|4/9/22 Green Lake neighborhood|
Every now and then I get into a secondary triad mood. As much as I love orange, purple and green together visually (as you can see from my home décor), it’s not always an easy triad to use. After I haven’t sketched with it for while, though, I eventually get the urge to go back to it.
Feeling achy and feverish from the Pfizer jab I had gotten the day before (a strong reaction has knocked me down after all but my first jab, so now I anticipate it and plan to lay low for a day or two afterwards), I popped an ibuprofen on Saturday morning and looked out my studio window. I didn’t have much energy, but I knew a secondary triad would perk me right up. I also knew that using materials I hadn’t used in a long time would give me a boost, so I pulled out my box of Derwent Coloursoft pencils. I picked out a saturated trio of green, orange and violet for the familiar scene below, and I instantly felt better (at least creatively, if not physically).
By afternoon, I was feeling a bit better physically, too, and decided to go out before the expected rain arrived. To extend my secondary triad mood, I picked out a less saturated trio from my Derwent Lightfast set. In the Green Lake neighborhood, I spotted a lovely Tudor on a corner surrounded by many different types of foliage (above). It was cloudy when I started, but about halfway in, the sun suddenly broke through. Cast shadows appeared in all the right places to give this sketch the dark bits it needed.
Both of these sketches were done with traditional (non-soluble) colored pencils, which I rarely use in the field. I used to think it was because they take longer, but I’m not convinced of that anymore – neither of these took longer than my typical watercolor pencil sketches. Because I can’t use the shortcut of water to intensify the hues and bring out the darkest value, I have to lay the pencils on with a bit more elbow grease, but not much. Maybe having to wait for water to dry between phases makes up for any shortcuts I take with watercolor pencils. In any case, the afternoon sketch at Green Lake not only kept me in the mood for secondary triads; it also put me in the mood to use non-soluble pencils in the field more often!
An interesting aspect of looking at these two sketches together is the difference in paper texture. The one at the top is my current daily-carry Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook, which has a relatively strong tooth. For the sketch below, I used a much smoother Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook. Although I like both for different reasons, I’m slightly partial to the Hahnemühle’s texture with colored pencils. It gives sketches a rough, grainy effect, like an old photo.
|4/9/22 Maple Leaf neighborhood|