Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Study in Contrasts

7/2/15 inks, colored pencil, Molotow acrylic marker
I drive by this tree in Shoreline often, and I’ve wondered why a large area of branches in the middle is exposed like a bald spot in the leaves. Even as I was sketching it, I was mainly thinking that it and the tall fir behind it make an interesting study of contrasting values, textures and shapes. It wasn’t until I drew the power lines that I had my “duh” moment: If I could see this tree from a different angle, the part that had been cut away for the power lines would be apparent as a V shape. 

Technical note: I used the Molotow white acrylic marker that I bought at Sennelier to draw the exposed tree limbs. This pen is a keeper – it’s the best opaque white marker I’ve ever tried and shows up well over both ink and watercolor.


  1. Nice job on the textures of both trees. I was looking at that marker the other day. Is the point thin enough to write with it? I need a good covering white that I can use for lettering on small signs.

    1. Thanks, Joan! The Molotow marker is usually small enough to write with. I used it to write the name of the boat on this sketch (the sketch was small -- about 4x6):


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