Mostly black and white

My daily sketching practice has gotten a bit, shall we say, sketchy lately. So to try and get back to little studies last week, I decided to try and draw everyday: not big ambitious pieces, but with some focus: working mostly in black and white with a focus on value.

Here are some sketches from last week.

A couple of wet months has meant that there’s flowers everywhere. Even my never-pruned roses are blooming. I’m not a big fan of the sort of classic rose you see on greeting cards, but there’s something I enjoy about these large cabbage-shaped blooms. They’re not elegant, but they smell heavenly. This is sumi ink. I love it’s transparency but don’t know it well enough to know how much lighter it dries, so I kept thinking I’d gotten my darks in and then they faded to a midt-tone and I needed yet another layer on ink…


When in doubt, draw your morning chai. Here are a few small studies in my Stillman & Birn Alpha book. My grey is a classic mix: Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. You can see I don’t quite mix the colors fully: sometimes the mix runs cooler, sometimes warmer…



On the subject of value sketches, the (cropped) sketch of my chai cup on the left is a much truer capture of the actual values than the one on the bottom right. But the drama of higher contrast is always more exciting to me. Art Graf watersoluble graphite. There’s a pearlescent quality to it that I love (that doesn’t show up in photos or scans).cups2

Not much people sketching in this week full of project deadlines. But here is one quick sketch from my local coffee shop.

And finally, my cats, sprawled on the dark wood floor. The tabby in the front was easier to define. She hit a classic cat pose and her two-toned coloring is similar in value. But the calico in the back didn’t make it easy: her odd, upside down stretched pose plus her random black patches made for a more challenging shape to paint.


About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in Animals, california, Close to home, Drink, Everyday Sketches, Food, people, supplies, Supplies and Materials, tools and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Mostly black and white

  1. It is great to simplify some days.. less is more, these are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephanie Bower says:

    Even without your signature color, these undoubtedly are yours! Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those roses are incredible. They almost look they are a collage of transparent grey papers. Especially the first one. Very beautiful. You should have more busy weeks like this.


    • Thanks Shari! Those roses are a product of opening a new bottle of Sumi ink and using it and realizing it dried super transparent and quite a bit lighter than when wet: so it was a lot of layering . I am a bit hooked on ink now, been playing with it quite a bit, it does quite a different kind of layering than watercolor.


  4. Lisa says:

    Love them all, but especially the chai! There’s something about burnt sienna and ultramarine blue right?


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