28 May, 2016. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get outside and draw this week. We’ve had an incredible amount of rain, coupled with thunderstorms and a few tornado scares – none of which seems especially conducive to outdoor sketch booking! Mother Nature gave us a little break yesterday, and a bigger one today, leaving me with the opportunity to toss my kit into a bike bag and strike out for the backroads of Clay County. Today has been particularly nice and at one point I found myself enjoying a quiet, shady bench at Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary. I seldom stay in one locale for very long: Two quick sketches, and I was on my way.
There are quite a few hiking trails within the borders of Martha Lafite, some paved and others a more rudimentary dirt path. The rain has been so intense that most of the unpaved paths are currently cordoned off to avoid certain trail destruction due to foot traffic through well saturated mud. My bench was located at the junction of a place where the pavement ended and the (blocked off) pathways began. I’ve written before about the Kuretake No. 40 brush pen that I’m currently carrying with me these days. I’ll simply re-emphasize the fact that I really enjoy sketching with this pen and leave it at that.
Yesterday morning was cool and gloomy and still heavily overcast from the previous night’s storms. Riding though a little more suburban area, I crossed a highway overpass near a cathedral. Digging into my bag I discovered I had somehow left my drawing instruments at home (on my drawing table, as it turned out.) So a very quick watercolor sketch on a 4 x 5 inch card of Fabriano Studio CP watercolor paper was the order of the day. Quick, loose, and nearly cartoonish – still, I feel like it gets across the idea of the prevailing weather conditions. (Top sketches: Kuretake No. 40 brush pen, approximately 5 x 7 inch page size on two-page spread, near Liberty, Missouri. Bottom sketch: Holbein watercolor and Koi water brush on Fabriano Studio CP wc paper, Kansas City, Missouri.)