I prefer to paint in watercolour without a preparatory sketch to guide the paint marks, working intuitively with a palette of vibrant watercolours to bring the subject spontaneously to life without the constructions of pencil lines.
However, this does not mean that I go straight in with the paint, without thought or preparation. One of the first things I do with my chosen subject is to do a quick (quick meaning approx five minutes max) ink sketch. There are several reasons why I do this... firstly it enables me to plan the composition, how I will place the subject on the paper. Secondly it enables me to get to know the subject more, work out what I want to include and what to leave out - essential to my expressive style of working where what I leave out is just as important as what I decide to include. The drawing gives me the confidence to go straight in with the brushes and paint, and using ink stops me from fiddling and banishes thoughts of erasing ‘mistakes’. Also, over time
I realise that my sketches also help indicate the expressive marks I will make in the finished work.
I share this post as I prepare for my weekly watercolour club tomorrow morning, and sketch out this lovely alert hare I will demonstarate in the morning for my artist students...
By no means does the sketch accurately depict what the finished painting will turn out like, as you can see by my painting below, the point of painting for me is to allow the fluidity of the watercolour pigments the freedom to mix and flow on the paper... here is my demonstration painting...
A half head of hare!
I worked on keeping the information brief and suggestive, avoiding overworking and keeping the brushstrokes expressive.