Saturday, July 18, 2015

Another Sketching Experiment

Oak Street Food Court
Once a week I have a class downtown and park in pretty much the same place each time - by a small park with a food truck court on the other side. One day I had a clear site line of this tree, and its shape caught my attention. I've been scoping it out for a long time, thinking about how I would sketch it. Last week all things came together for a little urban sketching after my class.

What I had decided was to try drawing the main parts of the tree with a brush pen. I bought one as suggested for my art journaling and have only used it a few times for text. It didn't work as I expected and left me unsure of the advantages of brush pens over other types, where would be the best place to put it to use. Perhaps using it to make broad sweeping marks like for this tree is what it is meant for.

I'm still a little fuzzy about it but perhaps less so. It felt a lot like using a marker but I did figure out that the "brush" part allowed me to do finer lines too. With practice, I could develop a little finesse and can see how this one pen could take the place of several different pens - an advantage when working outside the studio.

I used a regular drawing pen (like a Pigma or Pitt pen but a different brand I can't remember at the moment) for drawing in the smaller branches and leaves. This side of the tree was actually in shade and the leaves so dense that those big thick primary branches disappeared behind them. But I couldn't figure out how to make that happen on the page. And then I noticed that this was a flowering tree, with beautiful pink blossoms here and there. It was at that point that I knew I'd be adding color at least to the tree. What color you see was added with Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils after I returned home.

After starting the sketch in my toned sketchbook designated for architecture and which I keep in the car along with a few sketching supplies, I remembered that I was going to draw this tree in a different sketchbook, one where I could draw just the one tree. Too late now - I was lucky I'd remembered to toss in that brush pen! So once the tree was done, I felt a bit obligated to add the truck and canopy tent sitting behind it. And the clouds that aren't shaped much like any clouds you'd see. Not much architecture there, but it does give some notion of the size of the tree.

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