|4/1/21 Ornamental plums next door|
After my observations of ornamental plum trees last summer for their unique foliage color, I realized that our next-door neighbors’ trees are exactly that type of plum. Last week on one of our days of lovely spring weather, I went out on our upstairs deck to see how their blossoms are doing, and they are not as far along as other plums I’ve been sketching. Much of the color was from their usual dark maroon leaves, not their pale pink blossoms. But in their current state, they presented an especially difficult challenge:
Trees, in general, are challenging to draw because their forms are often hard to see. If they have big, round, solid crowns, though, it’s a bit easier. Airy trees like these plums are much worse, and worst of all is when they are observed at a close distance. I really couldn’t see their forms at all. Their shadows, however, were fun to draw – a perk of sketching from the deck.
About the color: Since I take only watercolor pencils out on location, sketching from our deck gives me a rare opportunity to use other materials “on location” (as such). The Crimson Alizarin and Dark Indigo are Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils, and the Pink is a vintage Prismacolor. Without the option of quick shortcuts like spritzing to bring out vibrant hues, I have to apply color more slowly and gradually, but these soft pencils make it a joy to work that way.