Lessons Learned

After a week of staying at a stunning castle in Italy with the camaraderie of a dozen like minded watercolor sketchers now is a good time to reflect on lessons learned… and to imprint those lessons into my daily sketch routine. This was a Winslow Arts Center workshop; Nature Sketching in Italy with Jean Mackay. In summary- excellent instructor with plenty of inspiring ‘nature’ and techniques to apply to my shetchbook.

Break out of the midtones

Lesson Learned

Since watercolors dry so much lighter than when wet, it is very common to think you have painted a rich dark color when in fact it’s a mid-range value when it dries. I can see where many pages in my sketchbook lack a full range of values – light/ mid/ dark. My olive grove painting suffered from midtone monotony.

Suffering from lack of values scale – light/mid/dark
Final version uses a dark value to create a focus on the twist of the tree.

Understanding ‘value’ often starts with a values thumbnail. This stand alone sketch of an arch is not in my typical style but the practice in values especially with the stone was helpful.

Again, the dark tones bring focus & depth to the scene

This Day 2 page of castle icons took advantage of a full range of values for ability to see the icons & page design.

Stone, ribbon, metal all require full values for representation.

The colors most used for the stone at the castle were: Geothite, Shadow Violet, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber & Janes Gray.

Another lesson learned next week.

3 responses to “Lessons Learned”

  1. yay! great summaries and reminders for those of us who didn’t take enough notes (ie me 😉

  2. Love your words Mary! And of
    course your art!

    1. Thank you, such a great week together with everyone

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