Sketching in the park

Pine Tree Sketch, © 2011 Wren M. Allen, Wrenaissance Art

This pencil on paper sketch of a pine tree was made at the W. 11th St. Park

Yesterday, my friend Sharon (Artl8dy of E-14 Studio) and I went sketching at the West 11th Street Park in Houston.

The weather was absolutely glorious, sunny but cold. After walking around the park, we chose a comfortable log and began sketching. The park is full of towering pine trees, so I decided to sketch the branches of one majestic example. So often when I watercolor trees on site, I get overwhelmed and over-excited about all the leaves, and end up with sort of squishy pillows of greenery, without the bones underneath. This pencil sketch reveals the architecture of the tree.

It’s really exciting to show off the results of my first nature sketch outing of the year, and it was very enjoyable to spend the morning with a good art friend. Thanks, Sharon for making it a lovely day! 🙂

Tomorrow is International Sketch Crawl Day!

Saturday, January 22, is International Sketch Crawl Day, when people all over the world get together to enjoy sketching with friends old and new.

The forums at the International Sketch Crawl site have notices for organized sketch crawls in locales picturesque or industrial, cafes or parks, outdoors and in. Take a look and see if a crawl is already arranged in a convenient location for you. Or just grab your sketchbook and pencil and head out the door to explore your neighborhood.

Where do you plan on sketching tomorrow?

Thinking ahead: New Year’s resolutions?

Val Webb, of The Illustrated Garden, has written in a recent post that she intends to get out to a local nature spot at least once a month during 2011 to paint and sketch. That sounds like a simply wonderful idea! It’s so easy to get holed up in the studio like a hermit crab, good intentions to paint en plein-air falling by the wayside once the grocery list of supplies and preparations is drawn up.

I’m so inspired by her resolution that I’m going to be a copycat and do the same thing, albeit here in Houston. The next step is finding nature zones to sketch in. We’ve been to Brazos Bend State Park, and I’ve been to the Houston Arboretum quite a few times. The problem is that most of the nature in the Houston area has been groomed and tamed thoroughly. Do you have any good suggestions for state parks and other wilderness locales in the Houston metropolitan area that you’ve enjoyed for sketching and painting?

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