|10/3/19 Wedgwood neighborhood|
So often I’ll find myself with only a small gap of time on a busy day that I want to fill with a sketch, but the most convenient view is a bunch of messy foliage. In fact, let’s be frank – much of what we see in the urban landscape is messy foliage. I’m never particularly driven to sketch such views, but like cars, utility poles and trash bins, messy foliage is unavoidable, so I may as well practice sketching it.
Between appointments in the Wedgwood neighborhood, I took a shortcut down a little-used street and found this long fence. The color on two maples behind the fence stopped me in my tracks. The rest was messy foliage, but that’s urban life.
When I posted this sketch on Instagram, one of my followers commented on the texture I achieved, which I was happy she noticed. I’m pleased with it too, and it’s the combination of Stillman & Birn Beta’s cold press surface and my favorite watercolor pencil tool – my spritzer. If I activate colored pencil pigment on trees by stroking with a brush, the foliage ends up looking too smooth. If I dab at it repeatedly with the brush tip, I get a lot of round blobs that look unnatural. Spritzing at arm’s length mists the pigment just enough to bring out the intense color irregularly, and that seems to look more like foliage to me.