Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge: Sketch #6

I’m inside for the second full day today, following a big snowstorm that hit the Charlotte area on Sunday. Ice followed on Monday, and this morning, it is a mess. I took the photo below on my side porch, and sketched it for for The Sketchbook Challenge.

Events like this make me think about those who are homeless and outside in the elements. And about those whose jobs take them outside, like people who work on downed power lines, people who pick up our trash, and those who clear the roads. I am so very grateful that we have power, and that I have a warm house in which to weather the storm. We went five days in the winter without power one year here in Charlotte after a big ice storm.

Ice and water are hard to sketch, and I need to work on them more. I chose a bright blue background (wishful thinking that the skies were actually blue and the sun shining), partly to make the sketch prettier. I also eliminated the tree, although adding those additional lines might have been interesting, and drew fewer icicles. Part of being an artist is deciding what elements to alter, add or leave out. 

I’m not so sure that my power lines look like power lines. I’m going to go back in and highlight each a bit at the top, and make them somewhat thicker.


  1. Susan, what did you use to make this sketch? How will you highlight the wires?

  2. I sketched in pencil, then re-drew with permanent black ink. Then I used watercolors to color it. I will probably go back with white or gray and add the highlights. I'll post another photo if I do!

  3. For some reason, my message disappeared, lol.
    I love how you did the piece and I like the lines the way they are, it emphasizes the icicles, not the lines.


  4. The icicles really look icy, wet and cold! Water is so hard to do and you did a great job with it!

  5. You definitely captured those icicles, but I agree with your assessment of the power lines. They all need to be thicker. It also needs the ice on the tops of the parallel power lines for continuity with the icicles.

    I love your sketches!

  6. I love this sketch, Susan! It reminds me of my very first winter in upstate New York (where I was going to school)and my first view of icicles hanging off of the eaves of the old house I lived in, so you've triggered a delightful memory for me! You've done an amazing job of capturing the bumpiness and glistening texture of the icicles!


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