my second attempt at a cityscape. I took this picture out the front window of my sister’s car on a Sunday morning in June. Lakeshore Drive brings memories of heading home to Wilmette with my Granny. She could navigate this road, beautifully.

I need work on city scapes. Mine tend to look stiff. Probably because I’m using the think side of my brain instead of the feeling side. I’m going to take my own suggestion and do some blind line of cityscapes and continuous line to try to get the feel and the flow of one.

Thank-you to Stephen for continually whipping off those landscapes and sharing your experiences. Reading your posts have inspired me to work on landscapes more.

Thank-you to Raji who accepted the challenge of a cityscape, recently. Seeing his post got me back on track.