Wednesday, December 29, 2021

First Snow


12/26/21 11:15 a.m., 27 degrees, Maple Leaf neighborhood

We had been promised a white Christmas. Although some areas of the region got a dusting on Dec. 25, we didn’t see it in Maple Leaf until Boxing Day – several inches of nonstop snowing and blowing. Fortunately, we didn’t have anywhere to go, so we could enjoy the quiet beauty through windows.

My first sketch of the day was one of our suet feeders from the kitchen (I sketched a snow scene with a different focus a few years ago from the same window). Using only graphite and a blending stump on white paper, it was challenging but satisfying to depict the snow piled up on the feeder and fence. What I didn’t capture, though, was the falling snow that was coming down hard and sideways. I didn’t think that erasing out the snowflakes would stand out sufficiently, so I left it alone.

12/26/21 2 p.m., 25 degrees, wind from north 

Later that day, I still wanted to try for falling snow, so I lowered the shade to a side window with a view of not much more than our neighbors’ downspout. This time using a gray Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook, I had hoped that either a white Gelly Roll or a white Derwent Drawing Pencil would do the trick. Gray toned paper never quite seems dark enough, though, to make white stand out (and I didn’t mean for the wires to look like they were inside our window!). Not as satisfying.

Whenever we get the first snow of the season, I feel some pressure to sketch it as much as possible, since I never know how long it will last (unless we get another snowpocalypse, of course). I see more snowflake icons in the forecast, though, so I might have another chance soon.

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