Stuart Loughridge

More Sketching as Compositional Development

Stuart Loughridge
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Duration:   7  mins

Artist Stuard Loghridge works in all sorts of mediums—oil paint, watercolor, and prints—as he creates primarily landscapes. He carries around sketch kits on his walks to help develop the characters for his paintings. Stuart shows us a final plate of an etching of a landscape and then walks us through the process of planning and sketching to get to the final piece.

The initial pencil drawing is a small thumbnail done from a small oil color-sketch done on location. The pencil drawing is on toned paper with shading and white highlights. After that, he created a pen and ink drawing because it imitates the etching process by playing with line and hatching. He was also playing with the composition a little bit and exploring different ideas.

Next he worked on the pencil outline sketch, focusing on the topography and the gestures of the landscape. He thought about the forms and planes and the growth of the trees in this sketch.

Afterward, he started thinking about the background and developing interest in it without creating generality. The next pencil sketch is the essence of the darks—studying the light direction and shadows. After that, he did another pen and ink drawing that was more elaborate. Then he did an initial copper plate etching. He started to really develop the rhythms of the background. He then did the second state of the etching on the same plate, developing more of the hatching and line work.

In the third state on the plate he is doing a triple-hatch stage that really starts to develop the darks. In the fourth state, he can develop the sky, background, and layers. Accenting outlines is a great way to create depth. He then develops a fifth and sixth state as he really enhances the rhythms, shadows, and lights.

Sketches are really the seeds for all of the work Stuart does in the studio.

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