Tag Archives: plein air watercolours

Cafe Stop

cafe fantasico001

a bike ride on the trail downtown
tall buildings and street people
coffee shops, pot shops, names like Heavenly Smoke
tattoo parlors full of posters
waiting rooms filled with customers
adorned, pierced, pre-decorated
jewels in orifices, eyebrows, nostrils
plentiful tourists consulting maps
riding pedicabs, human powered rickshaws
even a giant horse plodding
halfway there coffee with a view
extracting a pocket paint box
twelve colors in tiny squares
holes in the centres after many years
these colors have lasted long
since I gave this box to my mother
nigh on thirty years ago
she never used it but I have made many a sketch
blocks of paint with years left
at the rate I wash them down
hard to blend colors without making them dull
I use them straight, like whiskey
my sketches are so rough
a price paid for speed and simplicity
yet they improve when no longer compared to reality
for a sketch is distilled, yet murky
distinguished by what is missing




Filed under Poetry, Sketching

Haiku Sketchbook June 17

Mt Fuji painted

Hokusai, thirty six times

Me, BC Leg three

not hokusai #1

9 am: not hokusai #1

not hokusai #2

10 am: not hokusai #2

not hokusai #3

11 am: not hokusai #3


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Filed under Poetry, Sketching, VW Vans

Plein Air Countdown T-8

Yesterday I hit the road again, this time with my watercolour box in the pack. When I arrived at my destination, known only to my subconscious until I got there and looking out at the scene declared this to be the spot, I decided to use the watercolours, seeing as how I had them with me. This sounds like logic working here, but I assure you it wasn’t, simply randomness. Anyway, I settled down on my collapsible stool with the paint box on my lap, having dispensed with the tripod stand as being too much equipment, and proceeded to do two sketches. They are contiguous, the clue being the scrawny tree in each. The cruise ship season has begun, and there was an immense boat across the water at the dock. I’ll probably never set foot on one of these things, but they do make for good sketch subject matter.

seaview sketch 1

seaview sketch 1

seaview sketch 2

seaview sketch 2

A word on my paints: I’ve tried every available watercolour paint medium, from tubes to pans, and I have to say the best I’ve found is a fairly cheap German set of 24 round pans, called Angora. This set is half the price of the cheapest 12 half pan box of Cotman paints, which my testing proves are certainly no better paint. They cover well enough, and it’s easy to mix and blend colour right on the paint pods themselves. When some paints in the previous set ran out it was cheaper to buy an entire new box than try to fill the spaces with paint from tubes. The price of three tubes of watercolour paint is equal to this box of 24 colours.

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Filed under Painting