The bag is packed. All the decisions are made about what sketch supplies to bring. And I’m Amsterdam-bound today for a little over a week of joining people from around the world at the 10th Urban Sketchers Symposium. It will be my fourth year attending and first time in Amsterdam, so I know I’m in for a wild and wonderful ride. After all, I can sleep when I get back home!
So this sketch does not qualify as an “urban sketch” because it was not done on location, but in my studio, from a tourist pic on line. It’s a practice run, since I’ve never sketched a canal and they are everywhere in Amsterdam. This one was a study of what happens with reflections in the water, and how much of the bicycle you need to put into a sketch to make it read “bikes” which are as omnipresent as the canals.
Another bicycle practice. It’s sort of like studying the anatomy of the human body which one does in figure studios. Getting those circles and ellipses is a challenge.
Also I dove right into this one and later thought about the perspective of the buildings. I think I’ll start with pencil lines mapping that out before the painting, rather than after.
And then the reflections in the canal. Why not just bring the paint loaded brush down into the water after painting the trees and buildings? That could save time and integrate the painting.
I added some Naples Yellow to my palette, a pigment that might help to create a warm subdued glow on the city surfaces. Also I’m bringing an extra teeny palette with some white and colored gouache to add highlights.
Now how does one sketch from these bridges which are everywhere and frequented by fast moving bicycles at the very least? Hmmm. Well, soon I’ll find out! I’ll be posting on Instagram and Facebook while gone and back here on the blog by August 1st.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer!