Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Simple Still Life

orange watercolor pumpkin Little Jack
5" x 3" watercolor on paper
Stacy L. Rowan

This little pumpkin was an exercise in "keeping my brushes wet" (kmbw). Using Rose's Daily Inks as inspiration, I decided to choose a simple still life subject and paint it quickly working from a loose contour drawing. I set a target time of 15 minutes for the whole process. Although truthfully, I didn't set a timer or anything so I might have gone over by a few. I do know that I painted quicker than normal and that was my intention.

I really enjoyed the exercise and plan to repeat it - with new subjects of course - several times a week if possible. My goal is to paint more regularly and to focus on capturing the essence of the subject with few details.

As you've probably noticed, I typically paint in a controlled, detailed style. I enjoy painting this way, but also want to be confident painting over a broader range of the loose-controlled spectrum. Skill and confidence with a loose, quick style would be excellent for creating plein aire sketches. Sketches that could be used at a later date to develop studio paintings.

As for the goal of painting more regularly...well, of course I would love to paint every day because I love painting. But life often gets in the way, and I can go several days or more without painting at all. Setting a 15 minute limit makes the goal of painting more regularly seem manageable. And painting small, finished works in that time will allow me to update this blog more frequently. Plus I have something else in the works that will benefit from the output of these exercises. I'm still working out the details, but promise to share more later in the month.

7 comments:

Rose Welty said...

Stacy, I love it! I don't set a timer either, for me the kids are enough of a timer. I'm so glad you are trying out the quickie idea. :D

africantapestry said...

this is a great little study for 15 minutes! I love those darks, nicely accentuating the round "cheeks".
Ronell

Jeanette said...

This is such a nice little sketch Stacy. Its amazing just what you can fit into a small time period.

I try to fit in a few minutes here and there during my day and it surprises me how much can be done with even 10 minutes.

Stacy said...

Thanks Rose for the comment and the idea! I will definitely be trying some more.

Ronell, I went bold with the darks. I want my guiding words for these studies to be quick, bold and fun.

I agree Jeanette, it is amazing what can be accomplished in a short time when you set your mind to it. I'm trying to make better use of the snippets I get throughout the day.

bluelilac said...

Great idea Stacy especially with your busy schedule.
This is important.
You inspire me.

Love
Blue

Robyn said...

You inspire me too, Stacy with this post, I can almost hear myself saying these things. Maybe in November after my daughter deserts me again for Australia I should try to follow yours and Rose's lead.

Beautiful study of your little pumpkin - I particularly admire the stem.

Stacy said...

Thanks Blue! Yes, it is important and it is something I need to work on. With friends cheering me on it should be easier.

Thank you Robyn! I'm finding that saying it is the easy part. Carving out 10 or 15 minutes a day -- harder than I thought. But practice makes perfect right? Well... if not perfect, at least better. Please do follow our lead, because selfishly I'd love to see more of your work. :)