Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Sketches from Croatia - Part 6 - Sketching in Orebic

We pulled away from Korcula one morning on a ferry bound for the mainland where we would be sketching in the seaside resort of Orebic. That day, everyone chose their own view to sketch, and I picked this pretty iron gate. The flowers drew me in. I loved the way the pink flowers played off the deep red of the ironwork. The dramatic shadows on the stone were an added bonus.

Ink & watercolor in a 7" x 7" handmade sketchbook filled with 140 lb. Kilimanjaro watercolor paper

This is my favorite kind of sketching - being on location, absorbing the sights and sounds around me while drawing and painting quickly and loosely.

To paint the flowering shrub, I first spattered masking fluid to create random-sized spots that could later be filled with color. I also painted on masking fluid with a brush where I wanted larger masses of flowers. 

After the masking fluid had dried, a wet-in-wet wash of yellow-green was applied to the dry paper. I softened some of the edges to blend out the color. While the paint was still wet, I touched in darker blue-green in shadow areas and added spots of permanent rose.

I like to amp up the color of drab gray stones when I'm painting. For the stonework in this sketch, I prettied up the colors by adding touches of blue and pink to a wet wash of yellow ochre.

For the shadows, I used lavender mixed from cobalt blue and  permanent rose with a touch of Payne's gray to tone it down a bit.

In Orebic that day, I took breaks periodically to check on my students who were scattered up and down the waterfront so I could offer help with drawing, page layouts and painting. I always enjoy seeing what caught their eye and how they chose to express it. We all met up for lunch later at an outdoor cafe by the sea.

One of the assignments I gave my students during the Croatia workshop was to create a "flow sketch" to document one of our touring days. A flow sketch features images which are connected to form a chain of events. They may be connected with lines, arrows, dashes, dots, etc.

Ink & watercolor, 14" x 7", 140 lb. Kilimanjaro watercolor paper

My flow sketch features our day trip to Orebic. The layout was inspired by the colorful string of flags that greeted us each time we arrived back at the Lovric Pension after a fun day of touring and painting. The individual sketches were interspersed with the international flags that we saw fluttering overhead each day. The cord they were suspended from was my timeline connector.

I had pre-painted this two-page spread earlier with a variegated wash of watercolor, giving me a foundation of color that would serve as the lightest values throughout the painting process.

Our morning bus ride from the Lovric to the harbor was sketched in first...

then I added the ferry ride across the channel. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we got a great view of the historic walled city of Korcula as we headed for Orebic.

My morning of sketching was chronicled next.

And I was pretty excited about the delicious gluten-free roasted veggie pizza I had for lunch!

Everyone was quiet on the ferry ride back to Korcula - a day in the fresh air (and a drink or two at lunch!) will do that to you.

Dinner that evening wasn't pretty - it was something similar to meatballs, plus a flavorful pureed soup, and peas - but it tasted good, and I dutifully recorded it on my timeline.

That evening a group of us attended the Moreška Sword Dance in Korcula Town, where we sat under a clear starlit sky watching costumed dancers perform what has been a Croatian tradition since the 16th century.

The flags from various European countries added liveliness and color to the page. 

A flow sketch is a great way to capture the highlights of a day in your sketchbook. There are an endless number of ways to lay out the page and connect your images. I've used this style of sketch for travel days...

a day in Maine...

and even a recipe sketch, where the connectors were watermelon seeds!

Think about what you could illustrate using a flow sketch, then give it a try!

If you missed my earlier posts of Croatia sketches and would like to catch up, here are the links:

1 comment:

  1. I'm so frightful at color mixing. I'll have to try to duplicate your lavender!


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