Painting and sketching from life

I recently rediscovered my travel watercolor set and have been having fun figuring out techniques to quickly capture my environment on paper. A couple sketches from New York:




I tended to get pretty detailed with these still, so I tried painting by putting down wash for the main areas and filling in some details:


When it works it works, but when it doesn’t work it’s pretty disheartening.

Last weekend I was in Providence and stopped by the RISD store, where I found a perfect travel painting set—a bound multimedia sketchbook and a case of watercolor crayons, both small enough to fit in a purse. Along with my water brush (which is magical) they make a really ideal travel set. I did a number of little paintings there:





The paper is a little harder to work on than watercolor paper (you can’t really wet an area multiple times) but it’s actually nicer to draw on, and I don’t get as precious with it, which is the goal. I’ve got some more travel lined up this summer and I’m excited to see what I make with this set!