Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Sketching: Why Sketch?

Boating Through the Swinnomish Channel
So...why sketch? And what IS sketching?

A sketch is a quick study. It may record a memory or a visual idea, or something you see in front of you. I particularly enjoy sketching something in front of me in watercolor. Why?
  • While sketching, I enter into the beauty of what I am seeing.
  • I sharpen my observation skills as I note shape, color, value.
  • I let go of preconceived ideas of what things look like. For example, a tree is not just green.
  • The colors and lines I use express my feelings about the object as well as my general state of mind.
  • I let go of daily worries and fears and enter into a state of peaceful rapport with my subject.
  • I capture treasured memories, like this one of gliding through the Swinnomish Channel in my sailboat.
I want this experience for you. That is why I am putting together a little sketch book with tips and techniques for watercolor sketching, and three kinds of paper for you to play with.


  1. Good points about the benefits of sketching vs just taking a photo. Your Sketching in Watercolor book sounds interesting. Will it be available as a hardcover book or as a downloadable pdf? When?

    1. I plan to make this by hand, with several different kinds of paper to practice on. Labor intensive, I know. I even bought a book binder (coil binding) so that I can put it all together in my studio!