Friday, January 15, 2016

Hiking and Sketching, Part 1 - Landscapes

Early Spring in the Valley, Graphite Pencil
Most every time I go on a hike or take a walk that will last for more than, say, ten or fifteen minutes, sketching supplies go with me. Taking time to sketch on hikes and walks sharpens drawing skills, helps explore potential painting subjects, and provides a different way to observe things outdoors.

Maple Mountain in Summer, Graphite pencil
Some might think sketching in nature would be relaxing, but it takes putting forth the effort and focus needed to draw as you do things like: sit on hard, bug infested ground, or stand in the snow, fingers stiffening and eyes watering as icy winds try to freeze them. If that's relaxing to you, more power to you. Whether or not it's relaxing, sketching outdoors is an important part of being a plein air painter.

Summer Cottonwood and Ranch, Graphite Pencil
The sketchbooks I take with me on hikes and walks vary in size, from little 4" x 5"s to 9" x 12" pads. The images in this post are selected from a couple of 6" x 8" drawing pads. They're only a small portion of the sketches I've made over the past few years.

Wasatch Front, Graphite Pencil
 Some of the sketches are less than a full page. One page in the sketchbook might have two or more different sketches on it.

Charcoal Pencil
The next sketch is a half page sketch of outcrops on a mountainside. The mountain was the one that's front and center in the "Wasatch Front" sketch (fourth image from top), which is also a half page sketch.

Outcrops, Graphite Pencil
The next sketch is of a column of steam from a power plant. It was sketched as I stood on an ice covered lake.

Graphite Pencil
Next is another sketch of Maple Mountain, done this time with the low angle of winter light.

Graphite Pencil
Here's a view from a mountainside trail, looking up Slate Canyon.

Graphite Pencil
The next two sketches were made looking west across the lake. The first one is looking toward the Oquirrh Mountains in early spring, the last one is a study of summer clouds building over the Lake Mountains.

Graphite Pencil
Graphite Pencil

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