Plein Air Pencil

Back in early June, I had been invited to an art critique by an artist friend of mine, Patrice Erickson. She also suggested that afterward we could do a little plein air work together. I heartily accepted the invitation and looked forward to it with much anticipation! The day arrived and I eagerly packed up my gear - I had decided to work in pencil as Patrice was planning to do so that our efforts and time involved would be better matched. I drove out to Patrice's, a little worried because I was running a bit late and didn't like the idea that I was going to be making a tardy first entrance. Well, as it turned out I wasn't late at all. As a matter of fact, I was a day early, to my chagrin! Patrice, ever the sweet and polite one, was most genial and accommodating. Since I had already made the trek, she suggested we carry out our plan to work plein air.

We ended up in downtown Rochester, at the municipal park. It's a lovely park with river that flows through it. It is also the location of the Arts and Apples Festival each year in early autumn. We walked down to the river and set about with our sketching.

Now, this was an interesting experience. First of all, I'd never rendered moving water and second, I'd never done any landscape work in pencil! As I said it was interesting, interesting because with graphite pencil one is working with only a greyscale to render with. I found it intriguing to try and render layers of leaves and depth of trees. And to render moving water? Holy moley! That's a whole 'nuther ballgame!

We worked for a while and then moved on to another location which had a small water fall and rapids. Oh! As if the first location wasn't challenging enough! But nevertheless, it was a fun endeavor. I feel as though what I did was "okay" but can certainly use a lot more experience working with pencil. There's got to be a better way to render landscape than what I did! I feel that I tried to draw too much of the scene before me and could have done a better job if the focus had been smaller. I'd also like to work more on creating texture with line work instead of shading and smudging. So I guess, I'd better get back out there, eh?


These came out charming, Lois! You showed better restraint from drawing too much in than I did. That was a fun day.

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