Friday, February 22, 2013

Anatomy of a Sketch

I belong to an art group which meets every Thursday and often it is as valuable and as necessary as air. Yesterday was no exception. But this post is different in that it is the outgrowth of my answer to a fellow artist, one I respect immensely, who asked me how did I come up with the finished sketch.

Because I am working in encaustic I can't work with those materials in the group, so I bring a sketchbook and egg tempera paints. Sometimes I just mess with colors, and other times, like yesterday I started drawing with pencil.

First I drew the two yellow triangles and studied them. The parallel lines of the long sides invited thought. So I extended them. Then I drew the vertical and horizontal lines away from the leftmost point of the left triangle. At that point I wanted a frame, so I drew the enclosing square. That enclosure created most all of the negative space (the red ochre and Prussian blue). I then drew the arc at the bottom of the right triangle and knew I was done with the drawing.

I painted the two triangles first, left in yellow ochre, the right in Indian yellow. Then I drew what I knew would be the central focus of the image--the Vermilion diagonal. Next came the red ochre, and after that, the Prussian blue. Then I filled in the green rectangle (Indian yellow with Prussian blue).  I knew the small almost triangle near the arc would be black, but the arc gave me pause. I eventually chose a blue green from a different mixture of Indian yellow and Prussian blue.

Only in considering the arc did any "thinking" go on. Each shape became its color without thought. I can't explain how this happens. But when I set it on a window sill to step back from it, I knew it worked. And, I can't explain how I know that either. And at this point, I don't know if the color of the arc will change when I move it to encaustic.

No comments:

Post a Comment