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Monday, August 23, 2010

How to Make Quick Watercolour Sketch PART3

Hi, Friends, a loose style looks care-free. But, in fact, it requires calculated spontaneity.
The calculated spontaneity, I mean, is a good balance between unexpected outcomes(eg.wet-in-wet, brush stroke) and planned results(eg. color unity, value). It gives a picture a "rhythm" -- movement marked by the regulated succession of "strong and weak" elements, or of "opposite or different" conditions." In short, "contrast."

"Value" and "color" are handy tools to make a contrast.
this experiment, compare a traditional style (left) with a loose style (right). *size A4In the loose one, "light" and "colors" are the main concerns. A rest of other information is omitted. Simplified value = Less medium value area, is the key.

Opposite or opposite-like colors make a strong contrast. They work for darks to emphasize values.
For example, red plays up dark with blue in the hair. There, I "intentionally" made a big happy accident, wet-in-wet. Lucky!Further, in the loose style, color use is much brighter than the traditional work. Yellowish green for a blouse boosts up a contrast to the light purple hair, added with only one big stroke. Another happy accident! But keep an eye on color unity of a whole picture, while making a contrast.
As we see above, in quickies, playful colours and reinforced values make vivid contrasts set by an artist. Bouncy and less brush strokes make happy accidents. Plus, only important parts remain and unnecessary information is gone. Viewers enjoy a comfortable rhythm in a fresh and lively picture.

If color use is very challenging, please try lots of "black and white." (commissioned work pencil, A2). B&W practice certainly shows how to simplify a subject and a choice of color.

So, for a loose style, cook a subject with an intensified contrast in unique colors that characterize your work yummy! Then, forget a rest of other factors.

Simple is best.
Calculated spontaneity stays between instinct and techniques. That's a quickie.

Please remember, aiming too high never achieves anything. Get lost? Go back to B&W.

And DON'T forget celebrating your achievement!
Here's Teri's wonderful blog, "The Twenty Minutes Challenge." I really love the blog's spirit. Go and upload your precious work and let us share your joy.

Lastly, I dedicate this say for YOU, all readers and myself,

Yesterday's dream is Today's truth and Tomorrow's reality.

just do it! You'll find a way. Feel free to leave comments. Qs are Welcome. I hope my contradicted writing makes sense to you.

Next week, I'll chat over "face expression," as Irina mentioned. Thank you for great interest and wonderful friendship.
Happy everyday painting!!



  1. Great post, Sadami. Too bad my hand doesn't follow my brain and do exactly as you say. LOL I suppose that's where the practice, practice, practice part comes in.......You are a wonderful teacher.

  2. Thank you, Carol! Please don't be tough on you!! Never! Joy must be the Alpha and the Omega in any art activity. "I like it and I do it," is very important. Let's have fun and share joy with us. And I'm not a wonderful teacher, a life-long learner!!
    Cheers, Sadami

  3. waow, it's so interesting and great work !

  4. Hi Sadami,

    Thank you for this post. The lesson is great; the inspiration is in every word.

    I love the guy's expression on his face (the first painting). It is shown so well how he is proud of using i-Pod/cell phone and even his eyes don't see too well now, he still tries to read the text with the pride and curiosity.

    The lady on the second painting (she looks like librarian) her light smile shows a very nice person; and her blue bright eyes reveal a very young person inside.

    Thank you,

  5. Dear Olivia,
    Thank you! Your work is, too, so interesting and great. I'm learning lots from you.
    Cheers, Sadami

  6. Wow, Irina, how could you know them all??! Indeed, what I wanted to show was the old gentleman enjoying a mobile. He clicked it again and again! The lady is my admiring linguistics prof advocating endangered languages, particularly, Australian indigenous languages. A physical age is, I have to say, already 'after a middle age'. But she is very much mischievous & enthusiastic for research and education. I often feel she is much like an innocent child and forever young. Thank you for the nice comment that means I could successfully send what I felt!
    Cheers, Sadami

  7. Thanks Sadami. So much to learn. Great work. This is a good lesson. I will definitely keep trying!

  8. Hi, Evelyn,
    Thanks millions! Just have fun and we can help each other!
    Cheers, Sadami

  9. I have been looking forward to this post all week. You have definitely inspired me. Your advice is invaluable. And people are so interesting.
    One question i haw is, can you translate the size of A4 and A7 into American measurements?

    Thanks for the link for our TMC. There is such a wonderful variety of work there.

  10. Le personnage masculin âgé est très expressif
    j'aime beaucoup!

  11. Thank you, Teri!
    Wow, I'm learning lots from your Q.
    A series is based on
    International Standards Organization (ISO)
    A6 148x105mm
    A5 148x210mm
    A4 297x210mm
    A3 297x420mm
    A2 594x420mm
    A1 594x841mm
    A0 1189x841mm

    North American paper sizes
    Size in × in mm × mm
    Letter 8.5 × 11 216 × 279
    Legal 8.5 × 14 216 × 356
    Junior Legal 8.0 × 5.0 203 × 127
    Ledger[3] 17 × 11 432 × 279
    Tabloid 11 × 17 279 × 432

    So, US letter size is the closest to A4.
    In Japan, B size is common. (In my eyes, B size looked smaller than A series.) If you google "paper size," lot of information comes up.
    Hope this some help for you, Teri.
    Kind regards, Sadami

  12. Dear Evrard,
    Thank you for a kind comment! Me, too. I love that work, too.
    Cheers, Sadami
    >>>>>Evrard said...
    The older male character is very expressive
    I love it!

  13. Thanks, that helps a lot.
    One more question: do you sketch with a pencil before you paint or go right to paint?
    Thanks again.

  14. Well, I should say, thanks again for those measurements. I often see these used and was never sure how to interpret them. That means you are working a lot bigger than I thought. More inspiration.

  15. Hi, Teri! I sketch with a pencil before watercolor. But it depends on subjects and my feeling. Sometimes, feel like jumping into color.
    Cheers, Sadami

  16. I just read your three part series ... what wonderful advice! I immediatly want to incorportate it in some of my animal paintings. I'm happiest when I 'catch the moment.'

    I look forward to reading your older posts.

  17. Hi sadami your posts are fun and info combined!Thanks for sharing...

  18. Dear Elva,
    Thank you for a kind comment and visit. I love your humane eyes to "life." Please keep up your wonderful work.
    Kind regards, Sadami

  19. Hi, Arti, your blog is, too, very interesting and beautiful. Enjoy art work lots and lots!
    Cheers, Sadami

  20. These are beautiful drawings! I love the colors you use.

  21. Dear Kelly,
    Thank you!! I love your black and white.
    Cheers, Sadami

  22. さりげない日常生活で見る人たちのスケッチは見ていて楽しいですね。私もクイックスケッチしたくなりました。

  23. Dear Osamu,
    Have fun!! I love the beauty in our daily life.
    Cheers, Sadami
    >>>Osamu said...
    Fun to see quick sketches of people in daily life. I feel like trying it.