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.
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.
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
I was hunting for something in my sketch bag and found one of those tiny Hahnemuhle fan-fold sketchbooks. I’d never used it. My first thought was of Vicky Williamson, a sketcher who has done some wonderful sketches in such a book and probably the reason I bought it.
Vicky has always been special to me. I’ve never met her but I’ve followed her sketching for years. She’s something of a “tiny” specialist. She owns half of the small palettes on the planet and most of her sketches are small. 5×8 is a large sketch for her.
Each of her sketches is a little gem and she always has a story to tell about them, whether it’s of a hospital scene, travel sketch, or just a flower or two. Each shines brightly.
And so I thought I would do a tiny sketch in her honor. We were putting some odd-shaped (at least to me) marigolds in our garden so the subject was easily chosen. Only one thing was missing, my Kaweco Lilliput pen. Vicky uses one often. Hers is copper and mine aluminum, but it seemed appropriate for the task. I loaded up some DeAtramentis Document Black into it and started drawing.
I used a Micro-Palette that I attach magnetically to my sketch bag drawing board and a simple clip to hold the sketchbook in place. This is my standard on-the-go system and it worked just as well with the tiny sketchbook as it does with my 8×10 S&B books. I can see why she enjoys sketching small. The results somehow seem brighter than if done in a larger size.
Vicky writes in her sketchbooks but I’ve always preferred doing that on my blog, so my sketch lacks the complete presentation like Vicky’s sketch pages. Nevertheless, I was happy with the result and it was fun to walk in her shoes, if only for a while. Here’s to you, Vicky, for all the inspiration you’ve provided over the years. Say hi to Bill, Tater and Tot.
This spring and summer is rivaling COVID lockdowns for disrupting the flow of outdoor life. Spring and summer for those of us living in a certain northern latitude continues to be a steady stream of rainy days. We’re trying to get our garden planted, some house repairs done and, for the most part, we sit watching the rain. The worst part is that weather has become completely unpredictable so it rains when sun is predicted and it’s sunny when it’s supposed to rain. So, while we’re making some progress, it comes from saying “It looks like it’s not going to rain for the next few hours, I’m going to…” Weird that.
Anyways, I sat on the deck, watching the rain (very pleasant) and decided to sketch one of an army of Impatiens that are destined to form a defense against grass invaders to a flock of hostas.
It’s been raining all day so I thought I’d write a blog post. Hope you like the plant sketch.