Ikuko's Garden, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

Ikuko's Garden, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

My friend Ikuko invited our Tuesday night sketching group to sketch in her lovely and lovingly tended garden. I picked a spot that was still in the last bit of sun and sat in a lawn chair to sketch and relax. For a change I tried to just be loose and free and it was really fun.

Ikuko's at Sunset, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

Ikuko's at Sunset, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

I was interested in all of the odd contraptions on top of her fireplace and the glowing light of the sunset on the bricks and the windows. I managed to fit almost everything I wanted on the page (with a little rearranging from real life; the mail box was below the frame but I liked it so stuck it in.) I was a little annoyed when I finished the sketch that I’d “messed up” the house numbers (the 2 is too big) but a week later, who cares!

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Category:
Building, Drawing, Flower Art, Ink and watercolor wash, Outdoors/Landscape, Painting, Places, Sketchbook Pages, Urban Sketchers
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Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. I love your plein aire watercolors. No one would notice the 2!!!

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  2. These sketches are delightful! I didn’t notice the size of the 2.

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    • Oh good. It’s funny how sometimes I first notice what seem like glaring mistakes and then later I don’t seem to see them at all. And then there’s pieces that always make me shudder, no matter how much time passes. Jana

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  3. I actually prefer the irregular sizes..it goes with “loose.”

    Question: Do you do your ink drawing/sketching before or after you apply the watercolor to the paper? Thanks. Lovely blog. – Wendy

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    • Hi Wendy, Great point about irregular and loose. 99% of the time I draw first directly with ink and when I’ve finished drawing add watercolor, usually on site but occasionally in the studio when there wasn’t time or suitable location to paint on site. I appreciate seeing sketches where people have loosely painted and then added line, but haven’t done very much of that myself. Though your asking the question inspires me to give it a try again. The only problem with doing that is that you have to wait for the paint to dry first which takes longer than the ink. And of course it’s hard to be as detailed when working with a brush and paint (perhaps a good challenge for loosening up?) and also the ink line is more prominent because it’s not toned down with the watercolor washes over it. Jana

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  4. “a week later, who cares” is a profoundly important statement! It is a great thought to release oneself from the paralysis of perfection. Thank you for being so straightforward with the way you sketch!

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    • Ain’t that the truth! And yes, “paralysis of perfection” is right on, especially since the art I enjoy looking at the most is never perfect (boring!). Jana

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  5. You’re an amazing artist 🙂 How do you do it ?

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    • What a nice comment! How do I do it? I look. I see. I try to capture it with my pen and paint. Simple. Not always easy though. I visited your blog–very interesting. Congratulations on winning your discrimination case in Costa Rica. I loved the place when I was there about 10 years ago. I’m curious how you happened upon my blog? Jana

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  6. Hi Jana,
    I follow your blog since a little while and enjoy it a lot. I like both your watercolor and oil paintings; what draws my attention in your watercolors is the beauty of those not too perfect ink drawings; I have personnaly a very precise style (although not an artist by background, I recently started a blog where I post some pieces from time to time -you’re welcome to have a look), and your “free” way of drawing is perhaps something I should try to achieve for its lively spontaneity. I like your version of the conservatory of flowers; it reminds me the Grand Palais in Paris, I like those glass “duomos”.
    Your oil paintings are gorgeous; very lively and colorful. The lemons in your previous post are no exception.
    Thanks also for your post on Althetha Kuschan, I was happy to discover her blog. I am a color lover too…
    Isabelle

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    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comments about my imperfect ink drawings as I’ve been a bit stuck in perfectionism the past couple weeks and it’s so helpful to be reminded that perfect doesn’t mean good, and imperfect is much more fun. I’m glad you liked the lemons too. I’ve been struggling a bit with oils lately, but that was one that mostly worked amidst the failures. I visited your blog and your artwork is really beautiful, unique and special. Perhaps some drawing freely in ink in addition to your precise work would be fun? Jana

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  7. These sketches are great. I didn’t notice the 2 until I read about it and went back to look 😉

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  8. Thank you so much Jana for your kind words! For someone like me who has never taken any drawing or painting courses, this is realy cheering up. I’ll indeed try some free ink drawing when I get a chance, and perhaps try to color them freely in watercolors. Just a question of time; I’ll let you know when I make an attempt.
    Isabelle

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