Friday, June 20, 2014

Mixed-Media Experiments: Gardens

6/19/14 Kuretake brush pen, watercolor, Platinum Carbon, Diamine Grey and Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-rin inks, Canson XL
140 lb. paper (Parsons Garden)
On our last stay-cation day, it finally warmed up, so we took advantage of the sunshine to visit two gardens. Our first stop was the University of Washington’s Botanic Gardens at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Given this garden’s scientific objective, it was oddly difficult to identify the plants: They didn’t have the usual small placards next to them with the species names, so I can’t tell you what either of these flowers is (bottom). But I was pleased that two Zig markers and a waterbrush filled with Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-rin ink gave me just as much range in a shorter length of time (the flower on the left, which took a couple of minutes) than watercolors hastily mixed and applied (the flower on the right).

6/19/14 Diamine Grey, Take-Sumi and
Chiku-rin inks, Zig markers, Uniball opaque pen
(Center for Horticulture Botanic Gardens)
The tree and fountain view (left) was also done with a variety of inks in waterbrushes and Zig markers. Alas, the stream of water from the fountain was relegated to a white Uniball opaque pen, which is never as effective as carefully reserving the paper’s white. But it does the job on a 15-minute sketch.

In the afternoon we visited Parsons Garden, which has been described as a “hidden gem” in the Queen Anne neighborhood, and that’s an accurate description. Surrounded by a high hedge, the garden is hard to see behind it. (The home of the family that owned it is still behind the property, which was donated to the city in 1956.) Instead of focusing on individual plants, I took a longer view this time to sketch a group of young women having a meeting under the shade of a huge tree (top of page). Wanting to linger in the sunshine, we were a bit more leisurely at this garden, so I pulled out my watercolors. Even so, I used the waterbrush filled with Chiku-rin for some of the greens.

As I was sketching this scene, a man who lived in the neighborhood stopped to take a look. He said he was an “aspiring plein air watercolorist” looking for more opportunities to practice, so I invited him to join Seattle Urban Sketchers. I hope he shows up – I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a gorgeous June day than sketching and painting outdoors.

6/19/14 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor
(Center for Horticulture Botanic Gardens)

6/19/14 Zig markers, Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-rin ink
(Center for Horticulture Botanic Gardens)

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed at how quickly you are getting these great sketches done. I guess the ink is much quicker to use on the fast sketches. Nice job on these.


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