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#30×30 Day 22 : Gone Sketchin’

June 22, 2021

Took the day off from all the thought provoking art-making to go sketching with Shari Blaukof!

We had about the best weather you could ask for. It was such an amazing day, everybody going by was in an excellent mood. All kinds of good vibes from people happy to see artists out on the waterfront.

Kind of makes you want to get back into street sketching! I’d forgotten how much people like to stop and chat with sketchers.

Another advantage of sketching with a friend – I had forgotten to add the masts reflecting in the water, and – probably wouldn’t even have known how to do it – but I saw Shari put them into her painting with these confident squiggles – and so – bingo! Water reflections! That was 30 seconds work that made the sketch 100% better.

She also loaned me a Gelly Roll (white fine-liner pen) so I could add a little rigging and a few white masts. Initially I refused out of stubbornness – but they’re actually kind of handy.

Shari pointed out these interesting boats. They’re Martin-16’s , which are designed to give people with mobility issues the freedom to sail. Pretty great idea! There are some that have been outfitted with mouth control (sip and puff), making them one of the few (only?) opportunities for quadriplegics to be out on the water on their own – though, there is a second seat for a passenger if they want to take a friend.

I’m just out here having a great day, not training hard-core, so I used a single line sketch underneath this painting of the boats in the yard. If you zoom in, the drawing is visible underneath.

This might seem like a mixed message from me. Like, I’m offering up this technique of ‘Direct Watercolor’ then not even using it religiously. Well – here’s the thing – the goal is making your work easier. Getting free of *unnecessary* planning. I’ve used Direct techniques to teach myself how little drawing I actually need.

Once you know you can do it with nothing but the brush – it’s tremendously freeing. I used to draw everything. Every window, every fencepost. I used to draw lines around clouds or reflections in the water! I was a line-addict! My sketches were stiff and overworked. I used to draw individual leaves on trees for heaven’s sake! Don’t do that please. Life is too short :) The trees here are a good example of using direct painting and drawing at the same time.

So – Direct Watercolor – it’s not an eleventh commandment! Go ahead and use a line if you feel it helps set up proportions.

Drawing boats is hard!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul permalink
    June 22, 2021 1:18 PM

    I have to admit, I miss your plein-air watercolour sketches. Nice to see them again!👍👍

  2. June 22, 2021 1:53 PM

    Now this is a duo I’d love to hang out with!.

  3. rhodadraws permalink
    June 22, 2021 3:56 PM

    Hola, Marc… I’m delighted to read your remarks about Direct Watercolor NOT being the 11th commandment. I will share it with my Sketching Fast & Loose students.

    Muchas Gracias, from San Miguel de Allende, Rhoda

    On Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 11:37 AM Citizen Sketcher wrote:

    > Marc Taro Holmes posted: ” Took the day off from all the thought provoking > art-making to go sketching with Shari Blaukof! We had about the best > weather you could ask for. It was such an amazing day, everybody going by > was in an excellent mood. All kinds of good vibes from ” >

  4. Jerry Brown permalink
    June 22, 2021 3:59 PM

    Looks like a wonderful time, Marc. I am NOT jealous!!

  5. sandidureice permalink
    June 22, 2021 7:59 PM

    Thank you Marc. Hi Shari!

  6. June 23, 2021 1:21 AM

    Excellent. No other description needed for your work.
    And yes, I entirely agree with the last line- Drawing boats is hard.

  7. Tina Koyama permalink
    June 23, 2021 1:43 AM

    Good to see that Shari reminded you how to sketch! ;-)

  8. June 23, 2021 4:05 PM

    The photos of you and Shari out painting gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to draw/paint on the street. The last time was the day that you and I stomped around downtown Montreal. I did, finally get my knee surgery (after being postponed twice due to COVID. If things continue to go well, I should be able to start stomping again, although maybe a bit more slowly than before :-)

    • June 23, 2021 5:23 PM

      Hey that is great news. I was going to message you but I knew I’d provoke you to comment eventually:) Great to hear you’re on the mend!

      • June 24, 2021 8:41 AM

        Hee…hee. I always rise to the bait (grin). I’m hopeful that soon I’ll be able to walk somewhere without being too fatigued to do anything once I get there. I do hope to walk the couple blocks to our farmers market and quick-sketch some people today. It’s a start, or rather a restart (grin).


  1. Dry dock | Shari Blaukopf's Sketchbook

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