Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Solstice Sun and Weather Sketches

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One of the things that continually fascinates me is capturing seasonal and weather phenomena. We've entered into the darkest of days of winter, making sunrise and sunset particularly noteworthy for me.
I miss the bright, sun-filled, extended days of summer, but also seem to have a fascination with the calm silence of the dark.
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The very rapid times of sunrise and sunset during this time of year present me with a challenge I can never resist: capture the color, mood and look of the sun rising and setting behind a tracery of bare tree branches. That scene never gets old for me and I look forward to exploring it through sketching every year.

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A good pen and a lot of cross hatching can sometimes be the right method. Other times I use a pen with water soluble ink so the inky blackness mixes freely with the watercolors. Different weather conditions will also cause me to pull out different media s I pursue capturing the scene, (which by the way is generally out one of the windows of my house). Same scene over and over, different weather and light both keeps things interesting and forces me to see the scene, edit and re-compose with freshness each time.

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I guess trying to capture the rising and setting of the sun and finding the beauty in the somber colors of the natural world at this time of year is my way of coping with the ever growing gloom which can really creep into my soul and make this a difficult time for me.  From time immemorial our ancestors have marked the passing of the seasons and sought to capture the solstice-tide sun at places like New Grange, Glastonbury and Stonehenge to name but a few. (click the links for video clips)

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Weather in any season is something I like to sketch too. Yesterday a rainy and wind filled nor'easter blew through giving me an opportunity to explore sketching the look of bare, wet trees bent in the gales.

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This morning there was no discernible sunrise as heavy cloudy hung low in the sky, remnants of yesterday's storm.  Cold, damp mist was clinging to trees and swirling around rocks.  I added oil based pencil in sanguine and black to my watercolors and pen sketch and also used some white paint to soften edges and create that feel of water droplets hanging in the air.

I'm looking forward to continuing this series of winter sunrise and sunset sketches along with any crazy winter weather we get.  

1 comment:

  1. I have been seeing these on facebook and am really enjoying this series of sketches. Your use of ink and watercolor is so vibrant and inspiring!


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