|5/20/23 Museum Aquarelle pencils on Hahnemuhle postcard
(“Iris & Alley” – sounds like it should be a pub, doesn’t
A few years ago, I discovered a garden a few blocks from home with a spectacular display of purple irises. I’ve been walking by occasionally this month to see how they were doing, and like everything else this year, they bloomed a couple of weeks later than in previous years – but as spectacular as ever.
This one took a bit of planning to sketch. I wanted to make a postcard to send to a friend, which would be easy enough – I just had to remember to bring along a Hahnemühle postcard. But I also had to make sure I had the right shades of cool purple in my bag – and that’s when I remembered that the purple Derwent Inktense I was carrying is likely fugitive. While I’m not too concerned if sketches in my sketchbook eventually fade, I don’t want to give anyone a sketch with that fate. Inktense’s lightfastness (or lack thereof) is a distinct disadvantage for spontaneous gifts.
|Iris notes in my color journal
Before I went out to sketch the irises, I studied their colors closely from life and also took a photo for reference. Then I went home to look through the relatively limited range of purples and lavenders among Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelles (which are all in the 3-to-5-star range for lightfast ratings) and picked out three that looked right. I also picked out the two greens I used to carry regularly for foliage before I got hooked on primary triads. (I remembered to document them in my color journal for reference next year. I love how this journal is working out for me!)
After sketching the iris, I still had all the purple and green pencils in my hand when I remembered that one of my favorite alleys was just a few steps away – with lavender flowers in the distance. I couldn’t resist the convenience.
|5/20/23 Maple Leaf neighborhood