Sketching in watercolor with Pocket Sketching/ the focal point

Does Urban Sketching or watercolor have to take a lot of time?  The Pocket Sketch in the last entry from the Huntington Library Chinese Garden took 30 minutes.  What I didn’t tell you, was the focal point was supposed to be the brilliant sunlight to the left of the little building.  That’s what caught my eye.  It extended to the red bush on the left side.  This one has no focal point!!!  It’s all of the same interest.

When we are outside it is to very easy to let the focal point slip in watercolor, pastel, oil or even drawing.  You have to “stay on task”, as they say in business,  (“stay on point” if you’re a bird dog)!

The confusion in the first sketch (misnamed “Japanese Garden”), shows the loss of focal point.  The second one may not be fantastic, but I learned from John Singer Sargent’s watercolors you can obliterate a lot with a ‘dark’ and throw the attention back to the focal point.  It works. 

I don’t like re-working sketches because they lose vitality, but this was a ‘loser’ anyway.  Why not learn from a bad sketch?

The Tucson winter sketch was an accident, mentioned below.  I am now forced to consider this change to all my teaching.  This is a paradigm shift!

News from Pocket Sketching:  the schedule has changed again.

  1. The Refresher workshop Jan 23 – Jan 25 is full.
  2. Because of Michelle Miley and an accident where I didn’t take the Pilot Pen last week, but had only a ballpoint, something new is being added to workshops.
  3. There is a new basic workshop Feb. 9, 10, 11. Bring a friend and you get 10% off.  Send a friend and they get 10% off.  I get to try new things here.
  4. There is one “Instructor’s Workshop” February 27 through March 3, pretty much by demand from an East Coast person who wants to teach Pocket Sketching. I cannot ignore her anymore!
  5. There’s one more ‘refresher workshop” in Tucson, March 13, 14, 15 at Tohono Chul Park, jofalls@tohonochul.org.  If you’re getting ‘rusty’and want to learn more, you’ll love this!

Next blog probably highlights spring  travels.  I promised we wouldn’t travel anymore.  I lied!  We have a workshop coming up in Tubac and one in Santa Fe.  Then in summer  I have to get out of Tucson in June and later Dale has to go to Dillman’s in upper Wisconsin, www. Dillmans.com.  The Chautauqua Institute in New York has invited me back.  Can’t turn that down!  So we still have to travel!

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