Thursday, December 26, 2013


While I don't strive to put lots of detail into my paintings I think it's worthwhile to spend some time on occasion to sketch something in detail from life.  The more you know about your subject the more effectively you can represent it in paint whether you intend to include all those details or not.  I think pen and watercolor is the ideal medium for this purpose. We had another day of winter sun with bearable temperatures so I ventured out to the Jordan River Parkway again, the same area I went to on Christmas Eve.  I decided to record some details on this trip.

art sketch pen watecolor plein air nature tree

I honestly don't know what kind of tree this is but I thought it was interesting how it had three trunks, one large and two small.  The handful of leaves that managed to hang on through fall added a bit of interest and color.

I fully intended to do two detail sketches but when I saw this scene I had  to sketch it.  Not only was it  a great subject but I was able to sketch it from a position I normally would not since most of the year it is under water;

art pen watercolor plein air jordan river parkway

That far bank looks like it may have been created buy a machine, which is possible because part of the river restoration efforts was to return the river to something closer to it's original path with lots of bends creating endless compositions.  I'm sure they didn't have artists in mind during the restoration but I appreciate it anyway.

I meant to share some of my photos in the last post but forgot so here are a couple from Christmas Eve.

This is the view you get of the river after crossing the bridge that goes over Little Cottonwood Creek.  This is near Arrowhead Park.

Here I am standing in the middle of a marsh, one of those locations you just can't get to except during winter.  I'm looking towards the back of the pond that borders the paved trail in back.  You can see one of the boardwalks that jut out into the pond at the top left.  They have three of these on this pond, great spots for bird watching.

Here are a couple photos from todays walk in the parkway.

This is near where I made my second sketch.  You can see the big (machine made?) bank on the left but this is looking straight west whereas for my sketch I was facing Southwest and from a lower perspective.

art photography winter nature sun dusk blue shadow

"Winter Walk"

Here I was getting back to the trail that would take me back to the car.  It was 4:00 pm, the sun was getting low and it was getting cold!

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