Tuesday, 6 January 2015

BASIC BLACK: 41/4 X 6 (Part Two)

The wonderful thing about a small, hardcover, 41/4 X 6 inch, sketchbook is that it fits easily into a jacket pocket, and can be taken anywhere. Add a couple of pencils, a small set of watercolours consisting of the primary colours, a small bottle of water, and you're set to travel just about anywhere in all kinds of weather. A small sketchbook also attracts little attention should you be a bit shy of sketching in front of others.

Sketching is a wonderful way to learn how to draw. Though important to the artist they are not thought of as finished works of art. Treated as such it allows the student to explore various mediums without fear of the finished sketch being critiqued. After all a sketch is but a sketch, an idea with possibility.

14. As I've mentioned in various postings I used to haunt various marshes during the spring to observe and sketch waterfowl. Although I no longer remember this particular instance, no doubt a lone Canada Goose flying close by must have struck me as worthy of noting as a possible subject for an etching, or painting. In fact I painted and made prints of numerous Canada Geese over the years. First to arrive, often times before the ice is off the marsh, they are for me harbingers of spring.

15. We discovered Algonquin Provincial Park sometime in the 1970s, but it wasn't until 1996, or thereabouts that I began to make sketches in the park. Up to that time I painted and made prints almost exclusively of wildlife. It was when I committed to doing a book about the park that I turned my attention to drawing and painting landscape. This pen and ink sketch was made on the Centennial Ridges Hiking Trail.

Whitefish Lake #1   Pen & Ink Sketch  1996

16. As the sketch notes it is of Whitefish Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park. There is a group camping area at the Pog Lake Campground where we would go to picnic and I would make a sketch, or two. It was usually quite quiet so I could sit at a picnic table and sketch without being bothered. On this particular day I made four sketches.

17. Whitefish Lake #2   Pencil Sketch  1996

18. Whitefish Lake #3    Pencil Sketch   1996

19. Whitefish Lake #4   Watercolour Sketch  1996

20. This pencil sketch was made at the top of Ragged Falls of the Oxtongue River.

21. From a different location, on the same day that I made the previous sketch, I made a pencil and watercolour sketch of the Oxtongue River.

22. Our home at Horseshoe Valley was beside the cross-country ski trails. Needing a bit of a break as well as exercise I'd spend a hour, or so, each day skiing various trails. Occasionally, I'd stop to make a sketch of something that looked interesting.

23. Another quick sketch made while skiing. 

24. Yet another quick sketch of the ski trails at Horseshoe Resort.

25. My sister and brother-in-law have cottage on a small island out on Georgian Bay. One day we went for a boat ride. I took along my sketchbook and as we were motoring along I made a couple of quick sketches. No mean feat sketching in a tossing and turning speed boat.

26. Georgian Bay #2  Pencil sketch  1997

27. Georgian Bay #3  Pencil Sketch  1997 

28. Lunch time I'd go for a quick hike up the ski hills. From the top of the ski hills you could look down on what is known as the Copeland Forest. I would sometimes stop and make a watercolour sketch.

29. Another Day At The Top Of The Hill - Copeland Forest
Watercolour Sketch 1998

30. New Mexico  Coloured Pencil Sketch 1998

One day we got in the car and drove to the American Southwest the beginning of a love affair with the Enchanted Land.

There are still sketches to be scanned in my Basic Black: 41/4 X 6 sketchbook, so if you're not to tired of listening to my rambling, and looking at old sketches come back in a day, or two, for the final word.

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