Venice Lagoon

10 minute watercolor of a Venice Lagoon, Don West, Artist
7”x5.5”, watercolor and pencil on Arches 90lb. hot press watercolor paper

I do a lot of study on art. Other artists’ work, books and videos are the primary resources. I see a technique or style of sketching I like and want to try, then I go hunting for information and particulars.

I got this little book recently called ”10-Minute Watercolors” by Hazel Soan, in the Kindle format. It’s one of the Collins Little Gem books and is literally too tiny in its physical format. The Kindle version is perfect though and you can get the Kindle app free for your phone or tablet to read any Kindle book. This sketch is an example in the book and yes, it only took ten minutes and 31 seconds to complete. I timed it.

When out and about sketching, speed is a helpful thing to employ because you can get more sketched. Trouble is, speed must be developed to get reasonably good at speedy sketching. The results though, can be really satisfying and appealing. This little book is all about speed using watercolor and is chocked full of good information to get you thinking and experimenting in the right direction. Some of the examples are good, some maybe not, but the opportunity to execute the ideas in your own speedy style and improve on the examples are definitely worthwhile.

Realize of course that a 10-minute masterpiece looks a lot different than a 10-hour masterpiece. Both however can be beautiful and, in the context of sketching, very meaningful to us as artists. They are more of a creative documenting of a place, time or thing in order to cement it into your memory the way no snapshot photo can do.

It never hurts to have several skills under your belt so give 10-minute watercolor sketching some effort and practice and you will see your other work improve as well.👍🙂