Zion National Park: Spring 2017 Roadtrip

My hands down favorite National Park in Utah (and there are so many amazing ones) is Zion. It doesn’t have singular recognizable features like Arches and Bryce do, but it is just so beautiful. I think the Virgin River running through is what makes it different from the other South Utah parks. This makes the terrain somehow friendlier and all the green in the park really sets off the spectacular red rock.

You cant drive around Zion, you must take the shuttle. And the line for the shuttle can get long… Luckily, however long your line is, you can always see The Watchman from it.

Yet another sketch, from another shuttle stop. If I’m sketching by myself, I agonize about what to sketch and what angle to sketch it from. When I’m traveling with my family, I sketch whenever and wherever we get a break, however short it is.

At the mouth of the Narrows (which I would love to hike down one day, just not in the spring when flash floods are most common), this father and son stacked rocks in the river.

Upper Emerald Pool. An unfinished sketch. It was getting dark and we needed to head back down. I’ve sketched this pool (and some of this park) about 4 1/2 years ago… it’s interesting to see how my sketches looked then.

The red rock at Zion is so hard to paint. The color changes dramatically with the changing light, and the rock has just so many interesting features I want to convey. There are color shifts in every new layer of the rock. There are deep horizontal and vertical lines. There are blind arches and pockmarked rocks; dark wet patches where the water seeps through; and there’s sand where the wind erodes the rock and turns it back to sand… How in the world do you capture all of that?

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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12 Responses to Zion National Park: Spring 2017 Roadtrip

  1. Jennifer Evans says:

    Hi Suhita!
    If you’d ever consider leading a full weekend or week long sketch/watercolor workshop I’d fly to where ever you were teaching…


    • Jennifer, I’d love to do that sometime and when I do, it’ll be posted here!


      • Deb Gass says:

        Love your watercolor paintings of Zion. I just drove past there on my way to SoCal. The colors of the mountains are amazing. I’m with Jennie – I will be there in a flash if you decide to offer a class…hopefully beginners will be welcome:)


  2. lindywhitton says:

    That took me back to a great holiday 2 years ago where we visited many Utah NPs. I loved Zion despite it being day 3 of the holiday and me taking a tumble on the track to the Emerald Pool and spraining my ankle. I did manage to hike part way up the narrows an hour later as I couldn’t bear missing out- and the cold water did help with the swelling . I managed a few sketches too but didn’t capture it as vividly as you have here. Love the looseness and colour.


  3. Carmela Sunnyvale says:

    Zion is one of my favorites, too. We traveled there for Thanksgiving one year. The colors were magnificent and there were about 10 cars all day. The moonrise over the canyon walls made it a day to be thankful for.


  4. Is so intresting.Bravo.


  5. dinahmow says:

    Added to my growing list of places to visit…


  6. Your sketches are lovely and because of your quick hand, they seem to be moving. Love seeing these.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Riti Roy says:

    These are great, as always. I like to sketch too on family holidays. It’s another of life’s great pleasure, along with traveling itself 🙂


  8. LisaDay says:

    I feel that sometimes you just can’t – either by sketchbook or photograph. Sometimes you just have to remember it in your mind. I really love how you do your people, and particularly loved the sketch of the father and son and the rocks.


    • Lisa, yes, not everything you remember is an image. often my sketchbook images aren’t complete memories or captures, but if looking at them can make me remember the experience of being in a place then that’s fantastic!

      Liked by 1 person

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