Chionodoxa

AKA Glory of the snow — an early spring bulb. 

I wanted to capture the bright, delicate blooms and the solid rocks in the late afternoon sun. But, when my husband saw the sketch and said “what is that!” I had to admit the sketch was a disaster. However, when I looked at it the next day, I was transported back to the day before and the peaceful time spent on a warm spring day. So, not a complete disaster.


Lesson learned: this sketchbook (stillman & birn beta) is best for pen drawings enhanced with wash.

Up the road

I wandered up the road, settled in on my stool, opened my bag of supplies and realized I only had my wee watercolour sketchbook. That in turn dictated the format and this sort of panoramic view which I do enjoy sketching.

Generic view

This isn’t a specific spot, but rather an impression from memory, from my morning walk yesterday, and fairly typical for this area. I wanted to work with the different blues to better understand how I can portray the skies I see around here. I like granulation, but not in a sky, so more practice needed (I thought I had used a non-granulating pigment). This is cobalt blue with a touch of crimson.

City life to country calm

I used a stop at a cafe in Toronto to sketch the “view”. Upon returning home, I picked my way through prickly shrubs to sketch an abandoned schoolhouse (I went straight to ink, and worked quickly while standing in a small clearing) and a nearby barn the next day (had a seat for this one). 



Lesson learned: the comfort of the seat, or lack of, affects the drawing, sometimes in a good way.

My house

Lesson 27 in Wil Freeborn’s book is “simplifying what you see”, specifically the facade of you house. His house is a lovely, typical Scottish stone house. Mine is mainly wood and has unusual and intricate gingerbread, which is definitely simplified here.


Lessons learned: work bigger, slow down, be clear about the values.