"Matteson Trail" En pleine aire sketch by Meera Rao
One beautiful day early in spring, during my daily walk I was inspired to stop and sketch the scenery. I usually carry a small 4x6 book of Arches post cards with me and on that day I had a pack of brand new Faber-Castell 6 PITT artist landscape pens that I wanted to try. The trail was quiet with not too many walkers. I leaned against a tree and spent a few minutes taking in the scene and then set to work. I was somewhat satisfied with my results. I later gave it a watercolor wash for sky and water -mainly to test and see if the pen marks would bleed.
Here is a shaky photo I took with my phone before I continued with my walk -it was a challenge to hold the camera in one and the sketch in the other and manage to click :)
I just finished reading an article 'From sketchbook to Studio" by Iain Stewart in the June issue of Watercolor Artist. I like what he has to say about sketchbooks : "A sketchbook has no other responsibility than to serve you. It is completely private unless you decide to share. Safe from the critical eye of jurors, it is a place where you can explore with abandon all your ideas. It's also the best tool I can think of for preparing to work in the studio. " His advice is to be 'an observer, an editor and a recorder'. He writes: " When I return to the studio, I find that those observations can serve as well or better than any of my photographs"
Most importantly he states :"Don't let anything you do early in your process limit what decisions you make later in your painting. Be willing to change anything, but remember your game plan."