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July 10 Georgetown Garden Walk

Monday, July 1, 2019

Urban Sketching Values

Sparkling sun welcomed the 10th year Urban Sketchers Anniversary celebration  at Gas Works Park on Sunday morning.  Now a 4 year Urban Sketcher veteran, I joined the group shortly after moving to Seattle. It was hard to concentrate during my first meet up at Bothell’s Country Village, but I persisted and embraced the opportunity to sketch and learn about Seattle while surrounded by a creative group of people.  Thank-you Gabi, Tina, Kate and Jane for your inspiration and dedication!

I arrived at Gas Works Park 45 minutes early to scout out potential compositions and enjoy the  panoramic ambience.  Even though I live close by, I haven’t been to the park recently, crazy considering the scenic setting and free parking!  There are so many dynamic views and structures at the park, I could easily fill a sketchbook titled “Gas Works Park Works". 

I decided to use watercolor and go through the process of doing a value study before jumping into color. I brought my trusty hand-held viewfinder and squinted through to see darks and lights before settling on a scene.  A digital camera with a Notanizer app can do this task but today I was old school.

Value study #1 Boathouses 

Watercolor #1 Boathouses

Value study #2 Seattle Skyline

Watercolor #2 Seattle Skyline

Organizing shapes, values and establishing scale in a  value study is worth the effort. It creates a roadmap to the right color choices for contrast and harmony as well design definition.  If you like monochrome like I do, they look pretty good on their own too!

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