1. Using a pencil, I carefully draw the pumpkin. Drawing is all about really looking. As my eye follows along the edge of the pumpkin, I draw that shape on my paper. I try to look at the object I'm drawing about 80% of the time, and the paper 20% of the time. Go slowing. Sketch lightly. You can always erase. Just draw the basic shapes you see, don't think about what it is or how is 'should' look.
permanent pen over the pencil line
2. Using a black waterproof pen, I trace the pencil lines I've just drawn. Erase the pencil lines.
first stage of watercolor
3. With watercolor (a child's PRANG set works great!), using plenty of water, mix the paint in the top of the palette (or on a white plate). I've started with the color that I see the most of in the pumpkin. A medium yellow orange. Important, leave some of the white of the page. It adds sparkle.
4. Again, mixing your color in the top of the palette, mix blue and brown to create a greyish brown. (Look carefully at the color of your subject and just play with mixing colors on the palette, until you get the closest one.) Paint the stem, leaving some white, this time portraying the texture of the stem.
5. I finished by adding darker values (colors) to the pumpkin. the darker shades of orange, and the darker shades of brown in the stem. See what a difference the white of the paper makes?
6. A border or frame for you journal pages really completes the page. In pencil, I doodled a border, partially enclosing the pumpkin and creating a space for text. Then I filled in the doodle with ink, and erased the pencil lines.
a finished journal page.
(5x7" in my Moleskine Watercolor Journal)
7. Fill the space with brilliant, witty words...or just write about your day.
I hope this mini-lesson inspires you to give "Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style" a try. When I teach workshops, my hope is that my students will fall in love with drawing, just like I have, and will be inspired to keep a sketchbook. For me, it’s the act of drawing and painting that I love so much. Drawing from life helps you become more aware of your surroundings, whether at home or away. Drawing reveals what otherwise may be missed. Sitting still allows you to be more aware the sounds and smells and really see the random detail that makes up life.