Sketch of Flowers In A Vase

Develop the Sketching Habit To Improve Your Painting

This lesson is a quick and easy sketch of some Black-eyed Susans in a ceramic vase. We’ll focus on a couple of things while using and working with a wet-in-wet wash.

Sketching is a great way to improve your painting. Think of it as practice the way you might practice a sport or a musical instrument. You might make mistakes, but you are still learning as you go.

Sketching is Practice Painting

Developing a sketch habit is one of the easiest, enjoyable and best ways to get better at painting.
Sketching is practice painting for an artist. It allows you to focus your attention on one or just a couple things that you want to learn. This kind of focused practice will do wonders for your skill and your confidence.

An added bonus is that sketches often have a presence and life that we may find missing in our ‘finished works. The immediacy of working quickly and loosely along with focusing on capturing the essence of a limited subject tends to breathe life into these seemingly ordinary paintings.

Flowers As A Group

Massing individual elements into a larger shape almost always results in a stronger composition and a more interesting shape. In this case, the small vase contains a bouquet of Black-Eyed Susans. For this sketch, the group is more important than the individuals – except for the single blossom leaning out to the left.

Again, the mass shape that includes both the flowers strengthens the painting and provides a stark contrast to the single flower leaning out on it’s own.

Experimenting with ideas like these – mass shapes for composition and contrast – is another valuable skill easily developed while sketching

What you’ll need

Brushes – 1″ Flat, Medium Round, Small Round
Colors – Cadmium Yellow Medium, WN Cerulean Blue, Winsor Newton Perm. Alizarin Crimson, DaVinci Aureolin Mix, WN Cobalt Blue
Watercolor paper – preferably Arches 140lb Cold Press cut to about 7″ x 11″ or so

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