(Click to enlarge)
|9" x 6", ink & watercolor|
I enjoy designing gridded pages, because you can include so many facets of a subject in one page. I usually do them in a large 9" x 12" sketchbook, but for this trip, I took a Strathmore 6" x 9" watercolor sketchbook, and its smaller size made doing a gridded page pretty challenging, especially when attempting to include some of the details on the mission's facade.
For my first sketch of the day, I tackled the full front view of the mission and experimented with making colorful shadows. I like how they turned out. It's so much more interesting than the blue-grey I normally tend to rely on.
|Facade detail, 4" x 2-3/4"|
As the morning sun rose higher in the sky, the temperature soared, and we began to feel a little scorched, so we found a shady spot for sketch #2 near the cactus garden.
|Garden detail, 3-1/2" x 2-1/2"|
The cement walls of the mission enclosure stayed remarkably cool in spite of the 90 degree temperatures. It gave me a comfy place to sit and kept people from constantly peering over my shoulder.
|That's me working on sketch #3 at Mission San Xavier.|
Sketch #3 is a rendering of one of the saint statues on the facade. It was fun working in a color scheme that was close to monochromatic, something a little different for me.
The interior walls of the sanctuary were covered with incredibly ornate decorative painting. I would never attempt to duplicate it in my sketchbook, so I settled on something simpler, the view looking out from the dark, cool interior of the church to the courtyard with its wrought iron gate, and the mission bells beyond.
|Interior and gate detail, 3-3/4" x 2-1/2"|
We packed up and headed for home before I had a chance to fill the upper right section on my sketchbook page, but I had planned early on to paint the mission bells as they looked when we first arrived that morning. I liked the strong cast shadows on the bright white of the bell tower. (I ended up doing this sketch in the airport on the way home while waiting for a flight.)
|Detail of mission bells, 3-1/2" x 2-1/2"|
At the end of the day I only had one page to show for several hours of work, but it was fun experimenting with a different layout format and capturing a variety of views of that gorgeous old mission church. And just having the luxury of hours to spend painting was reward enough for me.
|Just look at the blue of that sky!|