Monday, April 19, 2021

A Fresh View Facing West

4/14/21 Maple Leaf neighborhood

Last week was a well-deserved treat for Pacific Northwesterners: Clear skies, sunshine, and temps in the high 60s and 70s – so rare this early in the season. This overly familiar view from our upstairs deck doesn’t excite me much. But my opportunities to sketch up there are fewer than you’d think – it can get hot quickly. Last week was ideal – sunny and warm but not too warm.

To freshen the view, I pretended I was a visitor who had never seen a typical Maple Leaf residential street from above ground level. Bare only a few weeks ago, our neighbors’ trees were now a luminous yellow-green. The rooftops formed a geometric contrast to the organic haze of leaves. As a “visitor,” there was plenty to catch my eye. And it felt so good to be sketching in the warm sunshine that I would’ve been happy with a mud hole as my subject.

Technical note: I tried Legion Stonehenge White again, this time with wax-based Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils. The light tooth grabs pigment beautifully and reveals an appealing texture. After trying it with water-soluble pencils the previous week, I loved the texture’s appearance then too, and the 90-pound paper held up well to spritzing, but it warped enough that I didn’t want to use the reverse side. I think this paper is best with dry media. I’m looking forward to using it in the colored pencil class I’m starting next month.

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