The last two weeks I have been taking a great online sketching class by Vienna artist, Oliver Hoeller (http://oliverhoeller.com/). It is called “Bending Reality” and for two weeks we have been learning tools to work in the spectrum of order and chaos in our sketches. We are learning certain tools to make them “looser” or “tighter” so they are more interesting. I have been pushing my comfort zones with these concepts. It might mean structures look a little wonky or loose, or color is not applied in the whole sketch, or color is used to express feelings. I am challenged by this, as my sketches tend to be tighter and more realistic. We have worked from photos a bit, and one of them was of a portrait of Beethoven. To loosen up, I went wild with color and made him teal and purple:
Another sketch we did was from a photo of a building in Vienna. I drew the structure a little wonky and used looser pen lines to capture windows, cars, and other features. I added color in just a small area of the sketch to narrow the focus to the mid- and upper parts of the building. I painted a yellow sky. These choices were all deliberate, and that is what we are being taught to do.
A couple days ago, I was in the historic Irvine Park in St. Paul, and attempted to put some of my new tools to use. I decided to sketch a fountain in the square, it had no water, but very interesting sculptures of lily pads and creatures on it. I sat in 90 degree shade on a metal park bench and had fun sketching part of the fountain. I applied loose color, not coloring in the whole thing, and pushing values deeper for areas I wanted to focus. It was a fun experiment! I highly recommend Bending Reality with Oliver and any other sketching classes he teaches. He’s a fun, knowledgeable artist and you learn a ton in his classes!