Painting over old sketches

A reminder to everyone, including myself that painting over unsuccessful sketches is a great way to warm up.

Warming up, using old sketches, newspaper, inexpensive wall paper lining, envelopes works very well.

Often when giving a life painting workshop, I suggest that everyone begin the session working on newspaper, and invariably this is when the best work is done, simply because the fear of messing  up a good piece of paper is removed.    

I began by using an old sketch which I painted over with paint left on my palette….this provided a colour ground to work from. 


Using a mix of burnt sienna/prussian blue watercolour I indicate the piano.   (I never use black when watercolour painting)  


Because I am working off a colour ground, I use Winsor & Newton designer gouache Permanent White to indicate the lightest areas of the picture.     


I now complete the sketch by accentuating the bright light streaming in from the french windows.   I use Napes Yellow to indicate the back of the chair….

This is painted rapidly, capturing the essence of the moment. 


It’s vital to remember that like athletes, dancers and musicians, visual artists need to warm up each day.       Playing for 15 minutes before a painting session, can make a huge difference. 

May the Magical Hummingbirds be with you this Monday. 


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