Richard McKinley Sketchbook

An important part of the painting process is crafting a good beginning. McKinley seeks a primary and two secondary points of interest which come together to form a pleasing triangle guiding the eye.

His sketches also show movement and thrust. The thumbnail sketches have supporting sketches out to the side.

Sketches are often in pencil and lead to a notan.

Notice that the marker strokes in the notan show the movement and guide the eye. Same applies to pencil strokes in the sketches leading up to this one.

Look at the scene in different geometries. Before we could paint on the first day, we had to do a scene in five different formats: square, panoramic, portrait, landscape, and differing horizon/eye level.

This is a more complicated notan-style drawing. Large masses in real landscapes to not go below value 3, so mid-tone is actually 6.5 and highlights go to 10. (The scales next to his drawings are the opposite of the one he gave as a hand out.)

The next step can be a color notan. On the second day, we did them large and on our painting surface in blocks of pastel and did a water underpainting with the pastel, allowing drips and encouraging splatters.

Many thanks to Richard for this peek into his sketchbook.

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