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Nature Art: Sketches from Honolulu - Explore

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Nature Art: Sketches from Honolulu

At the top of this 14 x 10 inch sketchbook page, you'll recognize the two beach scenes from last week. Next, on the lower right, I painted the orange birds-of-paradise. After that, I fit in the blue ginger, blue as a delphinium, but with smaller flowers on a long stalk. I was afraid I'd run out of paper in my sketchpad, so I crammed the little paintings together; there were so many new flowers to draw! I had one small space between the orange and the blue, so I filled the space between them with a purple hibiscus.

Big sketchbooks can be heavy to carry. Day to day, I use one that measures 8 x 6 inches, easy to fit into my bag. But on a trip, carrying a large sketchbook gave me the chance to collect many quick images. It's fun to arrange sketches by theme or location on a larger page, and I like to challenge of fitting them together to make one big composition.

The Japanese bronze koi was one of two guardians facing visitors to a Big Island restaurant. It balanced on its front fins, like feet; the tail section acted as an anchor. Its eyes were gentle for such a large fish! I drew it last, although it appears first on this page, and I fit its shadow around the drawing of the Polynesian banana leaf. The wooden leaf was four feet high and carved from wood. I went back and darkened the leaf to make it stand out against the fish and give the page a a three-dimensional look.

When I look my sketchbook drawings, the light, sound and perfume of the Hawaiian air surrounds me again. I hope your sketches do the same for you!

-- Sue Fierston paints and teaches just outside of Washington, D.C. in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As a painter, she works in acrylics and watercolor and is in the middle of a series called "100 Flowers." As a teaching artist, she works with teachers to bring art into their classrooms in grades 4-8. Her posts focus on her nature-themed art collaborations. For a look at her paintings or more about her teaching, check out her website at suzannefierston.com.

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