Friday, June 19, 2009

Flag and Porch

I promised myself that I would do an on-site drawing in colored pencil. It's a tryout of a system I hope I'll be able to use while traveling. I sat in the driver's seat while parked, and balanced my sketchbook on the wheel while I put my pencil box next to me on the passenger seat. This house, with its flag slowly waving in a soft breeze, looked just right.

I quickly found that the logistics of drawing this way were not good. It was rush hour and cars were going by me quickly. I dropped my pencil and had no room to retrieve it without lots of reaching. I had to open the door in order to drop pencil shavings on the road. I had forgotten my sharpener which has a little collection bin for shavings. Then I dropped my sketchbook which fell back into my lap. This was not going so well. Not only that, I didn't have the proper colors of brownish yellowish greens to match the foliage. Colored pencil landscape tones tend towards the blue-ish or emerald greenish, whereas real foliage, even fresh June leaves, are yellow or brownish green.

Finally I gave up and decided to finish this in the studio. So it isn't perfectly on-the-spot plein air. (Plein car?) I realized that just storing pencils haphazardly in a box means time lost searching for that yellowish green. I have lots of pencil caddies which hold them in loops, but none of those caddies are as small and portable as the box. So I keep trying for the perfect pencil case, even though I have way too many colored pencils to fit in just one. I now have a vision of a vehicle done up as a pencil and marker case. An old Volkswagen bus, perhaps, or maybe a....Caddy?? Filled with hundreds and hundreds of colors, all arranged perfectly, ready for the artist to fling back the sliding door and draw a July calendar scene of a summer porch with a patriotic touch.


Tristan Alexander said...

LOL well it seems like a bad idea to draw and drive (I know you are smarter than the idiots who text or use laptops and drive). Since I don't drive I can't give any tips to do this better. I like your idea of a car set up for art though. I can see the whole inside brightly rainbow colored with sleves for every color of pencil and marker on the dash, doors, celig, vizers etc.

Pyracantha said...

Tristan, I hope you noticed that I included the words "while parked" in my description of car-based drawing. I am safety-aware and I do not draw and drive, although I have occasionally done ten-second mini-drawings while stopped at a red light.