Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Recent Sketches

Great Egret

I love quick sketching ... and slow sketching on location.  Both have their time and place.  And I also like to pencil in the field and refine the sketch at home when I can look at my photos, then finish it -- but I don't consider those true field sketches.  

I think I grow fastest when I switch back and forth between working directly in ink and at other times working in pencil.  The first helps me grab the essence quickly; the second hones my eye for important detail.  

Canada Geese
Switching mediums is good practice too.  The egret was inked with a fountain pen.  I used a ball point pen with the Canada geese.  
Green Heron

I keep watercolors and in the car too so I can quickly add color when I want.

Great Horned Owl
"Evening is coming to the Klamath Basin.  Sheepy Ridge is dark.  The deepening sky glows with the last bits of color.  It's a clear night.  It'll be a chilly one.  Eight owls tonight!"

Much of my field sketching is practice.  Practice that helps me understand the essence of each species I want to draw or paint.  The practice also pays off in a wonderful way when I see something like this great horned owl at the end of day and I can capture it quickly, freezing the moment in time in my journal.  I sketched this owl while my husband continued driving ... a quick sketch of a beautiful moment.  


  1. I usually must use drybrush for my nature journals, but I would like to try ink and watercolor. I have a fountain pen but everytime I try to use watercolor on top of it, the ink runs. What kind of ink do you use?

    1. I probably should have sent my followup as a reply, but I did it as a comment .... so just go back to the blog and you'll see my response.

      Also, I should add, black Micron pens by Pigma (throw-away pens) are waterproof too.

  2. I have been very happy with Platinum's Carbon ink -- black. It's a little spend, but a bottle of ink goes a long way.
    I keep two pens filled, one with this waterproof black and one with a black that bleeds. Often I want the bleed. If you go to my flickr.com site you'll find several greyscale drawings. Virtually all of these were done with water soluble ink.

    1. I like Platinum Carbon too, Elva! You do wonderful things with it...and now you've inspired me to have a pen filled with ink that ISN'T waterproof. Thank you for being the inspiration you are.

    2. On my water soluble ink I find my 'Pelikan Font' a little too runny, so I mix it with Platinum Carbon. I've read I shouldn't mix inks, but I can't see why not. I can be in control of how much bleed I want.
      Have fun!

    3. I agree, Elva! I know the theory is there's some possibility of chemical reaction, but really...it's not going to explode!

  3. gorgeous sketches Elva, just love the Egret!


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