End of May in Yosemite, and it seemed like early spring. The river was roaring, the falls were full, it rained and it even snowed. The dogwoods were in bloom on the valley floor and hiking paths had wildflowers along them.
Oh, and my paper just wouldn’t dry.
This first one was during a dry spell. About a mile up the trail to Upper Yosemite Falls. Stopping just short of Columbia Rock.
For those of you that ask how I sketch on family trips: for this sketch I let the family go up the last 10 minutes of our hike , enjoy the vista and head back down to me. It gives me a good half hour at my spot. Yup, I miss one vista but I see another one long and deep. When you travel sketch you see less but what you see is etched deeply in your memory.
And looking the other way, Half Dome. How could I not sketch it?
This is on a piece of Saunders Waterford Rough Watercolor paper, which I’m loving. ( Thanks Uma!) I carried a couple of pieces in the back of my Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook and used them.
And then it got very wet. Purple granite faces, rain, sleet and some flurries. Yesterday at As seen from the entrance of the Visitor’s Center.
When nothing dries, you just go with it. Watercolor, fountain pen and brushpen ( for the thick tree trunks). Gouache last-bits.
It’s rare for me to want to finish up a spread I started on location at home but this time Yosemite really stayed with me. This very-full page echoes how Yosemite seemed to me that weekend. Verdant, wet, full of life, bursting at the seams.