Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunny Palms


8/22/22 Green Lake neighborhood

During the first pandemic summer when I really got to know my neighborhood better, I decided to sketch as many palm trees as I could find within walking distance. (Despite their tropical look, the Chinese pinwheel palms growing around here are native and don’t mind cold and rain.) Here’s one and here’s another one. Recently sketching the one across the street made me realize that it had been a while since I sketched a palm.

On my way home from Green Lake a few days ago, I remembered a couple of palms growing side by side. Two years ago (below), the farther tree’s fronds looked a bit scrawny, but as you can see from my sketch above, they have filled out.

6/18/20 My "realistic" palette

Color and process notes: Compared to the one two years ago, I spent much less time on this sketch – it’s smaller, and I didn’t pay as much attention to surrounding foliage or the houses. The colors, though, seem more vibrant in my current sketch because I used my summer primary triad instead of my former “realistic” palette.

It has been more than two months since I decided I was tired of my usual palette and needed to shake things up. Except for the brief diversion prompted by the Beya Rebaï palette, I’ve been mostly using variations of a CMYK-based primary triad all summer. Although occasionally the triad seems to need something (and I don’t always know what the something is), for the most part, it has convinced me that I have no need to go back to my old palette. I just need to figure out what kind of help the triad might need, add to it, and jettison the rest.

Every now and then, I fall back on my conventional palette because those colors are still in my bag like a security blanket. But I’m ready to take them out. If I didn’t have them with me, I wouldn’t fall back on them! Stay tuned for another palette shakeup (or maybe I should call it a bag shakeout!).

Of course, I’m also thinking about exploring secondary triads again this fall, which always seems like the best time of year for rich purples and oranges. Maybe all I need is the right primary triad plus a good purple (always the most difficult to mix from primaries). Or maybe I could follow up on an idea prompted by my yoga instructor . . .


  1. Looking forward to the “bag shakeout”! Now I’m curious, what idea did your yoga teacher prompt?
    Cathy I


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