Sunday, May 24, 2015

Color Sketching - a Continuation

Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about my new coloring hobby, and my thoughts on how to make coloring useful to my beadwork sketches?  If you don't, check out that post here!  I'll wait until you're done, I promise...  I have not had time to bead lately.  Work has been hectic, my commute often wastes 2 hours of my day, and we're preparing to move next month.  Sketching these designs has helped to keep my brain from becoming frustrated with the lack of beading.  I've made time at lunch to draw design ideas for some of my art beads...and then I went to work with color!
Orca cabochon by Jenny Davies-Reazor, raku ammonite bead by Caroline Dewison.
I started off by making my normal sketchy line drawing of the art bead, then surrounding it with the shapes that came to my brain.  Then comes the fun part - testing a color combination rather than committing to it!  The gray/green seas of the North Pacific for the orca, and a pagoda-like black frame for the raku step, pull out beads and see if it actually works!
Lampwork cabochon by Sue Kennedy, lampwork key by Jen Cameron.  
These sketches have more notes than the previous two.  On the whale (thinking of Fantasia 2000) I felt the need to remind myself to break into my stash of vintage sequins to make sparkles in the water and stars in the night sky.  On the key, because I intend to at least try to use graduated herringbone to make the fan shape, I have a suspicion that collection of bugles will be needed along the bottom edges to keep the piece structurally sound.
Lampwork by Sue Kennedy, ceramic triclops face by Oregon artist Dana Swisher (no online presence).
I'm not sure if I'm headed the right direction with this concept/shape/color scheme yet - this is when I realized the real benefits of sketching with color BEFORE starting to bead.  I will probably try to sketch this idea again, and try out a different color combination...and wrap my head around just HOW the structure at the top will be formed and hold the round lampwork in place.  
Spiral hare cabochon by Laura Mears, flower cabochons by Lesley Watt.
I think this particular sketch was the most helpful in winnowing down my ideas.  After I drew what was in my head, I was moving the components around on the table and the flower cabs ended up in this asymmetrical arrangement...that I love so much more when it's placed under the hare!  Because the finished piece will be asymmetrical, I feel the need for one more art bead component to place above the are for balance.  Perhaps something like this?

Sketching is not for everyone, I know.  But in this superbusylife period that I find myself currently in, this is satisfying my need to create and giving me peace of mind that I will not forget the ideas bounding around in my head with everything else right now!  I've also discovered that adding color to these sketches is extremely beneficial to my process.  When I start to choose beads for one of these projects I will be able to go straight to the boxes that I need, rather than wasting time going through every box for options.  Or, I will remember that I wasn't happy with the color combo in my head...and know I need to search my boxes for accents and alternatives...of course I could just draw another alternative in the have an idea now...bye!



  1. I think that you made a good point when you said that the coloring process lets you start to choose beads for one of these projects by going straight to the boxes that you need. I may start to do that. Currently, I make a huge mess by going through every box of beads and getting them out to consider options.

  2. I was fascinated to read how this has helped your thought process. It was like getting to peek inside the artist's mind. I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks!

  3. Great post Lindsay. I enjoyed seeing your sketchbook. I started one but have not used it in a while. I may need to revisit that idea. I like the color.


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