The family and I went to Tucson for a couple of days and I had a lot of art time which was great. I sketched in the hotel courtyard, and also from photos on my phone while in the car. That was a great use of time! I saw the local watercolor guild’s new gallery which was lovely, saw some great public art, and just soaked in the atmosphere.
Palm tree trunks (like pinecones) have always intrigued me. I find them difficult to draw to understand and paint, but I guess for me that’s part of their allure. And I adore the mixing of siennas/oranges and blues to make the various wood tones.
I did this sketch in my sketchbook one morning.
The right side image of a palm was done sketching with the Elegant Writer pen that wets and bleeds the first time you touch it. It adds a neat effect. Leslie White has fabulous paintings done with this pen, Check out her blog. Her dog piece is one of my favorites with this pen.
Another morning I attempted the plein air piece. It may have gone better if it weren’t for the arrival of the flies when the humidity rose abruptly. Ah the joys of painting outside!So I took it home and worked on it some more this morning. It isn’t perfect by any means, but I learned a lot from it and will hopefully paint a better one, fresh in the studio. I like portions of it a lot, such as this cropped piece of it.
These two sketches were in a large sketchbook, done in the car on the way home from photos, and helped me understand the structure of the plant better.
I was reading a chapter in The Watercolor Fix-It Book (vanHasselt and Wagner) on alternation, or creating a checkerboard pattern of lights and darks in various interesting shapes through your piece. So as I sketched, I was envisioning alternating lights and darks and enhancing those patterns with shadows on the surface. I’m sure it will take me a long time to naturally include that concept in my work.
it’s a great book by the way. The link takes you to a website called Worldcat, where you can put in your zipcode and find the book in a library near you.