Friday, August 24, 2012

Sketching in the High Sierras

I recently spent a week in the Eastern Sierras of California hiking, camping, backpacking, and rock climbing.  Of course, I took what opportunities I could for sketching too!  For the hiking/car-camping portion of the trip I brought my regular sketch kit in my Eagle Creek Pack-it Sac, and got a few sketches in:

Many were done while the men (my husband and a friend) were otherwise occupied (hiking to the summit of Mt Starr while I lingered at Summit Lake and Mono Pass, in one case; I sketched a boulder while they were bouldering in another case).  In a quiet moment at Whitney Portals I also was able to sit by the lake and sketch the store.

From Whitney Portals we backpacked up to Iceberg Lake (12,600 ft) at the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest summit in the contiguous United States (at 14,505 ft).  From there we rock climbed one day up to the top of Mt. Whitney, and on another day up a neighboring peak, Mt. Russell (14,094 ft).  On those climbing days, there wasn't much time to sketch, but on the day we arrived, I did manage to sketch our tent amongst the granite buttresses adjoining Mt. Whitney with my ultra-minimalist sketch kit:

Because I would be camping at 12,600 ft I decided not to bring any of my fountain pens (I thought they might be a bit leaky at high altitude), buy instead brought my Pigma Micron pen.  The sketchbook is one of the single-signature booklets I recently made, containing Aquarius II watercolor paper.  And my watercolor kit is a set of 5 half-pans in a mini-altoids tin containing New Gamboge, DV Red Rose Deep, DV French Ultramarine, Phthalo Green, and Burnt Sienna.  Oh, and to round out the kit is a Pentel Aquash fine-tipped waterbrush.  All contained in a quart-sized zip-lock bag!

So much inspiration in the High Sierras for that I am home I'm enjoying sketching from my photos of the trip.