Another Greenhouse Sketch


Pen first, then watercolor. This was a self assignment. I wanted to sketch in pen without doing any pre-planning or pencil layout first. Just draw what’s in front of you with no photo reference. Jump right in, start drawing in pen, and fill the page. So, that’s what I did. I started with the large redwood container in the lower left corner, worked my way up the left hand side of the page and then across to the table leg in the center and down to the pots. I then sketched the ladder, the window, the items on top of the table, and then the watering can in the lower right corner and the rest of the items on the right.

Once the pen work ws done, I painted with watercolors. I started with the light greens and then the browns. I then did the dark areas to judge the contrast range and then the grey ladder and concrete floor. All this was done with a flat waterbrush. I then switched to a small round waterbrush to add the reds, do some touch up, and finish some detail. It took about an hour.

Here’s a photo of what I saw.


And here’s my journal with my notes.


I think I did a pretty good job of capturing the scene. I got the values and colors, major shapes and perspective right. I purposely picked a chaotic subject with lots of detail. I drew one thing at a time paying attention to angles and relative sizes and then I moved on to the next shape until I reached the edge of the page. I was surprised to discover when I finished the drawing that it turned out as well as it did.

Moleskine watercolor journal, Mars 500 pen (0.5 nib) with Noodler’s Bulletproof Black ink , Lucas tube paints – Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue, Light Yellow, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna, and Payne’s Grey.


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0 Responses to Another Greenhouse Sketch

  1. Lucy says:

    I loved this before I even read the explanation. It felt so NATURAL. The watercolor just enhanced the garden feel. I especially liked the watering can with its irregular shape, giving it a well loved, well used look.Then I read the technique and found that you were able just to let loose a little, to jump right in without feeling the need to trace and in the process able to make sense out of chaos in more fluid lines.Great stuff!Lucy