The Last Golden Light
The field next to our property is in its full glory lately. Bees are buzzing in the goldenrod, asters are blooming in shades of white and purple, and tiny orange jewelweed dots the greenery. Numerous walnut trees border the field and frame the view. The chest high thicket is so dense that I won’t be able to walk in it until January, when the stems are brown, brittle, and matted from heavy snow. But for now, it is at its best, especially as the sun descends in the late afternoon, casting a golden light that reminds me in the most glorious way to pay attention.
Tips and Techniques– This piece takes advantage of an underlying grid to give it structure. I laid it out as a 4 x 3 grid of equal sized boxes and then combined boxes to suit the subject at hand. A limited palette of Hansa yellow medium, Prussian blue, quin gold, and a touch of violet and quin rose also create cohesion among the major elements. You can learn more and see other examples of this technique here and here.
I love the clever idea of the grid pattern on pages! I’m definitely going to try that technique. Thank you for sharing this !
Thanks Trica. Give it a try– you’ll find many possibilities for layouts with a grid.
I love the change in the sunlight this time of year.
The change in light is notable, isn’t it. We have another clear day today and the golden colors in the field are lit up.
Cool tip about laying out a grid first. I’ll try it in my sketchbook.
Give it a try– you can adapt it to whatever sketchbook size you have.
I so love this! And I appreciate your comments about process. What size paper did you use?
I used a 9×12″ Fluid 100 pad. I’ve used grids in all different types of sketchbooks and they always work. Try 3×4 or 3×2.
This is so lovely Jean! I especially love all the green and the way your subjects jump out of their frames!
Thanks Teresa. I love the structure of the grid, but can’t manage to stay within the frames. Thinking outside the box is a good thing, eh?
Yes it sure is!!
Thank you for the layout tips. Much needed. I’m enjoying your book.
Thanks Eileen– glad to hear! I hope you try the gridded layout– I’m sure you’ve noted the sample grid pages in the book.
Beautiful and inspring page! Great idea with dividing the page into boxes.
Thanks Yulia. I hope you enjoy trying this technique.
Love how you painted and designed this. Section shapes, perspectives above, ground level, landscape, etc…how the eye gets lead to each one. Captures everything!
Thanks Jane. I like using a grid when there are a variety of things I want to capture on a page. It works well in conveying a sense of place.
Thanks for sharing another beautiful piece!
And we so enjoyed your Facing Birds Head On workshop in Friday!!
Great to hear– so glad you could be there.
Lovely Jean! My goldenrods seemed to be pushed out by snake root.
Love the links to your other pages too. So helpful!
Thanks Michele- I don’t seem to have snakeroot…but I’ll go looking. The goldenrod is dense and well established,
Beautifully written and illustrated! Your tips are always appreciated. As a graphic designer I’ve used grids a lot (especially for book layouts) but didn’t think to do so in a sketchbook. Duh!
They work well and there’s lot’s of flexibility. I’d be curious to see whether you like using one in a sketchbook, or whether you feel “boxed in.”
Wow! love, love, love your work.