Sunday, June 18, 2023

Catching Up on Nature


6/5/23 Mt. Rainier from the NE 80th St. I-5 overpass, Maple Leaf neighborhood

After taking Kathleen Moore’s Nature Sketchbook +Watercolor course last winter, my intention was to do more nature sketching as the weather improved. I see so many lovely flowers on my neighborhood fitness walks that it should be easy, but I seem to focus more on the wider view when I’m out walking and forget about smaller details. As a result, my “nature sketches” folder where I store up sketches for a blog post was thin, but here they are anyway.

5/16/23 Garden Lupin (with a visiting bee)

4/28/23 Chilean flamingoes, Woodland Park Zoo

The flamingoes were from a fitness walk through
Woodland Park Zoo a couple of months ago when I didn’t sketch any other animals (but luckily still had my Flamingo Pink pencil in my bag from petal-peeping season).

I sketched The Brothers (below) one day and their sister, Her Majesty Rainier (top of post), the very next day when we had a spate of clear skies in early June. I always count myself as so fortunate to be able to see both peaks within a few blocks from home.

6/4/23 The Brothers, sketched from Maple Leaf
6/14/23 Bachelor's Buttons

The most fun sketch here from a color standpoint is the Bachelor’s Buttons I spotted on my walk last week. As I pulled out my sketchbook, I was a bit dismayed that none of the colors I was carrying was the right hue of that lovely periwinkle. If I had been at my desk sketching from a photo with my full palette of colored pencils, I would have fussed for a long time to find that color. With my very limited palette, including one blue (cyan) that I thought would be too warm, I managed to find the right blend with the magic of optical mixing. You can see the colors I used from the swatches: violet, cyan and, perhaps surprisingly, Flamingo Pink. This must be a sign that I must leave my petal-peeping pinks in my bag year-round.


  1. The optical mixing on that Bachelor's Buttons sketch is lovely!

    1. Thanks, Lee! I was rather tickled when I pulled it off with the esoteric selection in my bag!

  2. I love the optical mixing for the bachelor's buttons. Your sketches of her Majesty and The Brothers always make me smile. Yay for clear skies!

    1. Glad you got a smile! We're back to "Juneuary" now! ;-)


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