Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Twig and Tree with Shrubs

Spring Twig and Tree with Shrubs
3 1/2" x 5 1/4" Pocket Moleskine watercolor journal
Pigma Micron 01 (black) and watercolor

Yesterday was my clinic visit and the weather's getting successively better. Enough that I was still functioning well after going down the stairs and could draw! 

My elevator's gone down. There's only one antique elevator in the building and apparently it's going to be months before the replacement motor arrives. This bites. It's going to cut deep into my summer plans. Hopefully if it gets fixed by August or September, I might get a 2015 outing late in the year. But while it's down, my best hope is to stay in for all but essential medical appointments.

I was reading a Claudia Nice book on my Kindle when the van stopped to take on another passenger who was late for the pickup. While we waited I saw this lovely sapling with scanty old dead foliage and its first few new spring leaves opening up simultaneously. Had to sketch that from life.

Then snapped photos from the van window and captured a ridge next to the road with trees and bushes and grass. Later in the waiting room, cropped that photo visually and sketched the tree scene above. Both of those I penciled first, then inked with a waterproof pen and then washed with watercolors. I used watercolor markers in Burnt Umber and Sap Green on the twig and washed, tapping the brush tips with the water brush for lighter color. Then used a little pan set of 8 Daniel Smith watercolors on the tree scene.

A couple of years ago I found that Richeson had a tiny children's watercolor set only an inch and a quarter by under 2" with tiny like quarter-pans round pans of kid color. I bought those for my grandkids as stocking stuffers, I got an extra one for myself, popped out the kid pans and filled the empty little plastic openings with Hansa Yellow, New Gamboge, an orange-red, quinacridone magenta or rose, quinacridone gold, pthalo blue, ultramarine and Paynes Grey.

Weirdly that little keychain set has become so handy. I've always got it in pocket, never have a problem with it other than the ultramarine popping out of its hole, just seem to reach for it and mix those colors easily. Bizarre but it's one of my favorites along with my ubiquitous water brush. Love that quinacridone gold, it's the one color that's wearing down fastest!


  1. Robert, your nature sketches with color are just perfect for Spring! Sorry to hear of your elevator problems. Now I would like to find a tiny wc set such as the ones described.

  2. I remember getting them from an art supply site I don't usually use - going to google on it and see what I can find. These little keychain sets are so cool!

    Got it! is the URL and that is exactly the set I got. $2.97 each. Mine has that same train on it but color and design are random. The tiny tins are fantastic and most artists can put together a choice of 8 preferred colors from tube watercolors. My palette was personal but another good choice would have been primaries, secondaries, burnt sienna and paynes grey or burnt sienna and burnt umber. Depends on what your favorite mixers are!

  3. Great info! I just posted about Altoid tin-style travel kits today! had some little kids party favor plastic kits (from a party supply store literally) but they were flimsy and only 6 wells, so hadn't really considered them something to share. This look more handy. Are they plastic or metal? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh these are much better. They're actual little tins and the wells are easily filled. Not plastic. It does snap closed properly and the mixing area is enameled white mixing area like many other tins. They are well worth the money and the tiny chips of kid paint can always be given to a child.