Yesterday morning was ideal for sketching, with fleecy clouds rolling in. We set up our chairs on the front lawn of a medical office and got to work with the watercolors: Jeanette with her Lukas set, and me test-driving a new Schmincke mini set (thanks for the recommendation, Dennis Nolan).
I was trying to capture the effect of contre-jour lighting, which meant painting around the little sparkly bits of edge lighting. I probably could have used Maskoid or Liquid Frisket for this task, but didn’t have any.
I tried to blend various colors into the shadow areas, while keeping the intensities muted. Colors are more saturated or vivid when the sun is at your back, and more neutral when you're looking toward the sun. I also avoided putting too much detail or linework in the picture, which would weaken the simple backlight effect.
On the drive up old highway 31 from Indiana into Michigan, there were plenty of gloriously tacky roadside artifacts, like this classic motel sign.
Up in Three Rivers, Michigan, I did a presentation at the Carnegie Center for the Arts, which hosted a Dinotopia original art exhibition ten years ago. Tom Lowry of Lowry’s Books arranged this booksigning event. The great thing about a road-trip book tour is that you can visit towns like Three Rivers that just don't get visiting authors because they're too far from the big city airports.
Readers of this blog will be interested to know that Amy (above, center left) and her family came all the way from Dearborn. Amy was one of the two winners of the “Art History Simplified” contest a few days ago!
I also was honored to meet Sean, who started writing me fan letters more than four years ago. We’ve exchanged quite a few letters since then. Sean’s copy of the original Dinotopia book gets the prize for “most loved.” Thanks, everybody for coming and making the event a success.