in a dimly lit space.

Not only have I been thinking of all the new things I can do with the skills I’ve learned in my watercolour class, but I’ve been thinking such thoughts in the context of our upcoming trip to Europe where (so I’ve heard) there are plenty of neat things to sketch and paint.

Of course there are.

I made a trip to the art store last night, and when the “dude” at the counter asked me if he could help me find anything, I lied and said I was “just browsing” but looking to stock up on some stuff for a trip I was taking.

In fact, I was in the market for a higher quality “smallish” brush, something akin to the blended squirrel brushes I’ve bought for my class but in a 2 or 4 size, versus a 12, so it’s y’know more handy for small format, travel urban sketchies in a moleskine versus big large format watercolours that we’ve been tackling in class.

I ended up leaving almost empty handed, just one tube of white gouache (which I’ve been eyeing for a few months now) and a mid-grade synthetic brush size 4 that caught my eye and for which I thought I’d give it a try.

framing devices

I saw a clever use of taping that has struck me as a great framing method for my upcoming "travel journal" sketches: the faux photo look. Tape off a roughly 2:3 proportional rectangle, about the size and shape you might see in an old point-and-click photo style from the 90s, setting it slightly askew on the page. Paint, keeping into but filling completely the bounds of the box you've created with the tape. Remove tape, and then with a ruler and either fineliner or fine-nibbed pen draw a border with a small white margin around the painted area. Add some incidental shading on a couple of the outer edges of your ink box, and voila! A faux photo on the page.

I was browsing on one of the socials this morning and that white gouache was stuck in my craw, because a neat little astronomy photo as the header for some article about sciencey-stuff quickly found it’s ways a screencap into my photo library and from there as the inspiration to apply some groovy cloud techniques into a solar view technique and…

Night sky.

Spatter some white gouache to finish it off and…

Well, if you showed me this pic a year ago and told me I’d painted it I’d be as surprised as anyone.