Collage As A Sketch Technique

I enjoyed the month of June and was able to sketch several times. I am working on some of my sketches to develop collages of the subjects, and have had fun doing it! I have worked in larger sketch books, (like Moleskine watercolor sketchbook) which gives me more room to try things. I like adding many smaller sketches on a page, arranging them around and overlapping with one another. They can tell a story about the location, which I really enjoy.

One day, while waiting to have my car worked on, I sat out under a tree and looked across the street. There was a John Deere dealer, with colorful vehicles in the parking lot. I had time to kill, so got out my book and started sketching with pen. I had enough time to block in one layer of watercolor wash.

Later, at home, I was able to add more washes, darken values of paint, add white accents, lettering, descriptions, and the sketch really came alive! But having the backbone of the sketch done on location helped immensely.

A few days later, I sketched with friends at a local park in Woodbury, Edgewater Park. This beautiful location sits on the south east side of Colby Lake, and I walk past it frequently. Big shady trees hang over a pavilion and there’s a short path to the water’s edge. Noisy lawnmowers in the yard encouraged us to move closer to the lake, and we were rewarded with watching a young boy fishing. He caught several pan fish, some that flopped on the ground, but he’d bravely scoop them up and throw them back in the lake. His mom stood nearby, helping him with his fishing pole. I chose to put them in a circle as a highlight of the sketch, then I moved and faced a different direction and sketched the pavilion. Also parked under a tree was one of the huge mowers. Its driver had stopped to eat his lunch, so it sat quiet and unattended. I had to sketch it!

Finished sketch:

This past week I sketched at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis with some friends from Urban Sketchers Twin Cities. I again chose to collage my sketches. I began with the swan boats and kayaks, as their shapes and colors intrigued me. I then wandered around the beach area to add other things to my sketch. I liked the red and white umbrellas and life guard stand, and also noticed a woman with big headphones on a beach towel. I added her as well. Finally, I went and sat near the Sandcastle restaurant, and sketched the order window.

Here is the finished sketch:

I like the collage-type layouts. It works well when I have time and inclination to use it. I like how the sketches tell a little bit more about the location I am sketching. If you have the interest too, give it a try sometime!

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