Sunday, September 20, 2015

Gowanus Canal

It was a fabulous outing to Gowanus Canal, many thanks to the organizers! Hard to decide on any single motif, and between big views vs interesting details, I went for the latter... Not totally happy with the results. I went with too many untested materials and maybe my choices were too ambitious as well... but anyway, here are my sketches from the day.

On the first location, at the end of the Salt lot, I started with two small compositional/value sketches. One depicts the view over the canal and the other some concrete blogs right in front of me, partly under water. Definitely need softer pencils next time, I got hardly any contrast from the ones I had. Also, the sketch of the big view might have warned me because I realized how complex the scene was. Nevertheless, I chose that view for a larger scale sketch.

The evening before I had watched instructional videos by urban sketcher Shari Blaukopf and was eager to try out some of the techniques for washes. Well, they are more difficult that they look when Shari demonstrates them...

The sky wash in the original sketch made on location did not turn out the way I wanted it. I reworked it later from memory to bring out the clouds and even out the blue colour. It's now more the way I intended it, but unfortunately it has lost some of its freshness.

The second larger colour sketch, a view of the canal from the waterfront at the local Whole Foods market.
And two quick small sketches during our show & tell at Halyards.



  1. You really worked in a variety of materials. I like your pencil sketches. Good job on the watercolors of the canal. You got a good likeness in the portraits. Nice!! Good to have you sketching with us.

    1. Thank you Joan, I appreciate it very much! I'm really happy to go out with such a friendly group.


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