A plein air study – granite rock group

Sketchbook, rock study

From time to time I’ve mentioned that I keep an industrial-strength watercolor sketchbook with nature studies of trees, geology, animals (occasionally) and other features of the natural world. Because the focus of this blog has changed to reflect my evolution into a full-time painter, I have stopped posting those studies. But recently I’ve joined .a group of nature sketchers on a group blog, so I will be posting some of those studies here as well. And, of course, I’ll continue to post new paintings daily, or as often as I can.

This is a study of some granitic rocks in cool morning light. The gentle morning light made the gray rock look violet, which was a beautiful complement to the yellow green spring grass. I did this study to learn more about how rocks can have several types of shadows, depending upon whether there is a hard or soft edge. This sort of observation is very useful to a plein air painter, whether one works in an impressionist or realist style.

For those of you who get this blog in an email, you may notice that these sketchbook posts will have the words “nodp” at the bottom. That is a secret code that tells the Daily Painter software not to post these entries to dailypainter.com because it’s not a painting for sale. So if you’re wondering what that phrase means, now you know.



  1. Timaree
    May 1, 2009

    I will enjoy seeing what you do in your sketchbook. It’s a whole different view than your finished paintings.

  2. Vickie
    May 3, 2009

    Would love to hear more about your “industrial strength” watercolor sketchbook.

  3. Karen
    May 3, 2009

    Vickie, it’s an aquabee super deluxe sketch book with 100 lb. paper. I have some books I’ve bound myself but I don’t have the time to do it now since I’m using most of my time painting. It’s a great all-around paper, I like it.

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