Sketchcrawl at the Huntington

It was a spectacular spring day, not too warm, not too cool and all five of us (me, Nancy, Robin, Diann and Wendee) enjoyed the natural beauty of the Huntington for another memorable sketchcrawl. Our first stop was the Shakespeare garden (I’ll be scanning my sketch and posting it tomorrow or the next day) … second was the Japanese garden (this one), which was my favorite location of the day. We wrapped it up in the desert garden where we were joined by Diann’s husband and daughter.

As usual, many people stopped by to see what we were doing throughout the “crawl” and one journal keeper from Orlando showed us some of his watercolors as we compared notes about Niji waterbrushes and other traveling paint brushes.

This sketch was painted in about 45 minutes, give or take a bit. I stopped before painting the tree in the lower right hand corner or the water under the bridge so this is a “not quite finished” work in progress. So if you’re wondering why it looks like I just sort of stopped, it’s because I did. (smile)

I look forward to going back again soon and painting this garden from another vantage point, and to visit several other highlights as well. There’s just too much to take in all in a day. And then there’s the arboretum, too. We really do have a wealth of botanical gardens within a 20 minute drive. And I understand that the Getty’s gardens are overflowing with color, too.

Arty bits: painted in my super aquabee sketchbook with portable palette of tube paints and a Niji waterbrush.

Coffee at The Alcove

What a wonderful day … we started off in the LA Flower Mart at 7 am for a tour with a Descanso Gardens floral arrangement expert (more on that later) … then brunch at Operetta, a French cafe at the Flower Mart … then over to Barnsdall Park to see a show of fine art by Otis art college graduates (a show which ends tomorrow) … then a brief stop at an art supply store which my dear husband called to my attention, ending up at a charming coffee house called The Alcove on Hillhurst, near the Greek Theater, where we sipped cappucinos and I drew this courtyard tree. I drew a few people also but those will have to wait for another scanning session. Because I hadn’t intended to paint today, I took a simple sketchbook with eh paper for note taking and pencil drawing, so the color here had to be added digitally after the drawing was scanned. A 4B pencil was used for the sketching part.

I wish I knew the name of this tree, I’ll have to look it up in the Sunset garden book. Rough striated bark, grayish brown trunk and limbs, very “ordinary” looking leaves, oval, pointed, smooth edges. You see them all over So. Cal. It appears to be a deciduous tree as the leaves look new, bright green and on the small side. This is going to bug me until I figure it out, y’know?

Edited to add

The raw scan out of the sketchbook

I’ve created a grad from green to brown, pulled back the opacity to 50%, and set the grad to multiply

I made a composite of the previous layers and put it on a fresh layer. Then I added new layers and painted some foliage where it made sense. There are three layers of leaves, in varying opacity and color, to suggest volume and depth. I also painted a little color on the trunk.

The tree was a 15-20 min. sketch, the time it took for my husband to stand in line to get coffees while I claimed a table in the crowded courtyard. Photoshopping took about another 10 minutes.

I made the conscious decision not to fit all the tree on the page but to concentrate on the parts that interested me the most, the sinuous trunk and limbs and the textured bark.

I hope you found these additional “work in progress stages” parts interesting