This page was done 2/3 from memory, and 1/3 from a reference photo (the Red Yucca).
On my last afternoon at the Tubac Country Inn, I sat on the veranda and quickly sketched a couple of little scenes along the adobe wall of the garden. I didn’t have time to finish and for some reason, I forgot to shoot reference photos to work from later.
This past Saturday, I sat down with that journal again to finish the page. It had been a week and already, my memory was forgetting a lot of detail. I almost made that Red Yucca upper right into a green leafed plant!
Some details are very different, but the feeling is there.
I call this style of journal page a “collage” even though there is nothing glued on it.
The elements of the collage in this case are the separate little paintings that are combined on the page, but not in their real spatial relationship to each other. Notice the blue sky appears again through the nicho below the tiled area – not so real.
But the elements work well in this new relationship because they have a harmony of color palette, theme, and style.
I did work from a reference photo for the flower detail . . .
When working from a reference photo, it is not only ok to simplify things, it is desirable. I dropped the background for a simple green wash, and moved some buds completely to a new location.
I love Red Yucca and am hoping for the success of two new plants I put in last Fall.
I promised last time to show you some photos from the Tumacacori Mission site near Tubac, that you can sketch from.
When making a sketch from a photo, the most important thing is to simplify the photo right down to the basics. At that point, you can “see the forest for the trees” and draw the subject more easily.
I have simplified these photos for you, and I give you permission to draw and paint them to your heart’s content.
Pretend you are sitting on a camp stool or park bench at Tumacacori and one of these beautiful, Southwestern scenes is right in front of you. The sun is shining and the weather is balmy. Your journal is open in your lap, and your pencil is in your hand . . .
Go for it . . . and have fun.
P.S. Because our Tubac Retreat was SOOOOOOO amazing, I am working on setting up two more – one in the third week of October this year, and one the third week of March in 2015.
Because it’s the most fun to stay at the Tubac Country Inn, and because there are only 4 rooms available there besides mine (3 of those can accommodate 2 people), these retreats fill really quickly. If you think you would be interested in either date, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will put your name on a “first notify” list. This last Tubac Retreat filled by rumor (word of mouth) and I never even had time to get a details page up!
Also, the Santa Fe Art Journaling Retreat in September is close to full, but there are still a few spaces left. Tubac is absolutely wonderful, but there is no place like Santa Fe!