|6/29/16 ink, brush pen, colored pencil,
gel pen, grease pencil
One of the many things I’ve learned from using Field Notes as sketchbooks is that red is the new tan. Saturated red paper seems unlikely as a sketching paper, but when I can use only three tones – black, white and the red paper as the middle tone – everything is simplified. Although I’d tried it at various times, traditional tan or gray toned paper hasn’t interested me much – until I started sketching in red Field Notes. And then I started to see what toned paper could teach me.
Green Lake Park is very familiar territory for me, and I almost always use color when I sketch there, trying to differentiate the various shades of green in all the trees, their shadows, the grass and everything else. Yesterday I worked hard to simplify a lamp post, a bench and some trees to the three basic tones. I wanted to retain some of the different textures, however, so I used both a white pencil and a white gel pen, and a black brush pen as well as a black grease pencil. I found myself squinting a lot to see and simplify the tones, and I tried not to worry about differentiating between a thing and its shadow if the tone was the same. It’s hard to do because my brain knows the difference, and I have to ignore it.