Yellow Rose sketch

Sketchbook Rose – 7 x 10

While I work on some larger projects to prepare some paintings for shows, here’s a page from a Canson Montval sketchbook with a full blown Descanso rose. I didn’t spend a lot of time working on the subtle turn of each petal and leaf – I just wanted to get the colors of the late afternoon light falling on the blossom and leaves.

In retrospect, I see that I need to push back some of the petals so the bloom doesn’t look quite so separate from the background (even though it did look crisp with hard edges in real life.) I could use some complements to glaze over and do that, but I think I’d just risk overworking it too much. I’ve made a mental note of what I need to do, so this sketch has served its purpose. I used a lot of new gamboge, bright red, prussian blue and mauve for this one, and too many other colors to recall. Look for this in a larger version, coming soon.

Art thought of the day from Frank La Lumia, plein air painter, as interviewed by Molly Siple in American Artist:
The way you see things must be different from the way the average person sees the world. It’s important to be able to mentally break down nature into patters of color and value relationships. Until you can think abstractly, you will be at the mercy of leaves, branches and other details of nature.”

Yup, that’s the rub … where is the sweet spot that’s right for me between abstraction and realism? This is my koan of the moment. If you’re a painter, it yours, too?

Comments

  1. Jo Castillo
    April 24, 2007

    “Yup, that’s the rub … where is the sweet spot that’s right for me between abstraction and realism? This is my koan of the moment. If you’re a painter, it yours, too?”

    You did get that right, Karen. Your sketches and paintings have been great lately, I just haven’t had time to comment. Love this and will anxiously await the next. –Jo

  2. Ronell
    April 24, 2007

    I love this one Karen…can see how you would like to soften the contrast a bit, but in this case I do like it and especially in the size you’ve chosen, small and glowing…that works..I would love to see the bigger version.
    ronell

  3. vivien
    April 25, 2007

    yes, between abstraction and reality is exactly where I want to work :)

    lovely glowing rose

  4. Jenny
    April 25, 2007

    Lovely watercolor sketch, and your sketchbook has done it’s job. One thing nice about noticing problems in sketches is that it not only helps if you decide to do another painting of the subject, it also helps with similar situations.

    I’ve often enjoyed your site and your work. Thanks for sharing.

  5. wendy
    April 25, 2007

    Yep – getting both abstraction and a sense of reality. I wonder if people who wear spectacles could take them off and have a good look at a landscape etc. and then only paint that myopialand. Only a thought. We get carried away by too many details at times.
    w.

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