One reason why sketchbooks are great

This is a completely stunning watercolor/gouache study by Childe Hassam called “Spectators at the Grand Prix”. Here are a few reasons to enjoy the piece a bit more:

  1. The arrangement of people in a pyramidal composition, ending with the black hat on top.
  2. The diagonal orientation of the carriage, pointing from left bottom to right middle, to where the people are looking.
  3. The beautiful rendering of the woman’s white dress, with just a few values that lie very close together.
  4. The indication of the crowd raising their hats in the distance.

The reason why I like this drawing too is everything that lies outside the “frame”. I really like to see the presence of the creator, how he is messing around with sparks of color. It seems so honest. This is why I like sketchbooks so much.