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Harlem Meer, 10.20.12

By October 20, 2012November 3rd, 2021Sketches

The tide is turning.  For the better, i think.  Perhaps a bad metaphor… doesn’t that thing come in and go out twice a day?

Denning loaned me her incredibly precious “Claude Lorrain: The Painter as Draftsman” (rare tome) and i’ve been poring over it.  Actually, it’s Lorrain’s sketches that pushed me back into landscape work after a general desire about urban sketching for the past year.  So, i’ve begun to shift slightly in response to Lorrain.  Foliage greebling has taken on a more lyrical form, for now.  Most importantly, i’ve learned that i may need to find another horse to back or to switch my medium.  Lorrain works on mid tone paper and has a tint to work with.  I suppose when i talk about Nathan Fowlkes bold studies i’m also responding to the way opaque watercolors are able to save him in those dark swashes.  And then the second part of my problem is the tone.  Ohhhhh the tone.

I’m somewhat rare in my slavish admiration of the limitations of working in pen.  However, even a penbrush isn’t giving me enough blocks of black to make the kind of moves i want.  You’ll see the limitations in the marker streaks (delightful) from the Tonbo marker in the dark Meer picture below somewhere.  I need a better dark and i might need a light.  Growing pains.

Also, hard not to love the deep dark black of Platinum’s ink, but i may have to give it up as it sits on the page and refuses to dry if pushed too hard.  The new calligraphy pen i’m using has a tendency to be a bit of a pig on ink and it’s leaving highly transitive and sticky dabs of ink on the page.  All of this making page storage, transportation and scanning a somewhat precarious troupe.

Orange continues to push its way into the fringes of the island.  I sat down and pushed watercolor around for an hour or so. The drawing was beautiful and then when i got down to business with color… it just all got buried under a childish rainbow of hell.  I’m not going to bother you with it.  Curse you watercolor… never exactly where i want you to be at the moment.

Next up was a trial run with the new Hero M86 calligraphy pen, loaded with Platinum.  The M86 has a small piston reservoir which is going to make it hell to upkeep, having to fill it constantly.  And yet it’s a nice counterpoint to the Noodler’s Ahab that has been a workhorse for a year now.  In any event, the M86 ran out last week before its trial run.  Here’s the first shot.

Best drawing of the day was this “quick” affected panorama.  I was on the threshold of leaving after a few hours and decided to just try to do something quick.  Quick outline of the shapes.  Quick block in with the Tonbo pen.  And then i kind of fell in love with it.  And along came the detail.  Very happy with this.  Very happy.

Last shot from Wednesday, was a pencil study of the island.  Working more with tone as the late afternoon light had changed the foliage a lot.  Just a panoply of mediums in effect.  Mister, your island casts a shadow.

sort of jacked up my knee the other day which has made me a grumpy commuter.  i sidled to the meer on Saturday for two sketches.  Both of which came off well enough.  Funny to watch myself still fumble through the learning pains of finding things i like about a drawing and then blowing it out by going back into it too much.  The soft dappling of the leaves on the island got totally lost in the darker layer.

I’m working the meer itself more into the drawings.  A new problem.  And an interesting one.  It is the most reliable horizontal and difficult to pull off.  If i ever get more comfortable with this then it’ll be off to faking the sky (haze most days).

Side note, cute mousey lady-sketcher sat down on the other side of my bench and was drawing something for a while.  First a mixture of competition and elation.  Neither of us spoke a word.  And then she left.  Oh, salty lady-sketcher and your bag of mysteries… I was saying just the other week to Denning how i thought drawing was not the catnip it could be; to which she responded maybe that’s because i was already sitting with a girl.  You win this time Denning.

Final sketch of the day.  A nice horizontal again.  I really like the curve of the shoreline wrapping around the island with the stony hill to the left and this great sparse, Lorrain like tree to the extreme left.  I love that tree.  More water work here.  Not bad in a few of its incarnations; sort of meh in the final.

Reds are creeping into the foliage.  Until we meet again lady-sketcher…



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