Sydney based artist and architect Liz Steel uses her architectural background for an analytical and conceptual approach to art. We welcome her to Joy’s Garden Salon.
Gestural Strokes in Pencil
“A few quick gestural pencil lines allowed me to work faster and more confidently, with stronger lines.”
This week in the Foundations Re-run we are looking at Minimal Setup and I believe this is a super important concept for quick lively sketching. Doing a few quick guidelines on the page first (what I call setup) can really take the pressure off your ink lines allowing them to be more expressive.
A lot of people are very adamant that drawing directly in ink is the only way to go, but I don’t agree that this is always the best answer.
The Big Picture
In the past, I found that a few quick gestural pencil lines allowed me to work faster and more confidently, with stronger lines. The key is that I wasn’t trying to achieve a super accurate outline with the pencil, instead it was a quick gestural mapping out of the big picture.
These days I don’t use pencil lines anymore and I am much more confident working directly in ink. My direct ink work is normally when I do ink-only sketches – such as these two.
A Softer Option
However, if I’m sketching a complex scene in watercolour (with or without ink) I still like having ‘a soft option’ for the first marks on the page. And so my starting with watercolour is often a form of minimal setup – either starting with shape or drawing a few guidelines in paint first.
Here are a few watercolor sketching examples:
I would love to hear form you – what type of setup (if at all) do you typically use? Join the salon>
watercolor sketching Australia