Spring in California

Spring is short in California. One of the surest signs it’s here is mustard fields in bloom. Everywhere. I caught a few fields in bloom last week and tried different things.

This first field lies south of San Jose, not far from the IBM campus. I did three takes in quick succession.

This is my first take. When there’s a hit of color, like there is in this scene, my first take is always like this, unmodulated and in your face with color. I suppose it’s because that is how the color feels to me.

Once I have that first piece out of my system, there’s a much better chance that I can have a more nuanced response and can notice and explore other aspects of a scene. This next piece is drawn in brown ink with the Ackerman pen. The color is wax crayon. (What do I think of the pen? I love the line it can make because I love dip pens. It acts and feels like one, and handles not at all like a fountain pen or any other kind of pen. It is a fussy pen, and doesn’t always do what I want it to. And I never leave a drawing session without inky fingers. In my experience, you cannot pick and choose some of these aspects of this pen, it comes with it all. Did I say I love the line quality?)

Piece #3 started with a wash of liquid watercolor with ink drawing over it.

That was Day 1. The next day I met with Nina outside the library in Saratoga. This is where we sketched a year ago, just before everything shut down. This time I brought along an accordion fold book (this is the ZigZag book) and did one big piece in it. Here is a shot of the whole piece and a closeup of the panels.

I had fun with this piece, but I’m glad I did it after a day of experimenting with drawing and painting mustard using different techniques. it would have been imossible for me to pick media and techniques and commit to them for a long piece like this without the experiments on Day 1.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Everyday Sketches, flowers, san jose, Silicon Valley and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Spring in California

  1. Nice paintings of spring, we are at the point here where the snow is mostly gone excepts for a few tiny patches, and my tulips are starting to sprout out of the ground. 61F a few days next week, but today is like 35F By mid May, we’ll have flowers like that on the trees. I really like the one you did at the top, as well as the one with the truck.

    Liked by 1 person

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