Thursday, July 28, 2022

Green Lake Alleys


7/25/22 Green Lake neighborhood

I love sketching alleys. They usually have intriguing shadows and converging verticals and horizontals that make compositions fun. In addition, they get little traffic, so I can stand in them safely.

Green Lake seems to have more alleys than Maple Leaf, and I’m having fun finding them. Out walking early on Monday to get ahead of the forecasted heat, I found these two on the same street only a block or so apart. 

Instead of making a thumbnail study first, I’ve lately been trying to visualize the thumbnail in my mind without drawing it, then going directly to the sketch. For the first one (above), I had seen a square composition (influenced by my square Hahnemühle sketchbook’s format), and I made the sketch mostly as I’d visualized it. (Sketching only part of a car when I can see the whole thing is always challenging for me!)

For the next one (below), I had another square in mind. Unfortunately, I had space left on the page outside the imaginary square, so I kept on adding more. The “more” didn’t improve the composition, so I cropped it out. In both cases, you can see in the photos below what I actually sketched compared to my cropped scans.

It occurred to me that if I’m going to skip the thumbnail, maybe I should at least draw the boundaries of the format I envision on the sketchbook page to keep me from filling in any blank space. I had tried that a few times during my 30-day composition project, and the box was helpful that way.

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