And Then

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I went outside yesterday at lunch and sketched the office building. Normally I wouldn’t try—modern commercial architecture bores me to tears—but I’ve been feeling a bit more adventurous with a 6B pencil in my hand. And the sketch actually turned out pretty well. I never really noticed how many trees and shrubs were nestled right up against the north wing. The grounds themselves are beautiful, with a pond and fields and fountains. The building was much more challenging. (I later added some light blue gouache that ruined the whole thing. Note to self: don’t overwork the sky. Less is more.)

You see that little guy in the lower right corner? He’s bigger in the picture than he was in real life, but he’s one of three geese that were making good use of the grounds on a fine summer afternoon. When I walked back into the building, they happened to be very near me, just laying about. So I did what any rational person would do: slowly crouched to the ground, pulled out my book and brush pen, and got to work.

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They moved a lot, and I don’t have much experience drawing live animals, but it felt like a little gift. I really want to find more reasons to make quick gesture sketches with my brush pen. Yesterday complied with that wish. I suppose it’s a testament to keeping your eyes open, being ready to get down to it.

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