Red Brick House #Sketch

Today's #Sketch is from our Dublin-based Storyboard Revisionist, Olly Blake, who was inspired like so many artists by the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin!

Olly: I did this watercolour painting in a lovely cafe opposite the entrance to the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. It was a busy area with lots of traffic flying up and down and people running across the road.

I picked out this attractive little red brick house to be my subject with the surrounding trees creating a nicely textured backdrop.

This is a study I did in my postcard size watercolour sketchpad using my portable set and limited colour palette.

My aim is to improve my observation in colour and tone. I do this by eliminating the other parts of observation, using a grid and drawing exactly what I see within an underlying drawing using a coloured pencil. I do this in the most technical way possible, avoiding running into any possible problems with perspective and parts of the drawing not lining up the way that they should and so on.

I also use a photo reference to be sure I haven't made any mistakes with the composition.

This is a study of tone and colour so I don't want to stress over other parts of the painting that can go wrong. However, I can say with certainty that it doesn't always work out and this time I was lucky to have something quite successful.

With watercolour, details get reduced and abstracted and I can't rely entirely on my underlying drawing. I imagine the focal point of the image and add detail there and let the other parts simplify and tone down. 

Watercolours are a real challenge for me and I am trying all the time to improve. Thankfully a building like this one doesn't change it's position and doesn't judge me for my mistakes! 


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