Fritz Nobis Rose Sketch

I’m still recovering from a cold, so just the thought of getting out my art supplies is exhausting. Seriously! Who would have thought that grabbing out some brushes, pans, palettes, water bottles… the list goes on and then I just want to sleep… It is a bad cold.

Since I really enjoyed doing my earlier pen and ink sketch, and it uses so few materials (literally a pen and paper), I decided I would focus on another practice sketch. There is much less stress in the concept of a sketch – no finished artwork piece that will be judged; in fact if I hate it I can just scrunch up the bit of paper and throw it straight into the bin. It’s kind of relaxing and exhilarating.

Sketch of a Rose In Ink

Not all my artwork is in watercolours; often the process of creating a piece involves not only the sketch, but studies of reference materials.

I used to be a big advocate for pen and ink drawings. It’s a great medium to create art in as it can involve a very low set-up cost, and it can easily be done at any time or place.

Having said that, its been quite a while since I had done anything with ink. Obviously time to break out the old pencil case!

I realised that it has been a while since I have drawn in ink – I have forgotten the ideal way of drawing cross hatching. The overall drawing was a bit “sketchy” – I didn’t focus on creating perfect lines or trying to be particularly neat.

Just from this little sketch that only took an hour or so to do, I came to a few conclusions:

  • I do miss pen and ink drawings – I will endeavour to do more.
  • I prefer the slower and neater artworks rather than my quicker reference studies.
  • My quick reference studies are good at breaking out of my “perfection” rut – I don’t need every piece to look perfect.
  • My quick reference studies are great for getting familiar with a subject – understanding shape, form, colors, and more.

The Succulent

Succulent - Painting by Kat Skinner

If you aren’t already, it’s a good time to follow me on Instagram: I usually post photos of my paintings as I work on them, long before I get around to writing a blog post or publishing the finial paintings on my website.

Lately I have practiced painting greens; all the variations of hues, tones and saturation. Of course the perfect way to improve upon any skill is to obviously to compete a project. Presenting The Succulent:

My paintings can take a while depending upon size and level of detail. I honestly don’t know how some artists can paint so fast! It’s really a skill to be admired.

The first step for most of my paintings is to add the very lightest of colors. This can be helpful to establish the lightest tones in my paintings – such as highlights – and it is also helpful to reference where colors will be placed without fully establishing such locations permanently.

The next step was to start adding and building the colors. I do this slowly in multiple layers of very thin (almost transparent) paint.

This step is probably the most time-consuming, but it gives you wonderful results. If you take the time, even an absolute beginner to achieve wonderful results as it is very forgiving.

The final stage is to put any finishing details onto the painting, and to neaten up any edges if necessary. I added the pinks last as mixing greens and reds can produce greys if not careful. I essentially made sure I had my greens exactly where I wanted them, and then added the pinks in their ideal locations.

Wet on Wet Fantasy Background

I was just playing around with dropping wet paint onto wet paper. I really enjoyed this exercise, and was pleasantly surprised at how they turned it a very misty surreal background.