Watercolor sketches

I’ve been painting in watercolor every day this week for a change of pace. I love working in watercolor, but I do find them more challenging than oils. Here are a few example’s of the week’s work.

First, a pair of interior sketches — the first in watercolor, the second a quick pencil study.

Geoff Watson, “Interior sketch,” watercolor on paper, about 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Interior sketch,” watercolor on paper, about 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Quick interior sketch,” graphite on paper, about 5” x 8,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Quick interior sketch,” graphite on paper, about 5” x 8,” 2019.

Next, my trusty stainless-steel water bottle. I spent all of 60 seconds on this, but I like the orange.

Geoff Watson, “Sketch of a water bottle,” watercolor on paper, about 4” x 6,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Sketch of a water bottle,” watercolor on paper, about 4” x 6,” 2019.

Finally, my piano bench. For the first four decades of my life, music — especially piano — was my main creative outlet. But as I grew older, my fingers and hands started to ache when I played piano. For whatever reason, painting doesn’t bother my hands much at all, so I moved from performing to visual arts. Although I have been drawing my whole life.

Geoff Watson, “Piano bench,” watercolor on paper, about 4” x 4,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Piano bench,” watercolor on paper, about 4” x 4,” 2019.

Rangers vs Capitals

My family and I went to see the New York Rangers tangle with the Washington Capitals this evening, and I did a few gesture sketches. Disclaimer: it’s hard to draw moving hockey players! Fun and good practice, though.

Geoff Watson, “Arm’s up (sketch),” ink on paper, 5” x 8,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Arm’s up (sketch),” ink on paper, 5” x 8,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Henrik Lundqvist (sketch),” ink on paper, about 3” x 3,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Henrik Lundqvist (sketch),” ink on paper, about 3” x 3,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Unfinished sketch of Lundqvist,” ink on paper, about 3” x 3,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Unfinished sketch of Lundqvist,” ink on paper, about 3” x 3,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Unfinished and crooked sketch of the Capital One Center,” ink on paper, about 2” x 5,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Unfinished and crooked sketch of the Capital One Center,” ink on paper, about 2” x 5,” 2018.

Yale

We moved our daughter into Yale this past Friday -- almost exactly 40 years to the day after my parents moved me into Yale.  Friday also happened to be my birthday, which was cool too.  We stayed for much of the weekend, and we enjoyed the opening ceremony in Woolsey Hall. 

I found a few spare minutes to draw on Yale's Old Campus.  What a glorious abundance of subject-matter to choose from!  I wish I'd had time to do more.  I hope I will have more time in October, when I return for Family Weekend -- maybe this time with watercolors or even oils.

Geoff Watson, "McClellan Hall, Yale," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "McClellan Hall, Yale," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Harkness Tower, Yale," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Harkness Tower, Yale," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Purple heads

I bought a jar of Noodler's Cactus Fruit Eel ink.  Just typing "cactus fruit eel" is fun, so imagine how much fun it is to draw with this stuff!  I put the ink into my new Duke 209 fountain pen.  Here are some results.

Geoff Watson, "Cactus fruit girl," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Cactus fruit girl," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Cactus fruit dude," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Cactus fruit dude," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Cactus Fruit Guy," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Cactus Fruit Guy," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Inky figures

While in New York, I made my usual pilgrimage to the Art Students League for a figure-drawing session. I brought a fountain pen, a waterbrush, and a Pentalic watercolor sketchbook.  These pictures were from 1-minute, 2-minute, and 5-minute poses.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch 2," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch 2," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch 3," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch 3," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch 4," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch 4," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch 5," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Gesture sketch 5," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

New York sketches

I did a little urban sketching while in New York last weekend: street scenes, subway riders.

Geoff Watson, "View from hotel room," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "View from hotel room," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Subway riders," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Subway riders," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "58th Street," ink on paper, 5" x 8", 2018.

Geoff Watson, "58th Street," ink on paper, 5" x 8", 2018.

At the zoo

"Something tells me it's all happening at the zoo."  Simon & Garfunkel were right!  On Saturday I visited the Central Park Zoo with my family, and the place was hopping!  Here are some sketches.

Geoff Watson, "Penguins," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Penguins," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "More penguins," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "More penguins," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Puffin," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Puffin," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Owl," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Owl," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Trainer with sea lion," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Trainer with sea lion," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Macaw," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Macaw," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Sketching weekend

I'll be traveling to New York this weekend, so that means no oil paints until next week. I've been warming up with my ink and watercolors instead.

Geoff Watson, "Pool cabana," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Pool cabana," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Roof," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Roof," ink and wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Snack bar," ink and watercolor on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Snack bar," ink and watercolor on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Washington Capitals fans!

My family finally got to see our beloved Washington Capitals capture the Stanley Cup last night!  I've sketched a few Caps fans in honor of the occasion.  First, the biggest Caps fan I know, my daughter.  I drew this a few days ago, when the Capitals' fortunes were more in doubt.

Geoff Watson, "World's Best Capitals Fan," ink wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "World's Best Capitals Fan," ink wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Next, a couple random fans who rode the Metro with us back from Game 4, which the Capitals won 6-2.  These fans did not sit very still, so these sketches are rather ... sketchy.

Geoff Watson, "Capitals fans on the Metro," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Capitals fans on the Metro," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

I've been to several golf major championships, but I'd never been to the finals of any professional team sport like baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or soccer.  So seeing a Stanley Cup playoff game in person was a thrill.  It was even more thrilling when my team won! Alas, I did only one sketch of the proceedings, and it's not very good; we had nosebleed seats, and I was juggling drinks and fries and worrying about dropping my pen and sketchbook. But I WAS THERE, so I'm posting this lousy sketch to prove it.  :)

Geoff Watson, "Lousy sketch of the Capital One Center before the start of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Lousy sketch of the Capital One Center before the start of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals," ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Pool sketches

I wandered around in the heat looking for a spot to paint, got overheated, and decided to go swim instead.  Fortunately I had my pens and watercolors with me!  I did a few quick sketches and watercolors in my sketchbook.  Here's a page from the book -- with a couple of doodles edited out.

Geoff Watson, "Pool sketches," ink wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Pool sketches," ink wash on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Swim team practice

The highlight of this swim practice was when the coaches insisted that little kids demonstrate dance moves while standing on the starter block.  It was so cute!  But dancers are tough to draw, so I focused instead on the coaches, who mostly stayed still.  

Geoff Watson, "Swim team practice," watercolor and ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Swim team practice," watercolor and ink on paper, 5" x 8," 2018.

At the pool

I spent the afternoon at the pool and did some sketching and watercoloring. Apologies for the glare in this first photo. I can't re-take the photograph because I accidentally blotted the picture after I photographed it!  So this will have to do.

Geoff Watson, "Pool sketch," watercolor and pen on paper, 3" x 8," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Pool sketch," watercolor and pen on paper, 3" x 8," 2018.

I did an ink wash sketch, using blue ink, of a woman sitting at the pool.

Geoff Watson, "Sketch at the pool," ink wash on paper, 4" x 5," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Sketch at the pool," ink wash on paper, 4" x 5," 2018.

And a lifeguard.  It's a bit out of proportion, but it's still kind of fun.

Geoff Watson, "Sketch of a lifeguard," ink and watercolor on paper, 4" x 6," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Sketch of a lifeguard," ink and watercolor on paper, 4" x 6," 2018.