Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tower Records and Books Today

This is the 8th summer teaching my college plein air watercolor sketch class. We meet every Saturday and Sunday from 9AM to about 1PM (depending on the summer heat) for eight weekends, and I teach my students how to block in composition lightly with a soft office pencil, detail and complete the sketch with a fine tip sharpie pen (non-water soluble), and then paint in color washes. We meet at a different location each weekend. Next weekend, we will be watercolor sketching at the Sacramento Aerospace museum where I did this Vietnam era F-4 Phantom jet last year. The other painting is a demo I did for my students today. It is Tower Theater, a Sacramento landmark. It still houses a theater that plays independent films and Tower Cafe that is a legendary restaurant serving dishes from all over the world. This watercolor sketch was drawn and painted on an Arches 140lb, rough, cold press watercolor block (as you can see). Drawing time was about 45 minutes and painting time about the same. I first painted the sky to help highlight the tower and reflect the tower's vertical structure. The foreground palm tree was not outside my picture frame so I moved it in and added another palm tree behind the building. There is a tree smack dab in front of the marquee, so I made sure to kick that bastard out! I always have various puddles of color in the mixing area of my palette, and I also utilize colors directly from the paint wells as I apply paint to paper. Areas of homogenous color truly suck, and you may quote me on that. The beauty of watercolor sketching is that the drawing is doing most of the work. Just add a few color washes and Bob's your uncle, Fannie's your aunt, you're done! What could be simpler?... Not!...practice, practice, practice and with the medium of watercolor, one can truly say that with no pain there is no gain.

12 comments:

Ginny Stiles said...

This may be annoying that I am the first one to comment so often. Sorry about that. But your sketches enthrall me. And I love that you really went step by step on this telling about how much time you spent on the drawing and then on the painting.
I like to know if sketches are done without graphite or with light sketching in first (which is what I usually do too) and then watercolor. There are times when I enjoy just contour drawing in pen and just let the sketch sort of unfold in a quirky sort of way...I am tackling a one day class teaching "sketching and journaling" to try to perk people interest in both sketching and en plein air and/or journaling in some manner. Trying to do this one session is nuts. But it's all the time I have. 9-3. Sigh.

Barbara M. said...

Hi David,

These are gorgeous. You make me wish Bob was my uncle. Wait did I have an uncle Robert? Maybe but he's vanished. Yep it's all practice, practice, practice and as you say in your case four decades of that dedication.

Take care,

Barbara

David Lobenberg said...

Ginny, I go both ways... sometimes pencil first or sometimes straight to pen and enjoy the "mistakes". Pencil is great to block in a pre determined composition and going straight to pen is when I start with a center of interest and work my way out.

David Lobenberg said...

Barbara, You must at least have an aunt Fanny.

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

Wish I could take the class. I really like the F4. I was on an aircraft carrier that had the first operational F4 squadron.

David Lobenberg said...

Bill (Onpainting), They actually let you in the Navy and go onboard an aircraft carrier?! LOL :)
I love the lines on that bird! This is not the first time I have drawn and painted it.

laurens.paint.palette said...

I think am backwards. I add ink sometimes at the very end! I am going to try your way! These are gorgeous!

David Lobenberg said...

Laurens, I think I'll try it your way next and lay down some simple block-in washes first and draw on top of that.

Nick said...

A great fresh stylish look to these David, wonderful!

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks, Nick, and again, congrats on the fab. article on you in Aquarelle!

dayana said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

http://sketchingdrawing.com

David Lobenberg said...

Dayana (Susan). Glad you enjoy my ramblings. I visited your blog and enjoyed the demos!