Do you keep your old, older and oldest sketches for comparison with your recent ones to see how much improvement you are doing over a period of time?! Do you ever take them out?!! Here are three sketches of mine done of the same subject over 3 years and their analysis.
#1 was sketched in early January '11 when for the first time I started going for plein air studies. It was very hard to handle overload of details. Tendency was to look at 'subjects' rather than interesting shapes. Focus went on everything including the distance vegetation. Struggled on the reflection and on the main foliage of the tree itself. Was not happy but I was hopeful to overcome these obstacles.
#2 was sketched on a sunny afternoon of December '12. Improvement on the foliage of the main tree, bolder approach to render them as masses of shapes and not individual leaves. Reflection was better though not confident strokes and I still went on to add unwanted details on the faraway vegetation. and that red roof on the right attracted too much attention. more lessons learned, more improvement required.
# 3 was sketched recently on January '14 from a reference picture by Shyam Deshpande. Tried to simplify as much as possible and visualize everything in shapes of different value masses. Background vegetation was kept to a minimum hint. foliage from the main tree were just a group of different colors all mixed together and the reflection was done in minimum strokes. also tried a different format for dramatic effect. better applications of brush marks. still need improvement.
Its a good idea to take out our old study sketches and do some analysis to understand where we have improved so far, where we still need to improve and where we may be actually going wrong. After all, sketches are or can be for studies, right?! well sometime they themselves are pieces of finished artworks too!
So, dig out your old sketches and start doing that honest comparison! You don't have to share however it will be nice to see the self analysis. I am sure, analysis of the #4 will be interesting too when it will be done in coming time. Still way to go, more to learn. it's a lifelong learning process.
© dhruba mazumder, 2014. all rights reserved