This is real neat the way they twisted the crepe myrtles across each other then the branches join together. They fuse together into one solid branch. It’s like drawing a Celtic knot. You can get lost in it. If I had a larger paper I could have got another set in the sketch. They’re blooming now but almost over. A lot of petals are down. I like the view in-between the branches that is like looking through diamond shaped windows. The background is pretty too. I was standing on the shady side of the crepe myrtles but some sun was on the branches and the background was sunlit and also shady.
I didn’t draw leaves or flowers. The tree trunks were enough today in the heat and humidity. I might go back and use a larger paper after the weather breaks. I was standing in the shade but got sweaty anyway.
When I got back to my car I walked over to the lake and looked for a couple minutes to see if I could find a good spot to sketch and instantly around 10 turtles and a couple huge fish, I mean 18″ or so swam right up to me and looked at me like they were expecting to be fed. Just in case of society breakdown, if we have to live like Survivorman, there’s food around easy to catch. You can’t stand there and fish in the garden but people do fish there in canoes on the lake.
At York Academy of Art, (long ago) our teachers told us to vary the textures in our paintings. This helps make the viewer’s eye move around the canvas. Heavy texture is fun to paint and to look at, but you need a smoother texture to contrast with the heavy palette knife texture, and to give the eye a place to rest.
I painted in the couch, the way they taught us to paint at YAA, which means you put a layer of Maroger Medium on the dry canvas in the area you want to paint that day. Then paint on top of the medium with color. The paint slides so nicely on the Maroger Medium, which is what the old masters used. I have a tube of Alvi’s Maroger Medium. It’s great to work with. Sometimes when I get home and sit back and look at my painting, I see things I want to correct. With this medium, you can just wipe the paint off without destroying the dry layers of paint underneath. Also you can thin your paint and make glazes, or go thick impasto on top of the medium.
You can use the palette knife in different ways. Use the flat side of it to spread your paint like butter, to cover a larger area. Or you can dab in thick chunks of paint with the tip of the palette knife. But the technique I use most often with the palette knife is to blob in some glazes of paint with a brush on top of the medium and scratch through the paint with the palette knife to make lines and textures.