Saturday, July 11, 2020


7/5/20 alstroemeria in our backyard

I’m not much of a nature journaler or even a garden sketcher. Perhaps if I had a nicer garden, I would be both, but that would require, you know – gardening. My idea of nature journaling and garden sketching is this: Sitting in 68-degree shade to sketch the alstroemeria in our backyard (incorrectly identified as freesia in my sketchbook). Ahhh . . . summer at last! Two more months of this, please!

Technical notes: I mentioned in my review of the Stillman& Birn square-format sketchbook that it’s too large for easy carrying or use while standing, so I can’t take it urban sketching. For this alstroemeria page, though, it was ideal. I had dragged a kitchen chair out there, so I could easily support the book on my lap. The square format gave me just enough additional page real estate for a montage like this.

I typically wouldn’t use traditional (wax-based) colored pencils on location because watercolor pencils are more efficient for the way I like to sketch. This beautiful, leisurely Sunday afternoon, however, was an ideal opportunity to haul my Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils outside along with a good crank sharpener (which is essential with such soft cores as these).

Ahhh.... summer at last!
Speaking of Luminance pencils, I just heard that Cd’A has released 24 new colors in the Luminance line. As I picked out colors for the freesia leaves, I noted significant holes among the greens in the original line. I’d welcome a few more greens, and more yellows wouldn’t hurt, either. The strange part is that 20 of the 24 new colors are being issued as a new “portrait” assortment, which doesn’t make much sense if you look at the included hues. The remaining four new colors are available open stock, which also doesn’t make sense. Why not just put all 24 in a new set? I’ll wait until they are all available open stock in the US and just buy the colors I want.

I’ll tell you what really excites me about this news: Maybe it means that Caran d’Ache will soon be adding some new colors to the Museum Aquarelle line! It has some serious gaps, too. Though my excitement is based purely on conjecture, keep your fingers crossed for me.

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