Friday, June 16, 2017

Thunderstorms in the Afternoon

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 June 4, 2017; Sunday; Harriet Lake, Superior National Forest, Minnesota.     

Sketchbook Drawing,
pp 74-75,
Harriet Lake, Superior National Forest, Minnesota
Graphite on Fabriano Ingres Paper, 160 gsm,
Heightened with Chinese White and Naples Yellow Watercolour
5” x 14”


Details of the Drawing

I awoke at 06:05 to a cloudless sky, and decided to stay put for the day and get something done today ... an Oil Sketch perhaps, or a drawing, and move on tomorrow to recon waterfalls along the Lake Superior North Shore.  Familiarizing yourself with an area, even for only a second day always is a good thing when it comes to the work.  Besides, the weather says thunderstorms this afternoon in the Minnesota Arrowhead.  After pulling myself together, and a bit more organizing of the art supplies, I decided upon a drawing of the Lake from my campsite, as the cloud had come over, although there were some sun breaks, enough for me to get my suitcase solar array out, and attempt to top up my AGM Battery, even with the cloud cover ... I did manage to do so as the sun breaks were frequent enough.

Halfway from my campsite to the loo at the boat-landing.

Violets along the way.

After the first storm has passed.

By the time I got set up for drawing in my medium sized, Blue Fabriano Ingres Paper Sketchbook, it was 12:20 and I even had to get my sketching umbrella out to keep the Sun off me when it broke through the broken cloud ... I don't like to use Sunscreen when I'm drawing, for fear of greasing up the paper.  I have had my Sketchbooks hand bound with paper of my own choosing ... two blue grey papers: Fabriano Ingres paper, 160gsm, and the other Turners Blue, 90 lb., by Ruscombe Mill, out of France.  A third buff or off-white Fabriano Ingres paper has also been bound as well ... each paper into its own sketchbook.  The Fabriano papers are laid papers, which I love for the pleasing (to my eye) textures given by the chain & laid lines of the paper.  They are sold as Pastel or Drawing papers.  The Turners Blue is a heavier (than the Fabriano) Watercolour paper, and has a woven, Not surface (meaning cold pressed, to the Yanks).

Campsite between storms, further storm building … the Lake is behind us.

Beaver on his way home; hand-held telephoto shot.

Male Ring-necked Ducks; hand-held extreme telephoto … I am quite astonished at the possibilities with this camera, and even though this is not a pristine shot, being hand-held, I look forward  to tripod-steadied telephoto shots.

I have digressed. The pencil drawing was completed, in 1h 20', with thunder rumbling closer for the last half hour ... I dared not turn around in case fear cut short my drawing.  As it was, when I deemed the pencil was more or less completed, I got my drawing, and drawing implements, sketching umbrella, and camera into the SUV; next my camp chair, and lastly my Solar array.  I then began to properly stow my sketching brolly into its case, when the first heavy rain drops aborted that.  I quickly rolled up my still open windows, and sat back and watched the rain; saw no lightning, but heard plenty of thunder.  It was a tropical downpour for 15 minutes, and then light rain for about another 45, even with a few sun breaks.  I had a snack, and dozed all the while.  When the rain ceased, I completed the stowing of my brolly, took some photos, and was about to begin the heightening with Chinese White & Naples Yellow, when another downpour began almost without warning ... this time complete with hail up to 3/8 inches.  This soon passed as well, and I was able to add the colour heightening to the drawing in 1h 25'.  Then after more photos, I dug out my fixitive and was about to apply it, I was forced to retreat for another, but lighter passing shower.  The fixitive finally applied, I got all my supper preparations out and ready to go, when yet again I was hounded into the truck.  That was the last of the rain save for a few worrying, but ineffectual drops, and as I finally prepared supper, I watched the cloud move off to the East ... more photos taken periodically.  Thus endeth my second day on Harriet Lake, not far from the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness), sipping my after dinner camp coffee, and writing this blog post ... tomorrow, some Waterfalls!

And the shadows lengthen …

and the afternoon’s storms are now but a memory …

…as the Sun sets …

… and the evening mists …

… begin to rise.

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