From The Sketch Book

March 22, 2010

Nice Surprise part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — scottnelson @ 7:35 pm

Pencil sketching by nature has a loose quality that I can never completely recapture when I switch to my finished painting efforts.  With a sketch, the idea is to move fast and not worry about mistakes.  Just let the ideas flow! When you switch to painting though, you tend to tighten up and you actually DO worry about mistakes.  So something is eventually lost in the translation from sketch to finished.   To the left  is my final paint for the Nice Surprise #1  blog I wrote about in my previous post.  There’s nothing wrong with it.  In fact I like it.  But I labored over each line and the paint was put down slowly rather than quickly and haphazardly.  Ironically when I’m teaching my students about painting I DO paint fast and never worry about mistakes. I just crank out the examples of my curriculum  and then throw the samples  in the trash.  Maybe I need to set up my own studio a bit more like the studios at the Worcester Art Museum. Paint standing up, with old worn out paint brushes and on construction paper. If I make a mistake, so what!  I’ll just start again.  Maybe then I’ll be able to capture that lose, spontaneous feeling I’m always trying to capture when I translate from pencil roughs to finished colors.



  1. on the angel/snowman sketch above (which i love btw), is that pencil then watercolor? it looks so soft i’m wondering how you did it. you know, this would have made a good Christmas card submission too 🙂

    Comment by Melissa — May 7, 2010 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

    • Hi Melissa: The sketch is just pencil while the image in color is water color then an ink outline. Believe I went with a 005 line on that one to give it the soft feel but still make it “clean”. Maybe next time I do a scene like this, I’ll try the pencil to soften it up even more. Great suggestion.

      Comment by Anonymous — May 7, 2010 @ 11:50 pm | Reply

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