Sunday, April 16, 2023

A New Stop on the Tour: Capitol Hill


4/12/23 Capitol Hill neighborhood

The blog of Fran Gallo
, my yoga instructor, alerted me to a new stop on my petal-peeping tour – a long residential block on Capitol Hill with cherries on both sides of the street. Dashing out the day after I read her post, I caught the splendor in the very nick of time: A bit past peak, the blossoms were still glorious, but the drifts of pink snow were deep. It’s always bittersweet when pink season winds down, but that’s what makes sketching it precious and special.

Technical notes: Still not quite happy with Caran d’Ache Supracolor’s Aubergine for blossom shadows (the hue is right, but pigment is pale, and for some reason, it feels harder than most Supracolors), this time I used the same Museum Aquarelle Night Blue that I used for the trunks and shadows. I always thought blue would be too cool, but I like it here.

Compositionally, it’s my typical sidewalk scene, but I consider it a triumph for one reason: I actually got the entire pink canopy to fit, and the scale is accurate. Whenever I’ve set out to include a whole tree or the canopy of a cluster of trees, I usually lose control of the scale or proportion – how can these trees be so much wider than they are tall? – and end up cropping out much of the crown’s shape. It took me most of petal-peeping season, but I finally got it.


  1. You really captured the look of a sky filled with pale pink petals. Great job!

    1. Thank you! I think this is one of my favorites from this season.

  2. I agree that your composition here is great! It really captures the character of the trees.


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