Thursday, March 24, 2011

Palm Tree Drawing, Redlands California

I’m often thinking about the next pieces I’m going to share on my blog. Usually it’s one I recently created and I have a lot of those, but lately I’ve been looking through my work from the last three years and I came across some summer urban landscape drawings that brought back nostalgic memories of drawing in beautiful warm summer days in southern California.

I remember clearly creating this piece, one of my favorites. I had this one hanging next to my bed, It was the first thing I looked at in the morning, I would lay in bed looking at this piece and think about the next drawing locations for that day. This scene is located in Redlands, California, corner of Fern Ave and Cajon St, a great town with a lot of beautiful historic homes.

I remember having perfect weather for drawing, a good spot for setting my lawn chair and a lot of palm trees. That summer I sketched a lot of urban landscapes; all the drawing had the iconic southern California palm tree. I was on a palm tree kick, but I couldn’t draw a palm tree by itself, it had to have a good environment; so buildings, houses, streets, old cars, next to palm trees were often scenes I found provided a good visual environment to draw.

I sketched this in three sessions, late afternoon on a clear sunny day. I would sketch for about 2-3 hours, around 3pm to get lower light and cast shadows. It was also a little bit cooler at this hour and the summer days are long so I had plenty of light. I sketched in 2-3 hour sessions because the shadows would change as the sun set. I would patiently sketch for a couple hours and come back the next day until completion. This one took three days. I used a big art pad, 17” x 21”.

Looking at this piece really makes me miss California. I’m looking forward to going back someday with my drawing pad, pencils and lawn chair.


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