Friday, October 24, 2014

Tight People, Loose Trees at U Village

10/24/14 India ink, twig, watercolor, Canson XL 140 lb.
The University Village Starbucks was supposed to be only the meeting place for the Friday ad hoc urban sketchers, not the sketching destination. But this morning started out cold enough that I decided to stay and warm up – literally – with a cup of coffee and as many sketches of people as I could do in half an hour. Inspired by Melanie Reim’s loose yet angular style, I was trying to loosen up, but I’m not sure I succeeded. I can usually get loose with figures that are moving quickly, but I have a much harder time with faces. I’m going to keep working on that.

Sufficiently warmed, I went out to the village fountain, which I had sketched several months ago when I was doing temporary battle with an ongoing sketching nemesis – fountains and falling water. Trying to reserve the paper’s white for running water is always the tough part! Getting an odd reverse logic in my head, I pulled out my twigs and India ink, somehow thinking I might be able to indicate the white water by using dark ink for the negative spaces. A good concept poorly executed – but at least the twig loosened up my lines.

10/24/14 Private Reserve Velvet Black ink
That done, I turned my stool 90 degrees and spotted some maples past their prime but still blazing in the sunshine, as well as a couple of lamp posts. Two years ago, I had sketched the same type of lamp posts elsewhere at U Village, and I remembered how easy it was to get caught up in the trim and individual blossoms in the hanging baskets. I still had my twig and ink out, so I let ‘em rip. Sufficiently loosened up by the trees in the previous sketch, I was happy with the way the blunt twig stressed the shadows without letting me fuss with details.

10/24/14 Private Reserve Velvet Black ink
10/24/14 India ink, twig

The Friday ad hoc sketchers bundle up for a chilly morning at U Village.
Top row from left: Robin, Nilda, Gwen, Natalie, Linda, Anne.
Bottom: Tina and Peggy.


  1. You must have a magic twig! These are great!! Your people are getting better and better.

  2. Hmm...didn't post the first time :-) Great sketches, Tina, particularly your stick sketch of the autumn trees. Wow!

    Cheers --- Larry


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