Sunday, February 9, 2014

First Snow

2/9/14 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook
It’s not the first snowfall of the season, but the first that piled up and stuck. A half-inch of accumulation was predicted in my neck of the Pacific Northwest, but we actually got a couple of inches overnight. Waking to flocked trees and the thick kind of quiet that comes with snowfall is always a bit magical (especially on Sunday when there’s nowhere to commute to).

It’s also the first snow I attempted to sketch – ever. Although it has snowed at least once a year since I started sketching in 2011, I remember feeling completely technically unprepared each time: How do I paint the white? Do I draw it, or just try to paint around it? It was overwhelming.

I wasn’t much better prepared this morning. But I have been admiring the many beautiful snow sketches of Shari Blaukopf, Nina Johansson and Joan T., so I had been looking forward to an opportunity to give it a shot. Since I don’t drive in snow (not in my little convertible hockey puck!), and I felt no compelling reason to put on my boots, I simply opened the front door and stood on our dry porch to sketch the scene across the street. (The temperature was in the low 30s, so I didn’t even have to put gloves on.)

Maybe snow should become my latest sketching nemesis. But given that it snows here only a couple of times per season, I won’t get many opportunities to try to slay it. I’ll just be happy that I got this sketch done in the nick of time to post it to this week’s Urban Sketchers Flickr group theme, “Weather.”

(Speaking of sketching nemeses, I just noticed that this sketch includes three of mine: architecture, trees and cars. Battling three nemeses in a single sketch on a Sunday morning! Time to go in for hot chocolate.)


  1. I was thinking of you earlier when I had the news on and they said that Seattle had snow. I was wondering if you sketched it. Yeah for you!!! You did a super job especially for a virgin snow sketcher. lol It is hard to figure out how to sketch it and shade it and using ink like you did makes it a little easier. Someone was out walking in it...I see footsteps! Hope it lasts long enough for you to sketch it again. Our snow doesn't seem to want to leave us. It froze on everything and isn't budging.

    1. Thanks, Joan! By afternoon, it was starting to melt away, and today it's raining buckets, so the snow is all gone. It was fun while it lasted!


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