Monday, June 24, 2013

In the Nick of Time

6/24/13 Sailor pen, Private Reserve Black Magic Blue, Diamine Grey and
Diamine Chocolate Brown inks, Zig markers, 100 lb. paper
Frustrated by the ongoing rain (’s headline today: “Rare June Atmospheric River Heading for West Coast”), I pretended it was winter and headed out for Zoka Coffee to sketch. But when I got there, I realized that, despite the rain, the outdoor temperature was pleasant. After getting my coffee, I sat on one of the benches outside, where an overhang protected my sketch from the drizzle.
In the back of my mind was this week’s Urban Sketchers Flickr group theme, “Dogs,” and when I looked across the street, a tiny Pomeranian was barely visible at its human’s feet (you might have to enlarge the sketch just to see it). Although I knew it was dangerous to start a composition with such a small part of it, I also knew that the dog wouldn’t be there long, so I quickly framed the composition in my mind, and sketched the dog. Sure enough, as soon as I finished drawing it and its human, they both got up and left. (Whew.)
Not much else across the street interested me, but I hadn’t sketched any cars, my wintertime sketching arch-nemesis, in a while, so I decided to fill in all that space around the tiny dog with a few. Again, I finished one car in the nick of time before it pulled away. The one closest to me changed several times, but the way I draw cars, they all look the same anyway.
Technical notes: Stefano Bramato, maker of my new leather sketchbook cover, is also the author of an inspiring and entertaining blog. He recently blogged about his bare-essentials sketch kit, which includes a waterbrush filled with undiluted Diamine Grey ink. Although I’ve found Diamine Grey to be a little too pale for drawing, its an ideal mid-gray tone for shading, so I filled up a waterbrush and gave it a try with this sketch. I like the way it can be layered like watercolors (similar to my favorite Zig markers).
In hindsight, I wish I’d used black water-soluble ink instead of blue for this drawing, which might have coordinated better with the gray washes. But in my most recent bag weight-reduction attempt, I took the pen with black ink out! It's the Murphys Law of sketching: The thing I want is always the thing I most recently took out. Well, very soon I’m going to strip out all non-essentials again for traveling, so we’ll see what makes the final final cut.

1 comment:

  1. I think the blue and the grey inks go well together. You are brave to attempt a dog walking along. They are much too quick for me. lol Nice sketch...and a smart idea to sit outside under the overhang.


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