The last year has been very trying, made more so by the lack of time to do much drawing. I was very happy, therefore, to make it to the end of June and the start of my vacation. This year we tried someplace new, West Caroga Lake in New York’s Adirondack State Park. The weather was great – maybe even a little too hot - and in between the swimming, the board games, and playing with granddaughter Lucy, I got to do some drawing and painting.
I like to play with a variety of mediums when I get the chance, and over the course of the week I tried pencil, technical pens, colored pencil, dipping pen, watercolors and oil paints. My first drawing was a pencil drawing of the cottage next door, a typical Adirondack camp.
There were many old hemlocks along the shore and I liked the view of their thick branches arching over the sparkling waters of the lake. The branches and foliage have a unique shape that is surprisingly complex and difficult to capture. Silhouetted against the lake, I had the opportunity to study them closely, first with a colored pencil, then with a technical pen. They also appeared in a watercolor I did of a nearby dock.
Right below our balcony was a cluster of lily pads with white water lilies that opened in the morning and then closed up in the afternoon sun. They were the subject of my first oil painting that I worked on from Monday to Wednesday. I’m very pleased with how the water looks in the painting. On Friday I did a watercolor of the same subject.
On Thursday the kids took a road trip, leaving me alone for a quiet afternoon. I decided to try another oil painting and used some tiger lilies along the shore as a subject. The painting was done in just three hours and I was thrilled with how it came out. I had been taking some oil painting lessons over the past couple of years and I think I’m starting to see some improvement.
Some of the best work I've done isn't hanging on a wall; it's sitting in a box in my closet that's full of my old sketch books. I fill up one or two books each year. Some of the sketches end up as a basis of a more formal work, but most don't. They’re more important to me as a pictorial diary and also as on-going training; learning to really see and to understand shape, light and color.
This blog is to share my sketches as well as my sketching experiences.