Sentinel - start

I need to announce that there is a vanishingly small chance that I have learned something. This is a red letter day!

Let me explain.

Back in June, when I went on my great Western Adventure, on Day 6 I went through Yellowstone National Park. I started pretty early in the morning and witnessed a herd of young bachelors tussling in a meadow. It’s a memory I have come back to often, and I have every intention of painting it.

Then, this week, I had a very boring meeting. It went on forever. So, I turned off my video for a second, walked across the room, picked up my sketchbook and a few photos I had printed off, and began sketching.

These are obviously just little value sketches, but I ended up liking the vaguely unfinished look of them. This is one of the things I don’t like about working in a notebook; if I manage to get something I like, I have to figure out how to transfer it all over. So, I decided to scan my sketches and turn them into something I could play with, working on different compositional ideas. Some of the ideas were very interesting, but I stopped on the version below because I felt like I had figured out what I needed to.

I printed out the bison for the correct size to go in this general composition on a full sheet of watercolor paper, then transferred everything I wanted to start with over.

And here, my friends, is where I actually learned something (gasp).

As I sat there admiring the lovely drawing, I started thinking about all the different things that I could do. “Oh, I could try this… or this… or this…” I had already begun plotting series in my head. Then a small voice says, “Why don’t you try one before you commit?” And folks… I did!

I’m using two different techniques, but I’m already seeing some things I need to resolve. I’d also like to use watercolor crayon to create some marks when these get drier.

But folks! I stopped and considered instead of just pushing on. I have evolved!

That’s enough progress for one weekend.