Monday, March 10, 2008

"Snowshoeing on My Land" 3-6-08

Today I felt like I just had to get out of the house! There was a bit of snow on the ground so before winter weather leaves us completley I decided to go snowshoeing with my dog Ginger. I decided to leave all the colors behind (watercolors, color pencils etc.) and just bring some non permanent ink, micron permanent pens and my waterbrush. I really like sketching with a NON permanent pen because you can create some nice effects with a little water and a brush after. You can rework or redraw on top of it after to add details or more value. The ink I'm using is called Brilliant Brown by Pellican. I put it into an expensive little Rapidograph pen, it has a very fine tip for details. The ink is nice though it gets a bit 'pinkish' when you wet it, but I still like it.
Page one of my sketchbook I talk about wearing my dad's old hunting coat, oh I love that coat but mostly because it makes me think of him! When we were kids he'd dress up in the red plaid overalls and coat and chuckle like Santa! We'd all laugh!
The sketch shows a little deer path across my field that the foxes have been using. Then I used 'comparative measurements' to draw an exact size of the track. This is something I teach in my Nature Sketching classes. The branches were rubbing in the wind and they sounded like frogs calling!
The picture of me I took myself! I experiment all the time with my camera, this time using my trusty Olympus FE230. I hung it in a tree, on a branch, by it's little strap. I turned it on, and checked to see if it was pointed in the right general direction and then set the auto timer. Once you set it RUN!! and get in the picture. Then you can check to see if it came out. I was lucky and this one came out first try! haha...

Page two of my sketchbook (click to enlarge) shows a drawing of Ginger's footprint. I did this to compare to the other print I drew, and to show that a dog will have claw marks. The other print I couldn't see any. The other drawings on the page were done with a Graphitint water soluble pencil (cocoa). I like the color of this a lot! The clouds were high and puffy, I tried to draw them, but it was hard! Then I sketched a flock of geese going over, at first they sounded like yipping coyotes in the distance.

Page three I switched back to my rapidograph pen and non perm. ink. I found a tiny nest and on the page I indicated it's actual size by measuring with my pen. Then using my sketchbook, starting at the ground and going up I counted how many sketchbooks tall it was. Knowing the size of my sketchbook I was able to very closely estimate how far off the ground it is. 21". This is using comparative measurements in another way. The oak leaves are still hanging on, still pretty in their dry form.

The two photos (click to enlarge) are from my return walk home. The one shows a view of what it looks like when you hug a tree and look up! It's pretty cool!! TRY IT! The other is a view of Long Lane on my way back home. Ginger is actually up ahead in the bushes on the left, can you spot her? I have a video clip that I'm goint to attach, lets hope it works!
I really enjoyed sharing this walk with you, please leave me your comments and questions.
I have classes starting in May for Nature Sketching, please email me for more information


camulus said...

Ginger looks like she is really enjoying that walk. I guess she sniffed the tracks out with her nose so you could sketch them, a great team!

Mary McAndrew said...

Hi Camulus,
Oh Ginger loves going for walks so much. If I come out of the house wearing ANY kind of bag or pack, she goes nuts. She gets so worked up she'll start eating snow because she doesn't know what to do with herself! She has to wait till I feed the chickens!
She does sometimes find things that I notice her sniffing ahead on the trail. So I make sure I investigate and see what's up.( or down I should say!)