Drawing on the Mountain, Blue Mountains 2013. Day 1.

September 27, 2013

draw on the mountain 1

Page 1. Draw on the Mountain sketchbook, A4, 90gsm. Wild Valley, Wentworth Falls NSW.

The wet media cockled the paper badly, so I’ve decided to only work with dry media for the rest of the drawing festival. I will need to knock back the sky with some diluted gouache. This was done over an hour between 10 and 11am on a bright, sunny morning; the light and colors of the distant national park forest changed wildly; I can normally adjust to changes of tone, but the wild shifts in color were a surprise.

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I lacked colored pencils on-site and would have loved to have reinforced the reflections in the water lower left. The indistinct lower left burnt-out log completes a very shaky start.

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Page 2. Wentworth Falls Lake, Wentworth Falls NSW.

This substantial lake is known as a “hanging swamp” since it results from water originating from between layers of shale. The inspiration came from the contrast of native eucalypt trees with evergreen pine trees, a common occurrence on the Blue Mountains. No known olive green colored pencils come close to the natural colors of these eucalypt trees. The weir embankment at right is problematic. The  water reflections changed wildly in the hour I spent sketching so I settled on one particular design from several. One of the nicest reflection patterns involved chocolate brown and bright sky blue (left) changing to chocolate brown and silver (right). The saving grace of this sketch was the repetition of dark triangles. The park was buzzing with people: a bicycle festival and large families enjoying outdoor birthday parties.

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I was exhausted by having had to walk everywhere, given that for me Draw on the Mountain equates to Walk on the Mountain. Walking at least provides a pace suitable for close examination of flowers, stones and the oft-repeating motifs on the mountain of electricity boxes and reservoir tanks. The ornamental cherry blossoms and wisteria are already in flower here, months ahead of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Cowra and the fuji wisteria on display at the Gosford Japanese Garden on the coast; I associate cherry with October and wisteria with November.

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