For so many of us time is the major constraint when it comes to developing our skill in painting. If you’re a weekend painter like me, there sometimes just aren’t enough hours to pursue all the ideas you want to work on.
Inspired by a post from Michael Bailey some time ago, I bought a small watercolour moleskin and started carrying it with me along with a small box of watercolours. My theory was that it would be a good way of capturing those elusive ideas and at the same time, practicing translating what I see to the image on the page. Before I started painting I believed that the skill of an artist lay in their dexterity with a brush. Now I know it really all starts with the ability to really see what’s in front of you.
It took many months to get into the habit of painting little sketches in my book. Finally, after my last trip to France I determined to do a regular sketch – I intended to make them daily and started out quite well on that frequency. But I now realise that with my work life, that isn’t a realistic goal and I must be satisfied with doing a few each week.
But I’m happy with being able to do a few each week. The beauty is that because they’re quick and intended to be rough sketches, I can use them to try out effects, techniques, and as much free style experimentation I want to.
I’m becoming quite attached to my notebook. I will be getting back to working on bigger paintings this weekend.