A different day

I started this sketch using the leftover paint in the wells of my palette. Unexpected colours appeared, and maybe they weren’t what I would have chosen to start out with, especially on a sunny day, but I like being surprised. It’s not my usual way of working because my palette is usually clean when I go out, but this yielded some muted hues that made it seem like a different sort of day than it was, or maybe a different place, and in these turbulent times we sometimes need a little escape, even if it is only through our sketches.

22 Comments on “A different day”

  1. Chris Rusk says:

    What a nice surprise. Very interesting ‘mood’.


  2. Ghislaine Gargaro says:

    Since the lockdown it seems that I see many artists are working with gouache. I bought the primary colors and I will try them soon. Have you been thinking about doing a video on using gouache as a built up on watercolor?


  3. IRENE Reinhold says:

    This is what I am hoping you will teach in one of the virtual workshops. ( please)


  4. Bernadette says:

    No need to tell all your secrets but, it makes me smile. Sometimes, I too begin using leftover paint. Without knowing what kind of day it was we see it as a beauty! Thanks for sharing.


  5. Love the mysterious atmosphere.


  6. My favorite subject!! I would also love a workshop on boats. I look at a similar view at our marina but get lost in the details on the boats and the white reflections stump me. Most of the sailboats are white. You have a simplicity in your pieces.


  7. michelledever says:

    Living the reflections on the water, beautiful!!


  8. Gail Jones says:

    Love how you create water scenes. So glad I have your triple tutorial bundle to learn how to do this. This is beautiful!


  9. Tracy says:

    I really love how you capture what feels like SO MUCH detail, but really, it is my mind filling in behind your carefully placed colors.

    I would be interested in a second water class too….more on reflections, but also on”tricky” water. I live near Mt. Rainier and while we have glacial lakes around here that are brilliant turquoise, we also have turbulent river water full of sediment that is….brown. I have yet to be able to paint that water right. A class,on fall…could be with trees and shrubs, gourds and pumpkins, whatever. And someday, I would absolutely love a class on trees that really addresses evergreens….stands of pine trees and knowing how to loosely handle sweeping stands of pine, cedar, etc is a real challenge.

    Oh! I’m fairly new to your blog…have you discussed in the past how you decide to use ink…or not? I’ve noticed that for a long while you did mostly ink and (color) wash, but you seem to be moving a bit more away from ink recently. I’m just curious about that process and even a class that talks about when and how much inking to use versus none would be interesting.

    Whew. Sorry so long!


    • HI Tracy, These are all great ideas. Reflections will certainly be something I tackle in a class. Water is a HUGE subject, and I couldn’t fit everything into one class. It would have been about 8 hours long! I decided to split it up into different aspects of water, and I am hoping to tackle reflections soon. As for fruit and vegetables, that is coming soon too. As well as trees. All on my very long list of things I want to teach.
      In answer to your question about ink, yes, I have talked about how and when I use it on numerous occasions, on the blog, but it’s a good question. These days, as you noticed, I am painting more and using ink less. I guess the answer has a lot to do with Covid. I use ink a lot when I am out in the city doing urban sketches, but I haven’t been doing much of that lately. Because of Covid, I am sticking close to home. Also, I have more time to work on my watercolours, something I have been wanting to do for a long time.
      BUT, when I am out sketching and have the choice between ink or pencil, I do choose ink when the subject has a lot of texture in it. For example, if there are brick or stone buildings, ink helps to create the texture quickly. Or if I have to work quickly because I’m in a rush, ink provides a structure that I can add a quick wash to and I can complete my sketch more quickly. Does that help? Long answer for a long question. And thanks again for the class suggestions! Shari


      • Tracy says:

        Thanks so much Shari! I will need to keep working my way through older posts. I have not been rushing that because I’ll be a bit sad when I catch up lol. I had an amazing time visiting your other site last night and I love, love, love the red rock paintings! I had a wonderful vacation in Moab a couple years ago which pre-dated my dabblings in painting and sketching…I want to go back so badly when this pandemic nightmare is behind us! Fortunately I was into photography at the time so I have some good reference photos to get me through this winter.

        I’m looking forward to more classes from you! I appreciate the effort you put into those to provide such clear instruction and inspiration.


  10. MONICA SHETE says:

    Hey Shari, would love to learn about your approach towards simplifying cluttered shapes like that of parked boats. Could you please provide some pointers or guidelines for creating such simplified shapes with colors if possible.


    • HI Monica. Thanks for writing. The boats are really complicated but I do have some methods for painting these. I hope to film another online class using these boats and their reflections, and I provide lots of pointers in the class. Look for that coming out this autumn. I hope that will help!


  11. joantav says:

    The unexpected colors create a nice mood to this!!! Nicely done! I am enjoying seeing your local sketches. Usually you are traveling the world, so it is nice to see bits of what is around you while we are all hunkered down with the restrictions. Stay safe!


  12. Betsy says:

    Lots of value balancing here, looks very successful to me!

    Yes, any getaway is good right now!

    I would love a workshop on boats. It’s amazing how you are able to arrange all the details of sails, tarps, flags, rigging, etc. in a scene like this and they actually seem to belong to individual boats instead of just filling the middle of the page with chaotic shapes.


  13. Nice painting, the neutral colours really work well. This painting reminds me of when I lived in Kingston, and all the sailboats in the harbours.


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