The San Diego Opera season opens this Saturday with Falstaff. Local artists were invited to live sketch the Wednesday working rehearsal and I was so glad to be part of the group yesterday evening. We sat in the orchestra section and had amazing views. The stage, costumes, lighting and singing were wonderful and it was exciting to be among so many artists.
This was my first live sketch and I knew that I would have to work fast and, if I wanted to work in gouache, that I would have to come prepared to paint in dim light with very little water and not fumble for materials.
I used a large letter tray for a desk and lined the bottom with paper towels. Just before leaving the house I squeezed substantial amounts of moist gouache onto a small palette for 12 colors. To avoid the mess of cleaning brushes I brought along 12 water brushes each labeled with a color. Once I found a seat I assembled these materials on the tray, added 2 black sketchbooks, a few pastel pencils and small book light to complete my working desk.
Then came the hard part- sketching with gouache as fast as I could! If only the performers could have sung at half pace, then I might have been able to keep up! I became more reckless as the evening progressed and feel I caught some of the magic, motion and mayhem of Falstaff in these in-the-moment live sketches.
Thank you San Diego Opera!
These are all pastel and gouache sketches on black paper.