Two-ink sketching in Yosemite National Park

I’m enjoying playing with a two-toned approach to my linework: For the most part, I do a very loose line drawing with brown ink first, just enough to let me see where my big shapes are. Then it’s watercolor time. Last of all, I’m back in with a darker ink to define shapes and draw attention to parts of the image. I’m finding it to be a good way to keep my line from being flat and monotonous. And, knowing I will come back in for a second time and define what I need to keeps me from drawing too much in line on my first pass: It allows for less defined edges, like the clouds at the top of El Capitan in Yosemite (below) breaking the edge of the rock formation.yosemite_elcapitan

Here’s another rock formation I sketched, this time from the top of Vernal Falls, halfway through a beautiful hike.
yosemite_topofvernalfallsThis one is Sentinel Rock (yes, they all start to merge after a while), but you can see I was having fun with this two-ink thing…yosemite_sentinel

I used pencil and black pen here. This is Yosemite Falls.

And for variety, here’s a branch of pine using brown and black ink, blue colored pencil, and a white gel pen.

These are the Giant Sequoias in the southern part of the park.

And my favorite rock (and sketch) comes last: Half Dome. In watercolor, graphite pencil and a wee bit of blue colored pencil.

Here’s what I’m using: Two Sailor bent nib pens, one with black carbon ink the other with De Atramentis Brown Document ink. Graphite pencil, blue colored pencil, white gel pen, and watercolor.

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Back in New York, Part 6: It’s fun being a tourist

It doesn’t get more touristy than Times Square. Can’t say I understand why tens of thousands of tourists parade through it everyday. But it is super-fun to sketch.
times_square2 times_square1

Next stop? Grand Central. I wish I’d sketched the beautiful turquoise ceiling to this huge space, it’s is really beautiful.grand_central

My favorite part of the Natural History Museum is the dioramas. They have beautifully painted backdrops… such depth and and atmosphere in those paintings! But my kids spent the most time in the dino section. So that’s where I sketched.
museum_of_natural_historyThat’s it from New York. I think I’m ready to go back already.

If you missed my earlier New York posts, they’re here:  post #1, post #2 , post #3, post#4 and post#5.
And, all my sketches from my trip to the city,here on flickr.

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Back in New York, Part 5: Looking Up

Looking up. Buildings everywhere. The everyday, the famous.
This one has one of those faded advertisements on the top of it, from the days of the elevated line in Manhattan. A water tower and fire escapes complete the scene.

Synagogue by a police station. Only the NYPD parks in front of this building.
The skyline from the East River. Waiting on a boat to take the Circle Line Tour, one of my favorite touristy things to do in the city.

And some more famous buildings, ones I draw every time I’m back in New York.
The Flatiron. With yellow cabs. And daffodils blooming in giant pots.

And from almost the same viewpoint, looking north, the Empire State Building. The guy on the bench was so sweet. I didn’t think he’d noticed I was drawing, but then he politely asked if he could leave before getting up and walking away.
And my favorite building in New York, the beautiful Chrysler Building.

You can read post #1, post #2 , post #3 or post#4.
And, all my sketches from my trip to the city, as I post them, here on flickr.

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Back in New York, Part 4

My favorite thing about Central Park is that you can always see the city skyline above the treetops. This is sketched from the top of a rocky outcropping in the park. Here is what I learnt about this rock. (Thank you, Wikipedia): In Central Park, Manhattan schist and Hartland schist, which are both metamorphosed sedimentary rock, are exposed in various outcroppings.

My kids loved sailing miniature sailboats on the pond, just like Stuart Little did.central-park_boats

And an afternoon in the park isn’t complete without some music.

You can read post #1,post #2 or post #3
And, all my sketches from my trip to the city, as I post them, here on flickr.

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Back in New York, Part 3

Some of what I like best about New York is the little stuff that is so New York.
A delivery bicycle chained to a lamppost on the street. Somewhere on Lexington Avenue.nyc_bike

If you’re on Lex near Curry Hill, you’re guaranteed to see a long taxi lineup. Here’s one with the Flashdancers ad atop the cab.

The hot dog and pretzel vendor. And the soft serve ice cream truck.

The early morning line at the bagel shop. If you have recommendations on where I can find a good bialy on my next visit, let me know.bagel_shop1

And an attempt to sketch on the E train.

You can read post #1 here and post #2 here.
And, all my sketches from my trip to the city, as I post them,  here on flickr.

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Back in New York, Part 2

More from New York. An unusually warm spring weekend. Naturally, everyone seemed to turn up to walk the High Line. Perfect for crowd-sketching.


Sketches from the Met. The temple of Dendur. I am always amazed at what it must take to move a whole temple complex from Egypt to New York.

Jali and Museum Guard. From the Islamic wing at the Met.

And finally, the Met’s Great Hall.

Here is Part 1 of this series of sketches from New York. More coming soon.
And, all my sketches from my trip to the city, as I post them,  here on flickr.

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Back in New York, Part 1

Last month I was in New York City for too-short-a-trip. Between spending time with friends, visiting old haunts, showing the city to the kids and playing tourist, I ended up with quite a few sketches.

Roosevelt Avenue, Queens on a weekend morning. Loved capturing the huge dark bulk of the underside of the subway line and the contrasting dark and light spaces it creates on the ground.queens_overpass

Corner store, Queens. There is something lovely about picking up some fruit and milk on your walk home from the subway.

In all the time I’ve spent in New York, I’ve never visited Roosevelt Island. Until this time. I didn’t sketch the fascinating ruins of the smallpox hospital there, but here is the Queensboro Bridge, sketched from the island, looking across towards Manhattan. We rode that red cable car into Manhattan. It was quite a ride.

And in true Manhattan style, the view from our apartment in the city.

More sketches from New York coming soon.

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