First sketch in new Stillman & Birn Nova

Daily Art 05-19-18 sketch of little potted plant in grey toned Stillman and Birn Nova sketchbook

The other day I decided it was time to start making daily art again, and since I packed my sketchbook to prepare for our move it was a perfect opportunity to pick up a new one. I almost bought an inexpensive pad of cream colored drawing paper because it’s so satisfying to work on that it seemed worth it even for sketches. But then I saw one of the Stillman & Birn soft cover Nova books, with grey toned paper. Happily, it was 50% off so I snatched it up.

All of my non-work time over the last several weeks has been filled with our moving preparations — house hunting, scheduling, selling our house, packing…sadly I just haven’t been able to fit art-making into the mix. Our new house will have a larger space for my studio, and thinking about that really got me inspired to make it fit anyway. Plus, on my daily walks I’ve been listening to Savvy Painter podcast episodes and contemplating what I want to work on next with my art practice.

After finishing my Bargue plate copy I thought I might move on to the oil painting lessons from Sadie Valeri’s online atelier. But the thought of buying all of those supplies and setting up for another new medium didn’t sound appealing to me right now. I have a few video classes on acrylics that I had already purchased, and even though I watched them and enjoyed them, I never actually did the course work. And I really wanted to! One is based on alla prima painting, and the other is based on glazing color over a monochrome underpainting. Both things I’m excited to learn.

But before I start them, I think I’ll do some value plan studies using black, grey, and white acrylic. This grey-toned sketchbook will come in handy for this type of work. When it came time to choose a subject for the first sketch in the new book, I selected one of the charming little accessories that the stager brought over when we were setting up for our open house. She brought a couple of boxes of artificial plants, which I never would have guessed I’d like. But I’ve really enjoyed having them in the house and will be looking for some for our new house.

Once the little potted plant was blocked in, I marked the shadow areas and experimented with indicating leaves in the halftone and lighter areas. A good next step would be to paint in the darkest and lightest values to contrast with the mid-grey of the paper. But I have to get past the fear of “ruining” my sketch, lol.

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