Some days it is just simple.
Stand inside the window and look through the steamed up glass; trying to peer through all the reflections and refractions.
Or step outside for a few minutes into the nearly freezing air, take off the gloves, and draw. Draw; very quickly.
And that is what I did. Laying a tiny open palette of colors, a nearly full water brush, a Waterman fountain pen, and a Pentel Ink Brush Pen on the table, I opened my Canson spiral bound sketchbook to a page with a pre-drawn 5×7 format. I sketched just a few pencil lines and in just about a minute, maybe less, I switched to the Waterman. Soon I was using the brush pen as well … actually alternating between the two.
Half way through, I began adding water. A few touches with the water brush and the fountain pen ink would blur, the crisp lines softening. When it started to run, I used the same water brush to pick up the inky water and swept it across the paper to create a wash or scrubbed it into the surface to get a dry-brush grey.
It surprised me that I had waited so long but as I closed in on the end … I finally added a few, tiny touches of watercolor to depict the limited hues just barely discernible through the late afternoon/almost evening light and the wispy veils of fog rising from the snow. At last, a touch or two with the brush pen’s fine point and sides; I am finished.
As The Snow Melts Off The Mountain Slope, 5×7, ink and touches of watercolor
Back in the warmth of the interior, beside the beaconing fireplace, I waited to let everything dry. Feeling that I had developed a fair likeness of the snow covered slope, the banks of trees climbing ever closer to the ridge … as well as some semblance of the misty, hazy light rising off of the snow, I packed up my sketch bag and started the drive home over the mountain.
I saw so many other places to stop and spread out my bigger palette and to paint, maybe to sketch, or to just take out my camera and make reference photos for later work in the studio. But the light was fading fast on this eastern side of the mountain and … a dinner date with my wife awaited me!
Sometimes, it is a simple decision.