Category Archives: Sketches
This crab apple tree is located between 2 large pine trees in my front yard in Ottawa. This year it was visited by a Pileated Woodpecker who worked on a couple of the branches. One of the branches came down in the last wind storm. Every year I expect it to die but it’s still surviving. I have painted it in bloom and in the fall and decided this time to concentrate on the bark.
I was raking leaves that didn’t get cleaned up last fall and noticed that the rhubarb was up.
I took a break to take a photo of the rhubarb which I used the next day to do a quick watercolour sketch.
I did a wet in wet under painting and then played with what was there to make it look like flowers. I don’t know of any flowers that look like the blue ones I painted. They may only exist in my imagination.
I’ve had quite a lot of deer visiting the cottage lately. They come between 6 and 7 in the morning so I have to get up early to see them. I used to I grab my camera when I saw them. However it’s still too dark for photos when they visit so I started leaving my sketching kit by the window ready to go.
I have a deer block (food) that is a few feet from the walkout of my cottage. I have to be very still as sometimes they can see me through the window. When they are at the block they are relatively still for a few minutes.
My bedroom window is right above the walkout. I moved my sketching kit up there. There’s not much light in the room that early in the morning and I didn’t want to take the time to turn on the light so some of the colours got a bit mixed up.
Some of the trees have lost most of their leaves but the poplars still have some green leaves among the yellow. I chose to do a sketch of some birches beside my driveway. They have lost virtually all their leaves. I used coloured pencils for the birch tree trunks and watercolours for the rest . The yellow and green on the right side are from the poplars that are outside the picture.
During the summer I can’t see the lake from my cottage. There are too many trees in between.
This week enough of the leaves have fallen that it is now visible. I only get a glimpse.
I painted this sketch from my deck. I left out a few large trees so my actual view is less than what is in the sketch.
As you can see in the sketch the sumac behind my cottage are still brightly coloured and have lots of leaves. Many of the other ones around the property are much farther along having lost their brilliance and many leaves.
I recently drove to Nova Scotia to visit friends. I took my time and my sketchbook.
The trees were just beginning to turn in Quebec at the end of September when I stopped at a rest stop along the Saint Lawrence River in Village-des-Aulnaies.
The previous day was very hot but this day it was cold and threatening rain. I had just blocked in the church in pencil when it started to rain. I added the watercolour after I got home.
In Calabogie the pine needles have fallen but most of the leaves are still on the trees. I took a break from raking to do a quick watercolour sketch of the trees beside my driveway.
There is still some trees that haven’t turned yet.
I started a new sketchbook at the beginning of July. Most of the sketches so far have been drawn in ink and the watercolour was added after. The paper isn’t made for watercolour and I had to experiment with how to apply the paint so that it didn’t look like just a bunch of coloured blotches. I found that wetting the paper first and painting wet on wet worked best. However it was hard to get intense colour and the pages warped.
I painted the truck and trees first and then added the pen after.
I then covered some of the pages (one side only) with Golden Absorbent Ground (White). I used one of the pages to paint an impression of one of the views from my daily walk.
The paper handled the watercolour much better and didn’t warp.
I started the next one with pen and added watercolour after. Although I did spend a lot of time measuring, the proportions didn’t work out right, but I can try it again later.
I like the size and format of this sketchbook so I have covered several pages with Absorbent Ground in preparation for more watercolour sketches.