My Way or the Highway-the Lake

Having only found lichens and bare trees to sketch since the snow melted, I walked beside the lake, hopeful of finding the first spring flowers. Crocus buds and blossoms had just bloomed and I sat among them, happily sketching while raindrops pattered around me and on the paper. I walked a few steps toward the lake and sat to sketch it as a background for the wildflowers. When I was almost done, I heard a splash like a body falling into the water, then I heard another. I didn’t hear any gasps or cries like I knew there would be if humans were jumping in a lake where ice had been days ago. Then I heard the muffled voices of the swans. They were talking to each other in that lovely low honk, honk they do right after landing. I looked around a tree and there they were, white against the dark water. I must admit that I was feeling a bit hesitant to sketch them because they are so beautiful and I could so easily make them ugly. I started with the one on the right and thought, “I’ll never get the other one” when it stuck its head under water to feed. I never thought about that pose, but it saved me from drawing two swan heads. The texture in the background is from the raindrops falling on the paper. Who needs an umbrella?

10 thoughts on “My Way or the Highway-the Lake

  1. While I will never have sketches in a sketch book, I do so appreciate yours! Thanks for reminding me to walk back to our pond this weekend and see what birds are present. As always, your posts bring a smile to my face! Thank you.

  2. Sylvia, just start! The hardest part is getting started. A sketchbook is for yourself. I don’t share everything in my sketchbook-only the things I think will be enjoyed by others, but I enjoy it all. It’s all fun.

  3. Sylvia, I’ve only been keeping a sketchbook for a few months and I find so much freedom and fun doing it that I would love to have you know the same, particularly with all your travels. The most important thing for me is the mindset that this is a playground, not a stage. I’m not performing here and I don’t have expectations of excellence.

  4. Love the lake sketch! I have not been brave enough to sketch outside of my studio or house yet, not sure why unless maybe I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. lol. I do intend to try sketching out and about eventually. I enjoy taking photographs though with the thought that I’d use them to sketch from. I used to draw a lot more while in school taking art classes but kind of let it go afterward. I really like the concept of the art journal though, and I’m hoping to get some consistency with that. Its been a little bit sporadic so far but I’m at least doing it more than I used to!
    Nice blog!

  5. When I first saw the swan sketch, I thought you had cleverly used salt to get the lighter spots, but the rain did it for you! Looks great. And I love, Suzie, that you are open about your doubts and worries about drawing the swans. I’m the same way. Every time I’m tackling something difficult, I feel twinges of doubt, but then I just kind of grit my teeth and dive in. It usually turns out okay in the end. We just have to push that fear aside to achieve something fine.

  6. Tammy, thank you! I’ve been keeping a sketchbook for several years, but I’ve only been enjoying it for the last several months. I’m not sure if it is because I’ve just stuck with it or if my attitude has changed and I’m going to sketch if it looks good or not. Go for it!

  7. Thank you for commenting, Leslie! I went with my husband and sketched while he played. He said, “I didn’t see Frankenstein out there.” Sometimes my people look really bad!

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