I generally paint without doing any preliminary drawing or sketching on my watercolor paper, but I tend to do lots of doodling and sketching at other times, sometimes in a sketchbook, sometimes on whatever paper is at hand. This sketching helps me learn proportions, but even more, it gives me a feel for my subjects, so that I feel like I know them before I try painting them. Here’s a page from my sketchbook from the last time Stephen and I ate out at our favorite restaurant, Mariner’s on the Hudson. Steve tosses bread in the water so that the ducks, geese, and fish come close for me to sketch or paint them.
Here are some sketches of a Rottie mix I did while chatting on the phone. I later did a watercolor of this dog. Sometimes I sketch with pencil, sometimes ball point pen and occasionally with Japanese ink brushes.
I answered the door to see Emilio, one of the young neighbor boys, with his parents and two brothers close behind. Joe, the father, was carrying something wrapped in a jacket. Emilio excitedly blurted out that they had a baby goose that their cat had separated from his family.
Did I know what to do with it? I didn’t really know, but I offered to take the gosling and see if I could find his family wandering around.
Unfortunately the family had disappeared, so I took the gosling to a pond where I thought there might be geese. Sure enough, there was a family of Canada Geese at Rockingham Pond with goslings the same size as our lost gosling.
I carried the gosling in a box toward the goose family, stopping when they started to walk away. Then I let the baby out. He took one look at the goose family in the distance and started toward them.
The family stopped walking away and turned to wait for the gosling to come to them.
The young goslings weren’t so sure about the newcomer, but the parents seemed content to have him join their family.
The young’uns quickly accepted the newcomer, and he joined their ranks.
The family turned and left together.
The lost gosling had a new family.