Quick Sketching My River

Yesterday was the day before the official beginning of summer and so, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, I headed out on a long walk and sketching session.  The sun was shining and I was whistling a happy tune.  Ok…ok… so I wandered into writing the opening for a musical.  Suffice it to say, it was a nice day.

But as I walked I noticed the clouds moving in.  I noticed the winds pick up.  I noticed my happy tune whistling had stopped.  I decided to sit on a fake log chair along my river and sketch a bit.  I also noticed that I was bordering on being cold and that I would need clips to keep the sketchbook paper from rattling in the wind.  So much for a summer day.

I’ve received a couple emails asking me what, exactly, I do with a pencil as a precursor to my ink drawing so I decided to try to illustrate the couple ways I use one.  Here is one of them.

This sketch was to be a large-scale, for me, urban nature sketch so I started with a very lightly drawn bunch of scribbles just to locate the various bushes, river, and building.  I shot a photo of the pencil layout with my cell phone and later manipulated the heck out of it to get the lines dark enough so you can see them….kinda.  This pencil work took 20-30 seconds.

2014-06-20 Pencil

You’ll notice that there’s no detail, not much more than vague lines that locate the various components.  All I’m thinking about is location and size of the various shapes and their relationship to one another.  By identifying these things I’m then free to concentrate on any part of the sketch without having to think about whether that part will connect to other parts.  For instance, because I know where both sides of the river will be in my sketch, I can draw the foreground plants, knowing where they should hide the river.

So out came the pens.  I started drawing the foreground using my TWSBI Mini filled with Platinum Carbon Black.  The rest of the sketch was done with a Pilot Prera and Noodler’s Lexington Gray.  No eraser was abused in the creation of this sketch.  Those light pencil lines just disappear behind ink and color.

I worked quickly and admit this is not my best work as, quite frankly, I was getting cold.  Yes, that’s right – cold – in middle of June.  Who’da thunk it.  Total time for this sketch was 23 minutes.  I kept track so I could report that as well.   I’m sure glad that tomorrow will be summer.  I’m getting tired of the cold.

2014-06-20Color_sm

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9×6), Pilot Prera and TWSBI MIni

 

2 Responses to “Quick Sketching My River”

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  1. Jane says:

    Nice work! I always love to see/read other’s sketch process. Will try to send you some of the heat we’ve been getting 🙂

    • Hi Jane,
      Glad you like the sketch. I think you may have sent some warm this way as it got all the way up to 21C today 🙂 It is supposed to warm up even more tomorrow.

      Cheers — Larry