loominous carpet sketch

This week’s watercolor class was hosted by Loominous in Providence. As we sat on stacks of handmade textiles (from Iran, Turkey, India, Egypt, Afghanistan…) the owner told us of his family’s love of art, antiques and handmade textiles. We were surrounded by their diverse collection: Biedermeier desks, Nepalese silks, crystal, 19th century paintings…   He brought out beautiful antique mini-carpets that he described as love letters because of their portable size. He spoke of the attention invested by the maker. What seemed to touch him most is the way that the objects bring people together across space and time.

Sitting with my paintbox and the intent to observe, the world seemed to crack open around me- so much more there than I had thought to wonder about all the times that I walked past the shop windows. And then there was the intriguing puzzle of recording some bit of it and the great pleasure of seeing that world reflected in everyone else’s sketchbook.

sketch for carpet shop

Simplifying a pattern

pattern skecth mosaicpattern sketch mosaic_2

Process for a watercolor sketch of a complicated pattern (from the Saadian Tombs in Marrakech).

Above left: Color impression of the pattern without worrying about the composition or drawing, focus on simply getting some color ideas down and seeing what happens on your paper when you try this.

Above right:Begin again with a sketch of the simple, underlying  shapes with hard (HB which is light) pencil.

Below I have added watercolor to the pencil sketch above, then added burgundy pen.

pattern sketch mosaic