Monday, November 28, 2016

Vernazza Sketch + GIVEAWAY

When I visited Italy in September, I only had two full days to explore the towns of Cinque Terre, but we managed to see four of the five villages, and that was without rushing around too much. We had leisurely lunches and hours of meandering, plus time spent sketching. One of my favorite experiences was sitting at the harbor in Vernazza with my friend Jan, sketching the old buildings that hug the seaside. It was so quiet and relaxing, just sitting, chatting, drawing, watching, and absorbing it all. That's the way I like to travel.

10" x 7" ink & watercolor in Handbook Field Watercolor Journal. Drawn with a Platinum Carbon fountain pen filled with Platinum Carbon black ink.

I completed the drawing of the Vernazza harborside buildings onsite, leaving room around the edge of the page for a border to be added later.


When it came time to paint the sketch, I decided to give the whole page a base wash of color. I wet the entire page with clear water, then brushed on streaks of primary colors (Permanent Rose, Ultramarine Blue, and Yellow Ochre). Tilting the page, I allowed the colors to run and blend, spraying with a fine mist of water when I wanted the color to move more. When I was pleased with the look of the wash, I let it dry completely.


I like how a colorful underwash unifies a page. It also serves as the lightest color for some of the objects on the page. So when you begin painting your sketch, some of the work is already done for you. All you have to do is add the mid-tones and darks.


I usually save the border design for last, so I can choose a style that complements my sketch. This time I chose a Zentangle design that I found on Pinterest. I drew it with my Platinum Carbon fountain pen, then painted it with the same colors I had used in my sketch. It coordinates with the sketch but still provides enough contrast to frame it nicely.


And now, here's a reminder about the DECEMBER GIVEAWAY...


You can enter for a chance to win a set of five American Journey Interlocked Synthetic Brushes (a $38.69 value) plus a handy Cheap Joe's Folding Brush Holder (a $14.69 value) to keep them all in, courtesy of the friendly folks at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on one or all of the seven sketches I'll be posting between November 27 and December 3. Yes, you may enter multiple times! 

The drawing will be held on December 7, 2016.

Each day I'll ask a question that you can answer in the comments, if you like. It's a good way for us to get to know one another. The question for today is...

What is your favorite way to be creative?
(Cooking, painting, gardening, sewing...?)

Leave a comment below. Good luck!

33 comments:

  1. Great underpainting! I love weaving creativity into everything I do :-)

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  2. Interesting buildings and shapes, I guess that is an older era fortification on the left? Love it.
    I would say my favorite way to be creative? Is to just get outside take a nice hike or do a little kayaking, spending time communing with natures gets me in a creative mood, that inspires me and then its painting, drawing or sketching.

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  3. This work helps me to see how to leave out the little stuff, stick with the basic patterns. I always over draw, adding too much detail.

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  4. I love to do mixed media where I combine collage, acrylic paint, watercolor and color pencil.

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  5. Thanks for explaining the wash for the background. My creativity is always with me, whether it be painting/sketching, wool hooking, and quilting.

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  6. Love this sketch and your helpful tips Leslie!! Thank you. In addition to sketching I love to knit. Birdwatching and gardening follow close behind.

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  7. My favorite way to be creative varies. Sometimes it is with pen and ink, other times I do nothing but watercolor. And then there is mixed media...

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  8. My favorite way to be creative is sewing. I have found quilting soothes the savage beast in me. I have always drawn & sketched and when I was younger, I sculpted a little. I absolutely adore the Vernazza sketches. Have a good day

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  9. Painting in a Leslie Fehling workshop!

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    1. You're so funny, Pat! I'd love to have you in every workshop I teach. :)

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  10. I like painting first followed closely by mosaics!

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  11. Right now my favorite way to be creative is decorating for the holidays and getting into the Christmas spirit!

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  12. My favorite way to relax is anything having to do with a brush and watercolor. I love to watch the color flow from the brush and across the paper!

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  13. One way I expressed my creativity was through paper pieced quilting.

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  14. Love the soft colors of your underwash. Vernazza looks beautiful. Being creative is such a big part of my life---first as a teacher of first graders for many years, but I have always loved embroidery, stitchery, sewing, and now sketching and painting.

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  15. Frankly, my favorite way to be creative is to go sketching on location. I go to a different local location once a week with another artist. It's always a challenge to find something interesting to sketch and it really stretches my artistic vision.

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  16. I love art journaling and nature printing and I love looking at your beautiful watercolor sketches!

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  17. A daily art journal is my favorite. I also do beadweaving and my job for the last 30 years as a picture framer has been great.

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  18. Painting is currently my favorite. It is interesting that I tried a similar underpaintingbtechnique in my journal yesterday before I read your post. Mine was not as successful as yours but I'm encouraged to try it again now.

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  19. My favorite is definitely painting and about 2 yrs ago I began my journey with watercolors and I have fallen deeply in love with them.

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  20. Love your Border!
    so my favorite way to be creative is cooking and painting and right now-getting ready for Christmas! Sometimes just a stroll through an antique shop makes me come home and dig out some old silver or wooden bowl that I arrange with some little special ornaments and scented pinecones. Thanks for your posts.

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  21. I really love the rainbow of washes you used in this wonderful sketch! What a great idea!

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  22. Playing in my art journal is my best gateway to creativity, probably because I'm not attached to the outcome and afraid of making mistakes. I love the vibrancy of your artwork and the way you create the borders.

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  23. I loved Vernazza! Your rendition of the waterfront is wonderful. I love to sew, and I enjoy learning new crafts. I am also enjoying experimenting with watercolor.

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  24. Like many have already commented, your underpainting is so cool! It adds depth and interest, this I gotta try.
    Favorite way to be creative? I was going to say sketching and painting but I think I love the chance to add creative touches to lots of areas of my life...even house cleaning! To keep things interesting.

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  25. Thanks for the chance to win and for sharing your drawings! My most favorite way to be creative is drawing and painting in my art journal. In it I use all kinds of mediums, plain pen and ink drawing, colored pencils, water colors, stencils, stamping, and mixed media as well. I feel free to do whatever suites my fancy at the time!
    ~Gin K.~

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  26. For years I've been into oils but lately I'm interested in learning to express myself using watercolors and journaling. This giveaway is fun because Dec. 7th is my birthday!
    Elaine in Bradenton, FL

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  27. I cook, I quilt, I knit... but I love to draw and paint the most!

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  28. Sewing. I love creating through fabric and thread...oh, and beads, yarns, etc.

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  29. I enjoy many ways of creating but must say that photography and painting are at the top of the list and most often employed forms. ;)

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  30. Thank you for letting me (us all) peek into what must have been an amazing adventure. I can imagine that as you finish details at home and write these blog posts, that you are reliving your joyous journey all over again. I have been on two separate study tours to Israel and amidst the intense schedule, managed to make some quick sketches. I finished both journals after returning home, but it was the quick sketches on site that express the most. Finishing the journal at home was its own reward, though, for I lived again those vivid memories. Thanks again for sharing and for teaching as you share.

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  31. Presently the way I feel most creative is by doing what is most successful for me at the time. For now, its gardening. I have a small patch to tend in front of my home that I recreate with every season. I just planted beautiful rosey poinsettias and white vincas among deep burgundy celosia. So far so good!
    Last month, I painted 2 nightstands and colorfully spatter painted inside the drawers. I felt very creative and they turned out really cute!

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  32. I like to sketch when I have time

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