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Blue House, Charleston, Sketch


Sometimes a memory just takes a few minutes with a sketchbook in hand. This little sketch is from my trip earlier this year to Charleston, SC. (Sometimes it's a sketch you start there and finish later too!) A few minutes really looking at what you might want to do a painting of makes all the difference!

This bright blue building is eye catching right off the main historic distric area. We passed it every day on our way back to our cottage. I love how the bright blue of the tiles reflects and intensifies the blue of the sky.

sketching a blue house in Charleston
Handmade Indian paper, soft cotton

The handmade paper is very soft (especially in Southern humidity) and has practically no sizing. That means it's going to bleed all over the place and you also don't have a chance to go back into it much. I can usually manage to get my minimum 3 washes, but I do have to wait for it to dry in between. I don't use this journal much for that reason now. It's just not as good on excursions as a Pentalic that can handle quicker washes.

I used my regular sketching set plus a dip pen and walnut ink, when I was home.

sketching a blue house in Charleston photo

Always take a reference photo! You never know...

I know, it's a boring clothing shop. But those tiles and mouldings are beautiful! sketching a blue house in Charleston 1

First Wash

This one is simple, bright cobalt blue and dashes of ultramarine. I just let the sky bleed into the tiles. The time consuming part of this sketch is drying time and the detailed sketch!

sketching a blue house in Charleston 2

And when it looks like this, STOP!

This wash is tricky. The golden color wants so badly to run into the clear blues and make green. The only way to stop it is to paint in multiple washes. And let it do its thing in the shadow areas.

Sizing makes a huge difference on paper like this. Lack of sizing means it soaks up water and bleeds EVERYWHERE!

sketching a blue house in Charleston

A nice sketched memory in my journal!

A nice little sketch. The brown walnut ink is perfect for the intricate mouldings. I wish houses still had those. I particularly like how the ink makes it possible for the top finials to be simply sky.

Will I paint this in a real painting? I don't know. We never passed at the right time of day for the blue tile and mouldings on the front to be spectacularly lit. If I was on a real painting trip instead of a girls' weekend out I might have made the effort to catch the light, but there are just so many gorgeous things to paint in Charleston, I don't know there was one thing in particular I wanted to chase!

Every time I sketch, I learn a little something about painting.

Have fun sketching this weekend!

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