Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sketching Along the Hudson River

About 9×12″
Ink and watercolor in my stitch-bound, Fabriano Venezia book
I heard it was going to be 51 degrees and sunny today, so I packed a big smile and headed out the the Newburg waterfront along the Hudson River to paint with my friend Virginia Donovan. Clearly the weather forecast was merely a trick played on me by the weatherman to get me to give up the comfort of my warm studio. In addition to colder-than-forecasted temperatures, there was a stiff wind blowing.
I thought about painting from my car, but I much preferred the downriver view, which wasn’t visible from the parking lot. Determined to work outside, I donned a heavy coat, hat, and fingerless gloves. I figured I could at least make it through a sketch or two. This one began with a Lamy Safari fountain pen with an EF nib and Noodler’s #41 Brown ink. Once I got the elements placed and the trees drawn, I broke out a waterbrush and a Sakura Koi 24 pan watercolor set.
I was accompanied by some adorable seagulls and the honking of Canadian Geese. There were still large chunks of ice floating by in the river. By the time I finished the sketch, I was feeling pretty warm. I started a small painting which I’ll have to finish in the studio, since we decided to break and go out for lunch. The afternoon was overcast and there were snow flurries on the way home! Nevertheless, it really felt great to get out and do a little plein air work again.
I’ve been doing a lot of sketching lately, though I haven’t been posting most of them. I always feel that things should be displayed in a more “finished” state than what I generally do in a sketch, but lately a lot of people have commented that they love seeing the sketches. If you have an opinion about this, please let me know. One thought I’ve had is to create a second blog and post just the sketches there; then those who are interested in seeing only finished pieces wouldn’t have to subscribe, and those who want to see the sketches can see them on the other site.

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