Monday, November 30, 2020

Night Sketching Sketch Kit

11/26/20 across the street, Maple Leaf neighborhood

If you’ve ever painted your house, either interior or exterior, you know that there’s no such thing as “white” – only hundreds of tints that are very close to white. My (admittedly large) stash of Prismacolors includes a staggering number of near-white hues that could rival any paint chip book. Until I started using sketchbooks with black and brightly colored pages (mainly for my pandemic hand series), I didn’t have much use for all those near-white pencils. Now I have a new use: night sketching.

Actually, I’m a morning person, so I prefer pre-dawn sketching, which is when I did the one above, again through our livingroom window. At first all I could see were the porchlight and the silhouette of rooftops against the sky’s warm light – warmer near the horizon than above. Then our neighbors turned on some interior lights, which were also warm compared to the porchlight. The distinctions are subtle, but it was fun looking through my range of near-whites to find the ones I wanted. I also used black to draw the wires and windows over the whites.

Here’s the whole kit: a pile of near-white Prismacolors, one black Prismacolor, one full-white Derwent Drawing Pencil (the most opaque white I’ve used) and my clip-on Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 book light. I use the small flashlight to illuminate the pile of pencils. (The three pencils on top were the ones used in this sketch.) The sketchbook is a Stillman & Birn Nova Trio in the 7 ½-by-7 ½-inch softcover format.

Night sketching kit

So far, I’ve been using a simple zipped canvas pencil bag (a freebie from a merchant) since I’m only hauling the kit from room to room. But who knows – maybe I’ll be inspired to do some nighttime car sketching when the holiday lights are in full swing. If so, I’ll toss in a few Posca paint markers for color.

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