Friday, June 10, 2022

Too-Convenient Greens at Green Lake


6/6/22 Green Lake Park

Although I sketch frequently in the Green Lake neighborhood, it’s been a while since I made a leisurely, full-color sketch at the lake itself (most recently, all I used was graphite). The last time was probably in September when I was experimenting with various primary triads. Our recent temperate weather – now that it’s June, it finally feels like spring – invited me to get out there one mild afternoon.

Composition study

Because I’m currently a “good girl” and following the rules, I began with a hasty but ultimately useful thumbnail study (at right) to plan my composition and indicate the values. The sun was out when I arrived, but it dipped repeatedly behind clouds as I sketched. The thumbnail was handy reference during those moments when the sun disappeared.

Overall, I like this composition, large shapes and strong value contrasts. The only thing I’m not happy with is the “normal” color palette I used. My three go-to greens plus yellow are the same ones I’ve used every spring and summer for years. After much trial and error, these pencils from my Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle palette have become reliable favorites because they blend well and seem to capture Pacific Northwest foliage with the most natural hues. Functionally, however, they are the equivalent of a painter using only colors straight out of the tube without mixing. With all the experiments I’ve been doing lately with primary and secondary triads, this readymade palette now seems blah and, well, too “normal.” I guess I’ve gotten used to the liveliness (as well as the challenge) of using a palette I have to mix. (Maybe I’m learning to think like a painter in more ways than one!)

My go-to greens are getting tiresome... time for a palette refresh!

I’m not sure I’m ready to remove all the convenient greens from my bag, but I’m going to make an effort to avoid them and try different triads (not just my favorite CMYK hues) instead.


  1. I'll be waiting for you to change the colors up a bit now that you've changed your way of composing the pages.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...