30×30 Watercolor 2019, Part 1
The 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge 2019 has been great encouragement for me to sketch more this month. (You can also see what I completed last year). The guidelines of the challenge suggest to dive straight in to watercolor with no preliminary sketching, and I’m using the opportunity to paint small and fast. In preparation for my next expedition–Witnessing Climate Change, 45 Years in the Arctic–I’ve been starting to explore imagery from Cooper Island, using inspiration such as . Each sketch is approximately 3.5″ x 5.5″, and I’ve also been playing with the colors Big Impact Special Edition Pocket Palette.
The palette includes some of my favorite colors, including yellow ochre and cerulean blue chromium. Much of what I anticipate observing includes subtle changes in the complementary colors of blues, greys, against oranges and browns.
Experimenting with Daniel Smith’s lavender has been an unexpected delight. It’s a wonderful short-cut for my favorite semi-opaque dusty mixes.
While sketching, I’m thinking about simplifying and focusing on light and gesture.
The scientist I’m collaborating with, George Divoky, researches Black Guillemots on Cooper Island. Guillemots are seabirds that are members of the auk or alcid family. They have bright red feet and bright red mouth.
I think they’re pretty cute. I’m mixing my darks with Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.
Cooper Island is located just 25 miles east of Point Barrow and I’ll be spending some time in the town of Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow) when not on the Island.
I’d like to practice more sketches of buildings and roads, loosely depicting the emotional feel of them without every detail. These next sketches I completed while out with family. They’re fast and simple, and I think I could have focused more on big shapes and mixing wet-on-wet colors into each other. I always remind myself, practice not perfection.
People are a subject I’d like to study more, too. I’m much more comfortable with landscapes. This is a quick sketch of my daughter playing with a friend.
I find many of my moments to sketch in the time “in between,” in between errands, in between transit, sometimes it’s just a few minutes, but even so, it’s fun to pull out my Art Toolkit and splash some paint on paper. This was a fast sketch completed while my daughter played, looking over the Salish Sea.
I’ll post the remainder of my 30×30 sketches in a follow-up post, stay tuned and happy sketching!
10 Responses to “30×30 Watercolor 2019, Part 1”
That polar bear! White on white and still so very well defined …
Thanks for sharing your sketches & the reminder of “practice, not perfection”. A question for you: do you label your pans in your pocket palette? If so, how? I’m thinking I need to somehow label the undersides so I can tell which color is which as I reload & rearrange the palette over time. Or can most ppl tell at a glance which color is which?
Hi Celeste, I usually make a small swatch card the with my colors. I put clear packing tape around to keep it clean and store it with my palette. That way I can see my colors at a glance.
I love your subjects and your art! Do you teach? Do you take new students that have no experience? I am on Whidbey Island until the fall and would love to study with you.
Hi Cynthia, I teach about once a quarter with the Port Townsend School of the Arts and occasionally with other organizations. I absolutely welcome beginners. :) My newsletter is the best place to hear about new workshops, I hope you can join me!
I would love to purchase a copy of Guillemot on ice, photo inspiration from George Divoky!!! I love it!!
Awww, thank you! I’ll follow up with an email. :)
Thank you once again for sharing your art with us you are an inspiration . I love the way you manage to show the interest and beauty of the places you are sketching , not a lot of detail but the story comes through. Have a lovely and peaceful Christmas and a healthy and happy 2020.
Thank you, Isabel! Best wishes to you as well for the holidays and new year.