Thursday, November 28, 2013

Noyo Harbor Watercolor Sketch

I'm working on an oil painting of a downtown Sacramento scene.  The focus is strong evening light on a beautiful, very old highrise with lots of deep shadows in the foreground.  I'm trying very hard to maintain the light and the shadows as the star of the painting without getting lost in architectural detail or people in the shadows.  On a couple of occasions, when I've felt the urge to began 'refining' the scene, I've stopped and broken out the watercolors.  With big brushes and washes and very little planning, I dive in.  With only a quarter sheet of watercolor paper and an hour of time at risk, it's easy to just let go.

This quick sketch took about an hour.  I used a plein air oil painting I did a year ago in Noyo Harbor at Fort Bragg, California for the subject matter.  It's obvious I'm still learning watercolor technique.  My washes are overworked and my painting approach is clearly that of an oil painter...strong and even a bit ham-handed...but I really enjoy these little sketches.  In a very short time it's done for better or worse.  I plan to try the same subject on a half sheet next...and with a bit more pre-planning.  Meanwhile, it's back to the shadows and the skyscraper.
Watercolor Study Noyo Harbor, CA   W/C on paper  approx 10"x14"


My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

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