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Sketchy Outlines

Bottles and Brushes, compositional sketch on canvas, first stage.

Bottles and Brushes, compositional sketch on canvas, first stage.

Page from my sketchbook - brushes in Terracotta pt

A pastel sketch of my brushes in their terracotta pot

Today I began sketching out the composition for a new oil on canvas still life, showing the bottles and brushes on my glass table that I use as my palette. These bottles sit transparently toning the light that slides down their glass sides and passes through muted, overlapping and creating new and subtle greys, greens, blues and browns. They transfix me with their unity and the loss of individual shape as they merge into a single mass, and I hope to capture this still life both in terms of the individual complexity of the items and as a skyline-like whole, a city of bottles and brushes rising and casting half-shadows.

There is more work to do on this composition before I begin to paint it, but the basics are all established.

I also sketched my terracotta plant pot that serves as my brush holder in pastels, with gratuitously brilliant and joyful color. This was a 30-minute sketch that also served as an exploration of the way the individual brushes merge into a ‘crowd’ of lines when so many are together like this.