SKETCHBOOK RESCUE: GOUACHE SUMMARY PAINTING for the spectacularly hideous

JEEVES STOP EYEBALLING ME! © 2013 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN. Gouache over a mess..

JEEVES STOP EYEBALLING ME! © 2013 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN. Gouache over a mess..

EXPERIENCE IS SIMPLY THE NAME WE GIVE OUR MISTAKES.
Oscar Wilde

Often people tell me that they are reluctant to keep a dedicated sketchbook because they are afraid of ” messing it up”. One of the best reasons to keep a sketchbook is to have the opportunity to mess something up that does not involve the IRS. If you have not made something hideously spectacular lately- you are not trying hard enough.

GOUACHE SUMMARY PAINTING is the answer to the page with an offending image.

My biggest issue in this regard is with the drawing that is left unfinished or barely started. A few meaningless scribbles on a  blank-ish page really bugs me. Gouache is opaque so it will cover the prior imagery nicely, and one can do a summary painting right on top.

SUMMARY FLORAL. © 2013 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN. GOUACHE on a hot mess...

SUMMARY FLORAL. © 2013 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN. GOUACHE on a hot mess…

Keeping the goals modest is key in this kind of work. Remember that patterns of light & broad shape relationships form the most communicative messages to a viewer. This type of work is VERY GOOD for those who are self critical: if the page was a loss at the start the only way to go is up.

1. Limit the session to 20 minutes or less.

2. Try to capture the pattern of light immediately.

3. Concentrate on the integrity of shapes, but not DETAILS. DETAILS are hobgoblins. They lead a lot of people astray, myself included. LESS IS MORE.

4. Allow about 5 minutes for PARTICULARS: specifics that are idiosyncratic to your subject. In the first example, having a precise set to the woman’s face  was important and particular. It was the moment of greatest contrast and the focal point.

So…I gotta go. I have some pages to paint…….

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7 Responses to “SKETCHBOOK RESCUE: GOUACHE SUMMARY PAINTING for the spectacularly hideous”

  1. oolung Says:

    Good advice! And yes, I’m one of those who find a messed up work in an otherwise brilliant (akhem… akhem… modesty! Ha ha) sketchbook really annoying 🙂 This is why scribbles on random pieces of paper sometimes give you more freedom to experiment.

  2. Joe Baderean Says:

    Having messed up several sketchbooks I am reluctant to start another one. Thanks for your advice.
    Btw, what does the term ‘summary painting’ mean? Never heard of it.

    Regards
    Joe

    • invincible pioneer Says:

      Well summary painting is just another term for a painting that tries to describe the essentials w/o a goal of highly labored or developed results. I think I heard it first in the 80’s at the ART STUDENT’S LEAGUE. Some people might call them sketches but I like the term because it implies the goal of taking on the ” whole” in a targeted manner.

      On the idea of ” messing up”: most of the time people feel this way when they are aiming for a particular skill or manner of result. I can testify to the fact that this thinking only gets in the way of development. By accepting what hits the page as a milestone for the moment, you will be more able to see the things that are ” right” about the page—because there will be things ” right” for sure. The book is a good form because if you keep with it over time..a few volumes down the road you will be able to see your development in a very visceral manner.This does everything for confidence and is a big leap toward a personal point of view. It can also be a way to constantly be working: a small book can be used in the 15 minutes on line at the market, the doctor’s office, etc… Establishing ” flow” is much easier when you sit down to do more comprehensive work because you are never truly ” out of flow” in the first place! Try a multimedia journal so you will have the choice of diversity to suit your mood: I like the STILLMAN AND BIRN ALPHA. Although the paper says ” light washes” I just did a heavily worked gouache tonight on the back of a marker sketch and there was no show through. You will be able to work both sides of the pages in these books due to the paper sizing, so I think they are worth the investment for sure.
      Have you hit those books with some acrylic or collage? Try to transform what you do not like into an experience you can enjoy!

  3. Joe Baderean Says:

    Thanks for your detailed answer.
    Acrylic or collages in a sketchbook? Never done that but I’ll give them a try.

    Regards
    Joe

    • invincible pioneer Says:

      If you have a sketchbook with good paper you can work pretty broadly–try to use a multimedia paper would be my advice… or at least 80lb. weight

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