I love road trips. I have always wanted to have the time to stop and draw all the wonderful things I see when I’m on a journey. I’ve just started a trip where I hope to do just that. Well, maybe not draw all the things I see, I won’t be able to get anywhere. Since I have a destination and a time limit, the plan is to draw for an hour or two each day and of course share what I learn along the way.
How many times have you driven down a freeway and seen a great subject from the middle of the road? It happens to me all the time. Obviously I can’t stop and put up orange cones to divert cars around me while I sit in the road. Can’t you just see the highway sign: “Sketcher in the Road, traffic down to one lane.” But I can at least stop by the side of the road and take pictures. One subject that I’d been eyeing for years is an old barn that is open in the middle on both sides so that you can see the landscape beyond. I didn’t realize this view was only when you’re traveling west. I am going east. Still, I snapped a quick picture for a sketch.
Going a little farther I stopped to photograph the contrast of the values and shapes of the clouds over farmland and rolling hills. The clouds have been spectacular all day, but drawing clouds will have to a subject for a future blog post. I find them quite challenging to portray with a pen – pencil works best, and watercolor even better.
Another thing that fascinates me is when the road heads straight over flat terrain. It’s a perfect example of one point perspective. No, I didn’t stop for this one, I tried to memorize the view and draw it at the next rest stop. This is obviously a very quick drawing; cars from memory are clearly not my thing. Maybe if I add a little color, I can redeem it a bit.
There are many ways to capture a scene and bring back memories from our travels. I hope to have the time to sit and do some serious drawings along the way, but even these quick sketches are fun and worthwhile.