In Under the Wire: Sketching a Snow Pile in 2017

March 6, 2017
Consolidated, filthy snow pile—full of dirt and trash, at the Midway shopping center, as the sun set. Small Hahnemühle Nostalgie landscape sketchbook, Pentel squeezy pen with water-soluble dye ink, and a Tombow calligraphy brush pen.

Typically each winter I sketch a lot of snow piles. It’s something my friend Ken Avidor got me doing. However I wasn’t out in the weather much during the 2016/2017 winter.

Today with temperatures rising to the 60s for the second time (a couple weeks ago we had a stretch of high 50 degree Fahrenheit  days) most of the snow is gone and I cajoled Dick into hanging out in the Midway shopping center parking lot while I sketched a very dirty 6 foot tall remnant of a snow pile. (It’s a large lot and during a snowy winter they have a mountain of snow.)

I was using the Pentel squeezy brush pen with the dye ink so that I could create washes with the ink. I love this brush for that even if it isn’t archival. And I love that brush on the Nostalgie paper. During my rush to finish quickly I squeezed the pen a bit too hard—hence the big droplet of ink.

Dick was very patient. While I sketched he talked to me about the science behind the show on Pluto that we watched Saturday.

We might have some more snow this year. (It’s pretty early to have bare streets in the Cities.) But I’m not sure if I’ll get out and be able to sketch it if we do get more. At lest I got one snow pile sketch in this winter!

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