Mother Nature’s Playing Jokes On Us

As in many places, high temps and humidities have been the norm.  Until yesterday.  I bopped out the door, heading for my walk and stopped.  It was COLD!!!  I had to change into long pants and put on a windbreaker to walk.  Mr Weather, a close friend of Mr. Google, told me that it was 58F.  During that day it barely cracked the 60s.  Today it’s very windy and rainy so I’m indoors.

 

Stillman & BIrn Alpha, Pilot Falcon, DeAtramentis Document Black, Daniel Smith watercolors

I’ve decided to post a sketch I did last week.  I wasn’t going to share it because there are many things wrong with it, some due to my shortcomings and others due to the fact that it was so hot I had a hard time getting into it.

The sketch suffers a bit but the real problem is with the watercolor, which is too flat, with not enough contrast.  By the time the brush came out my shady perch had become open sun and I was burning up, so this was more slop and dash watercolor and it shows.

Good Year For Flowers In Quebec City

I don’t know if high humidity and almost daily rain is a new normal for Quebec City but this summer has been a frustration because of it.  That said, the plant world is having a great time.  Everything is more lush, a lot greener, and flowers are everywhere.

I’m trying to fit my powerwalks (old man power walks mean distance, not speed) into our renovation work and I found myself in Parc de l’Amerique Latin, which is a park that features a bunch of statues of famous people from Latin America.

It was hot and I needed a break so I sat down to practice drawing flower blossoms.  I love drawing plants where I try to draw an individual plant or flower, leaf by leaf or petal by petal.  This is great practice in size/orientation relationships of organic subjects.  Here’s what I came up with on that day.

Sakura Somewhat Light Cool Gray Pens

I guess this isn’t a real review, but in some ways it is.  When I heard that Sakura was releasing its famous Micron pens in “Light Cool Gray” and “Cool Gray” versions I thought that was a neat idea.  Though I don’t use Microns very much I thought this might be a great way for sketchers to draw background lines in typical black sketches. No better way to get background mountains to recede than to draw them in a lighter color.

So, when I found sets of both versions in my local art craft store. I bought a set of the Light Cool Gray.  I could draw a bunch of lines, showing you that the colors were light cool gray and that they have the same permanent inks as their other pens but that stuff is a given with Sakura pens.  So, I’ll just get to the part that surprised me and (spoiler alert) made me very unhappy.

You see, in a set of 3, light cool gray pens, comes an 01, 05, and 10 pen.  That makes sense and provides a decent range of tip sizes.  What’s upsetting is that while the 01 and 10 pens are light cool gray the 05 pen is a much darker (I assume this is cool gray) ink.  This is more than my interpretation of the lines produced.  As you can see, the color markings on the end of the pen reflect this change of tone.  Note also that this fact is covered by the packaging so you only find this out after buying a set.  That’s just goofy to me.

I’ll have to wonder forever whether the “Cool Gray” set has a light cool gray version of the 05 pen as I’ll not be buying them.  I contacted Sakura, asking them about this but they have chosen not to reply to my query.  I’m glad I use fountain pens.

Find A Piece Of Shade And Draw

It’s hot.  It’s humid.  Too hot for an old man to be out walking, that’s for sure.  So, I put my stool in a shady spot in the yard and drew a small “scene” designed by Chantal.  I thought these little guys were going to be hosta-guarding soldiers (wrote about that), but Chantal had other ideas.  As usual, hers was a better one.

Resting Next To A Friendly Birch

I’m trying to get back to a daily walk routine.  It’s been hard this spring/summer because of all the rain and a bunch of house stuff we’ve been doing, but I was out the other day and stopped to sit in a park near my house.  There was a birch tree there to keep me company and I decided to draw it, or at least its feet and legs.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9×6 softcover), Kaweco Lilliput pen, DeAtramentis Document Black, Daniel Smith watercolors