when the flowers are in bloom

3rd st Davis
It feels like I’ve not been sketching as much lately. This is true. Though my busy 2013 initially brought a burst of sketchbook activity hitherto unseen (or so it felt), I’ve had little energy to go out and sketch as much as before. Well, that and the dreaded allergies – it’s that time of year. This always happens to me at around late March, early April: not just the allergies, but a general slowing down of the manic sketching. I refer to it as my annual “what does it all mean” phase. It picks up again pretty quickly. The weather is getting hot already, but we’ve had a lot of wind as well. Sneezing city. Anyway, I did take a lunchtime last week to try out a lovely new sketchbook I was sent by the kind people at Stillman and Birn. It’s their latest product, from the new extra heavyweight ‘Zeta’ series. Much smoother paper, but super thick too, 180lb. I usually try out new sketchbooks at the comfort of my living room table, where all the elements are just so, and let’s face it that isn’t how I do most of my sketching. So I took it downtown, and used a worn-in micron pen. It took a bit of getting used to – while the paper is smoother, my penwork is used to the slightly less smooth paper of the watercolour moleskine, but I got the hang of it. I am relishing doing a big pen-heavy piece. I was also drawing in a larger format than usual, and I always forget that takes a bit longer. I added the colours at home. The paint, that was going to be the test, and yes it’s different from watercolour paper, but it really takes the paint very well. It’s thick paper, so it doesn’t buckle at all, but unlike some other smooth papers the paint doesn’t bead up. Overall, very exciting paper!

This is that block on Third Street I have sketched several times.

10 thoughts on “when the flowers are in bloom

  1. Jana Bouc says:

    The hot wind with all the trees blossoming is a killer for allergies. Yesterday was terrible. Plus that hot wind always reminds me of earthquake weather. Thanks for your comments on the new S&B paper. I imagine if the paper is so thick the journal must be pretty heavy too?

    So if you’re tapering off of sketching for a little while, are you still planning to come to SF for the sketchcrawl? I was surprised how little action there was for SF on the forum. If you are definitely coming, I will try to join you (if you’d let me tag along again). Otherwise I’ll probably go to a plein air event I’m supposed to do on an old ranch.

  2. jeckenzibbel says:

    I wish we had some hot wind here in Vancouver, but it’s cherry blossom time which is lovely. Anyway, I really like your sketch — it has great depth, and I love how the 3 dots of either pink or red guide the eye along to the distance. It makes me feel like I’m there, walking down this path.

  3. whisperingleavesblog says:

    Tomorrow I am going to take a break from all activities except getting my hair cut, so I am going to get some sketching time in, inspired solely by you! The hairdressers may be a good place to start, hope you keep well, now springtime is here.

  4. Aloquin says:

    Geez, Pete… perspective is hard enough to master, but with letters, too?! You actually make that “Rentals” sign look as it would in real life… FANTASTIC!

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