These are done on drawing papers while testing their characters for watercolor. The sketchpad I prefer have just changed it's paper quality, this can be most frustrating when you get a good feel with a paper. The feeling when painting is different from one paper to another and also the way you will use it or treat your subjects depending on the effects the paper in question offers. The same works for drawing papers, the sensation of the pencil on the paper can be very subtle just as the effects you can obtain or not.
I always have an attraction to black and white pictures or paintings and drawings. I also love doing them and start wondering why I stick so much to color. I think that once I feel I got control over color I can nice and easy go back to monochrome, without any regrets.
I love to draw studies from the nature. The hardest is to get a chance to pick them and draw them before the leaves are completely open. (Or even better; draw them on site, on the tree or what it could be.) Just as when studying flowers, which you can actually see move during observation and drawing and some even start to fade before you've finished. That's why it's good to be able to work fast. Nothing stays the same for long...
In watercolor class I try to transmit the habit of doing faster studies of objects or simple still lives.
It would be lovely if we managed to do quick studies before starting painting something more "serious", this would be a warm up exercise to get up speed and to get into the creative mode.
For now this is taking far too long and we spend the whole session on this.
Hopefully I'll be able to make them persevere and they'll get pleasure out of this loose and improvised way of painting, and maybe it will feel natural with practice.
It's a great way to chase fear when painting with watercolor. Most of my students are afraid of doing mistakes, with smaller paintings it's not a big deal if we are not happy with the result and this way the pressure decreases.
It could be a daily routine doing one of these a day... : )