Daily Sketch (formerly known as “SAD”) #6 : Summer storm

The use of “SAD” for Sketch-A-Day is, well, sad. Therefore, renaming this quest for 30 days of consecutive drawings to “Daily Sketch”.

Had more time today to tackle a slightly complicated sketch. Still not worrying about completing a final composition, working quickly, and focusing on the skills development that daily discipline can bring.

The storm clouds is another painting subject for later this year. It’s going to be a great exercise in the impact of value scales. I’ve included a reference photo this time so you can see how much further this has to go, but despite the incompleteness, the gist is already apparent. I spent about 90 minutes on this today, which is a little disheartening b/c it doesn’t look like much was done, but a lot happened in that time. Used all my pencils – HB, 2B, 4B, and 8B. Also used blending sticks and the gummy eraser to get some cloud effects.

Reference photo of summer storm


While I didn’t get this sketch to the point of realism, I feel confident that I can get it there eventually. I love sketching b/c it can move so fast, but it can be unforgiving in a piece like this as the incessant shading and value blending can do a number on the paper and smooth it out too much to allow for fixing mistakes.

SAD #5: Quick spin on the Carousel


Apologies for the poor photo quality. Sketch time was short today. This is a future painting project, so wanted to use SAD as a way to start gauging the composition. There is a very light reflection in the water, but nowhere near the time commit today to do anything more than a squiggly outline of the carousel in the water.

SAD #3: shadow dancers


After a week of rainy weather, finally had a beautiful day and could sketch outside. This is from my patio into the back corner of the yard. In the spirit of sketching, namely not looking to get a complete drawing, I tried to get the essence of all the late afternoon shadows that make this space so tranquil.

Sketching tree leaves is an exercise in futility, but massing values and giving the hint of texture seems to work. I don’t have much practice with this type of landscape sketch, but it’s very rewarding when you get it right.

The cast shadows were all over the place – trees on trees, on the far fence, on the grass. I had to rework the values frequently, darkening the shadows on the trees to ensure things didn’t get flat, but also to make the far shadows on the fence look like shadows. Of course this was done outside, so the partly cloudy day made the shadows suddenly disappear for 10 minutes at a time. At first this was disruptive, but then I started using this time to review my work and realize where some of the holes were, then when the sun returned I could jump on the fix.

Used a wide range of pencils to get the necessary variations – HB, 2B, 4B and 8B.

27 to go…

SAD #2: air guitar

Ok, if I can muster the motivation on a Friday night, tired, after a couple of cocktails, then maybe 30 days is doable. This is #2, “air guitar”, inspired by my all-encouraging wife and her suggestion to draw something from memory based on the movie we watched tonight. I think she was just messing with me, but turned out ok for a 30 minute effort. BTW, the movie was called “Rudderless”, and I highly recommend it.

28 left…