2014 GNSI Conference, Boulder, CO, part 2

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The second half of the conference is divided between workshops and field trips.  On Thursday I taught a half-day workshop on sculpting insects which was fun.  Then Friday I took a full day workshop on sketching techniques taught by Leon Loughridge.

There are many ways to tackle plein air sketching (sketching outside) and Leon covered two main ways that he’d discovered to be quick and helpful for getting a lot of information down quickly.  The first was a values-based sketch and the second was a shapes-based sketch.  For both, he suggested taking a photo of the details and then forgetting about said details.  As a detail oriented illustrator, this was/is not easy for me!  Then start with simple shapes and values in a monochrome sketch.  Here’s the mountain again…as simple as I could manage. (see part 1 for my previous attempts)

Value sketch 1 © 2014 Karen A. Johnson

Value sketch 1
© 2014 Karen A. Johnson

Value sketch 2 © 2014 Karen A. Johnson

Value sketch 2
© 2014 Karen A. Johnson

Then color is added…

Flat Irons 3

Flatirons Sketch 3 © 2014 Karen A. Johnson

Leon did a great job of working with everyone and giving helpful critiques and improvements-mine needed work on the trees!

In the afternoon we worked on a different scene starting with flat shapes of colors and then adding bits of detail.  It turned out better than I expected…

First layer © 2014 Karen A. Johnson

First layer
© 2014 Karen A. Johnson

Between buildings © 2014 Karen A. Johnson

Between buildings
© 2014 Karen A. Johnson

He then went through a very helpful demonstration of sketching a tree…I’ve always loved watching people sketch and wanted to capture some of the different stages, so here they are.  Enjoy!  And thanks for a great class, Leon!

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