Thursday, June 13, 2013

Maple Leaf Swingers

Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook
Located a few blocks from my house, the new Maple Leaf playground just opened in May. The renovation has been going on for more than a year, and I drive by nearly every day, so it was high time to visit on foot to see if the kids got their parents’ taxes’ worth.
It’s a beautiful, colorful space with plenty of fun things to climb on, swing from and run around. More important, it has several benches and even a shady shelter to sketch from.
As happens during most of my visits to playgrounds, all the activity and movement attracts me, especially the interactions between parents and kids at the swings, but then I freak out about the perspective challenges that the swing set presents, and I run out of steam when I get around to sketching the people that interested me in the first place. This time I didn’t bother with the swing set; I went straight for this dad who was talking on his phone the whole time he was pushing his little girl on the swing. I guess I’ve learned this photographer’s lesson before – why not improve the composition by zooming in close to the action? – but the summer is new, and it takes me a while to remember things I learned last summer.
6/13/13 Take-Sumi ink
With those swingers under my belt, I moved to the back of the playground and took a wide-angle view.
By the way, yes – I did refill my Lamy with Platinum Carbon ink, so I could have used watercolor today. The brand new jungle gyms and kids’ clothes would have been fun to paint. But the more I paint, the more I learn from not painting if I pay attention to what monochrome ink has to teach. I’ll be back there another day soon with my watercolors, but for today, I decided to listen to the inks.

6/13/13 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook


  1. Love those kids on the swings! I can feel the wind rushing through their hair. And very nice trees, BTW!!! I'm falling hopelessly behind on the Sketch 100 Trees project but I'm still in the game! :)

  2. You did a good job capturing that dad's pose with the phone. lol I guess he's multitasking. I'll be watching to see your sketches when you go back and use color. Nice!!


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