This drawing was made at the end of the day, after we tried taking Leo for a picnic at Blanket Creek. We hoped he’d enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, but he grizzled most of the time and his parents had to take him home without getting a chance to visit the nearby waterfall.
This sketch of Blanket Creek started out as black and white but I added colour with water soluble pencils. (The sky was blue, but I didn’t bother to show that). I also used a brush with a reservoir of grey wash to blur the pencil tone on the mountain. Mt McKenzie on the left, Mt Cartier on the right. The pool was created when they diverted the Columbia river, and it’s just right for a children’s paddling pool, apart from the mosquitoes.
After Leo went home we saw the waterfall and then went up to the top of the mountain with my son’s friends, who were trying out some bike trails. At the top of the first mountain we spotted a weasel – too fast even to photograph properly. The second mountain gave us a wonderful aerial view of Revelstoke. I made a 5 minute sketch, not wanting to hold up the party, as the tracks are long and arduous going even for a giant truck like the one we were in.
I often make sketches like this and look back at them years later, trying to recapture what I saw at the time. It’s best to make a more detailed sketch from the lightning one as soon as possible after you saw the real thing, using a photo only to give you basic information such as colour and important details like the structure of the bridge. If I work just from a photo I lose the spontaneity that is so obvious in this sketch, where I jotted down the main lines of direction and the salient features that I wanted to include. I will have a go at doing a watercolour from this sketch. I wonder if I can pull it off.