I’ve been reading a book titled The Memory Code by Lynne Kelly, in which she posits that preliterate cultures used landmarks as memory cues to encode survival knowledge. It’s changed my approach to location drawing, it’s changed which things I pick out and how specific I am in drawing them. I feel like I’m drawing maps.
Tree stump at picnic tables, walkway in background
X marks the direction to where I’m sitting, and the little cone and sphere at the top of the sketch note the direction of light.
Two Trees, restroom and playground
I use an oval to mark my eye level (at the base of the leftmost tree). Of course I make mistakes.
Trees in front of Dimond Avenue entrance
If I’ve done this right, you would be able to figure out from the drawing where I was sitting when I drew it, and match up the trees in the drawing with the trees in real life. “x2.5” means that if I had more paper, the spot where I was sitting would be 2.5 times the distance from eye level to the x mark.
At first I thought this spot was pretty boring, but could I still mark this spot specifically? I chose the number and placement of posts, and the shape of certain trees in the background.
Even when Shadow’s sleeping, he shifts and moves around. If he feels my eyes on him, he lifts his head to look at me. So I look at him over the edge of my table while he’s nestled in an armchair.
Looking uphill and noticing the bright scene on the other side of the fence.
Using figure shapes as boundaries for watercolor “accidents.”
Aquarelle pencils are great for sketching on site, but I tend to work too tightly with them. Trying to get more randomness into my work means resorting to softer paint with lots of water.
Another sketch without wearing my glasses, looking into the blur.
The sun lights up the leaves of this tree. When I look at it with my glasses, the many leaves make so much detail I find it hard to paint. But blurred out, I see one bright canopy.
A little sketch without wearing my glasses. All looks blurry, but what stands out for me is how dark the shadowed foreground is. There were also some dark branches hanging down from the sequoia.
Sketch for baby gargoyle.
sketch Baby Gargoyle