A Thing for Bright Colors

I’ve always been attracted to brightly colored objects when I am out sketching. I notice signs, chairs, roofs, food trucks, and anything else that grabs my attention. I’ve noticed my last few sketches have incorporated things with bright colors, so I share them below.

On Sunday, I tried a “Map Your Sketches” challenge by Urban Sketchers. The point is to go to a location and draw a map, with small sketches of what you see in the area. I haven’t done that much, so I was up for the challenge. I went to Hastings, a river town on the Mississippi, in which I used to live many years ago. I decided to see Hastings through different eyes, like a tourist, so I parked in Levee park on the river and drew the new pinkish-red bridge (which is positioned wrong in the sketch, should be sketched vertically with Hwy 61), the old lift bridge, and the park band shell. I then went to several other places, including city hall and the courthouse, and a historic mansion. After I got home, I added a key, watercolors, and presto! A map sketch was born!

This was a fun way of working and I discovered many other things I wished I could have added. Which means another trip back sometime!

I was out on a very warm day (where did the weather go, today we have snow flurries) a couple weeks ago. I decided to sketch at Woodbury Lakes, a place I have sketched several times before. Upscale shops in a “fake Main Street” environment, but there were brightly colored awnings that grabbed my attention. I parked in a lot and got to work.

Yes, once again, red awnings of the Express store caught my eye. But it was great fun to sketch!

Finally, today I was picking up a fire pit I had ordered at a local garden center, Gerten’s. This place is enormous, but I parked in their lot and looked across the street where their commercial sales center sat. The bright red sign, pink roof, and red shutters grabbed my attention, and I couldn’t resist a sketch. I figured I’d find something to sketch, so had my bag of supplies ready in the passenger seat. It was a great way to take some time out to re-focus, be calm, and just enjoy the moment!

Another artist once dubbed me a “colorist”. I don’t know exactly what that means or if I am one, but I know that color really plays a part in my sketches. Some people like sketching with black and white or more neutral tones, but I love color!

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