SketchTravel in the Southwest – Arches National Park

in steemsketchbook •  last month

SketchTravel in the Southwest - Arches

Arches National Park – #2 of 4 posts


arches1.jpg

From my journal…
Moab – mountain bicycle capital of the world. The sky was white at 6:00am. I made tea and looked around at the place where I was staying – a small garden, the shed for bicycles, a cat by my door hoping to get fed. The morning sun rose at 7:30am over the east hills. A crow caws from one of the big cottonwood trees in the yard. Another cat is trying to catch a hummingbird. I made a quick sketch of the red rocks on the hilltops before leaving for another day of exploring.

Delicate Arch is the most recognized arch by far, and is honored on the Utah license plate. The hike to it cuts across desert sagebrush as it gently climbs up and around the hills that form the windswept basin which contains the arch. Near the top, the trail hugs the cliff on the right with a steep drop off on the left. It preoccupies your attention until you round the curve and come upon the view of Delicate Arch, seemingly coming out of nowhere, or at least somewhat unexpected. It stands proudly in a huge smooth bowl of stone, making you wonder how it is still there in all its majesty when everything around it has fallen away from erosion. It is such a perfect setting, you could almost imagine there is a caretaker keeping it all tidy and swept clean.

North Window Arch


This is one of two fantastic arches found on the Windows Trail. Turning off of the main Arches Entrance road at Balanced rock, I drove the short distance to the trail. The trail wanders through wide open country that allows you to experience these amazing arches from close and farther away as you take a relaxed walk around the area. Many interesting rock formations in addition to the arches.

arches3.jpg

Turret Arch


The other arch on the Windows Trail is Turret Arch with its tall outcropping of sandstone acting like the protective tower of a fortress. This is pretty much the view from the trailhead (parking lot. You can’t tell from this sketch, but these fantastic rocks are so large and accessible. They seem to just offer themselves to you, inviting closer inspection. The pottery shard was sketched in a museum and painted in with color later.

Please look for my other posts of sketch travels in the Southwest here as well.

© All Rights Reserved @mrsomebody

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Steemians, thanks for reading this post. Please follow me at @mrsomebody and comment below.


My southwest posts:
#1 – Moab, Arches National Park
#2 – Arches, Arches National Park
#3 – Cliff Dwellings of the Southwest
#4 – Canyonlands

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Were you sketching these on the spot while you are hiking? That's very good of you, ah!

Why is the Delicate Arch called so? How delicate is it? 😃 And there is that Devil's Garden trail. What monster do hikers meet along this trail to be called devil's?

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Hi @macoolette. Yes I do sketch on site. I think it was named Delicate Arch because it seems so unlikely it is still standing with everything having eroded around it. Although I like the idea of a monster lurking in Devil's Garden, I didn't encounter any!

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Yes I do sketch on site

You must be very good to be able to do those sketches while on site. If I were you, I'd just take the photo and draw at home later. :D

Although I like the idea of a monster lurking in Devil's Garden, I didn't encounter any!

LOL. So why is it called Devil's Garden? :D

Very cool sketches.

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This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

Your sketch travel posts are still some of my favorite posts ever on Steem. Every one is so good. Really enjoying these southwest vistas! Much love - Carl

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Thank you so much @carlgnash. I'm glad you like them. You can't go wrong with the fantastic views in the southwest.

Hi mrsomebody,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit curiesteem.com or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

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Thank you for your upvote @curie. I appreciate it very much.

These are very lovely sketches :D. You are truly artistic to create a journal diary that is accompanied with sketches of your own when you are traveling, I mean I know people do that in movies, but I've never seen any of my friends who actually take the time and immortalise their adventures in this way. Most of them just snap a selfie and post it in Instagram.        
                       
Nicely done, and congratulations for your curie vote :D.        
                         

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I appreciate your comments @scrawly. I've found that taking the time to do sketches (especially during travels) is a very rewarding experience. I always take photos too of course, but there is something about sitting quietly somewhere and doing a drawing that allows the place to sink in more. I love it when things get quiet so the birds and bugs go about their business and you feel just a part of it. Those things come back to me when I look at them in a way that photos just don't capture for me.

Very good technique you have, I love your style, my favorite sketch is "Turret Arche", it is so rare but your way of building your art with each stroke does justice to it and makes you want to watch it with pleasure.

I am glad to know your work, you are a good artist,

a hug.

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Thank you so much @fernando.lubezki. It is always fun to try to capture images from places I visit. It is fun to change my medium too, from pen to pencil and sometimes to watercolor, though that is more challenging to me. I appreciate your thoughts.

Such beautiful rocks! Your sketches are really beautiful, I love the shape of the turret arch more.

You sketch most of your travel memories? That's definitely a fun way to record your adventures. You don't just take photos of the, you put them. Pretty cool!!

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Thank you @audreybits. I love drawing things with strong form and shadows. So the rock formations in the southwest are great for that. Yes I always sketch on trips, along with taking a few photos. It is a great way to revisit past trips too!

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Oh yeah, they are! Travelling must be quite an adventure for you. Definitely, it is!

You managed to capture some great detail with your sketches. Obviously there is a lot of unique and interesting formations out there which gave you a lot to work with. It must have been a nice trip.

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Thank you @niallon11. Yes the southwest rock formations are a natural for drawing - all that solid form, light and shadows. I tend to draw buildings and structures, so canyons are a welcome change.

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Art was never a subject that I managed to master but I can always appreciate the people who have a natural talent. I'm sure that the buildings were interesting but as you said, a change is often welcome.

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Awesome sketches! Love this idea of sharing sketches as a journal /blog... very cool!

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Thanks @joshuadavis. I do have to sketch fast because I am usually not traveling alone. So I often work on them a little more in the evening, and make notes of the events of the day. It is a fun hobby for sure.

Dear Artzonian, thanks for using the #ArtzOne hashtag. Your work is valuable to the @ArtzOne community. Quote of the week: Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics. -Victor Pinchuk

@mrsomebody excellent sketches. You have sketch the arch beautifully. I bet you like to sketch very much. Are you always sketch from the spot or based on travel memories. I like this type of art, you can sketch it and compile it into a story book eg your journey of hiking. Do you color your sketches, I sure it would be nice if you put on some simple color to make it like comic book :) Thank you for sharing and it is awesome.

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Thank you @oliviackl for your thoughts. I have been sketching ever since I had to maintain one in art school. I like to draw on site to try to capture something interesting. Working from memory or from photos just isn't the same. I sometimes draw with colored pencils and sometimes use watercolor paints. I appreciate your comments.

Hello i found this so awsome to be able to sit down somewhere and do such a beautiful sketches. It makes it so special to look at:)

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Thank you @drawmeaship. I had to keep a sketchbook and do drawings for a perspective drawing class in art school years ago. I found it to be really fun, so I've continued to do that, mostly on my travels. It is always rewarding to take the time to draw on trips, and I find they remind me of the places more than the photos do.

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Hello im sure you remember better after drawing than taking a picture, because you pay more attention to the details. And it take more time as well to draw:)

howdy from Texas sir mrsomebody! lol. love that username sir. hey this is a wonderful post and the drawings are so detailed, were you able to draw them all on the trail or did you do a rough sketch and fill them in later?

Also, are you going to be doing more posts like this with beautiful sites to see?

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Haha thank you @janton. I'm glad you like the posts. I just posted #3 last night and will post the 4th in this set later today or tomorrow. They have links at the bottom to the others so you can easily find them. I prefer to draw all onsite, and I do whenever I can. I am usually traveling with someone, so sometimes I do the basic sketch and then work on it some later. But the prize is to practice my drawing skills and capture the image from direct observation. I appreciate your thoughts.

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howdy sir mrsomebody! well sir you are doing amazing work and I think skills like yours are a tremendous addition to the platform!

Your first sketch almost looks like the lower body of a person. It's funny how my eye sees that instead of rocks. It's so interesting that these are near a parking lot. Until you said that, I imagined your trekking for days to see them. You sketches are lovely. Thank you for showing them to us :)

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@fitinfun Haha yeah I can see that. I could put some hands on the hips I suppose! Most of the arches are a couple miles in to see. The advantage of that is you will have fewer people around to disturb you while doing a sketch. Attracting a crowd is the worst thing for me if I am just wanting to do a sketch. That is why I often go out very early morning to draw, before things get busy. Thank you for your comments, I appreciate it.

I am understanding that it is a series of images based on arcs that you are drawing as you are seeing or you are referencing, right? Well let me tell you that it's great, I like the techniques you used and besides everything, the respective reference gives you a magazine idea. Very good post!

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Thank you @erune. Yes these are drawn onsight. I usually travel with someone, so I don't always feel like I have the time to complete a sketch and keep them waiting. So I will get most of it down and then sometimes work on it later, punching up the contrast etc. But the main drawing needs to be pretty much done. Working from photos just isn't the same. I like taking notes as well, and that allows me to write the narrative to give a little insight into where I was and a sense of place. It feels very unplanned and piecemeal at the time, and my drawings often fall way short of the goal. But assembling it later and adding the text like this makes it seem much more intentional. Appreciate your thoughts.

You have excellent post as I had not seen before, I will follow you right away .. I love seeing the work of artists like you, it is interesting to see the way you draw motivating you with your trips, this is really interesting .. !! Greetings from Venezuela @mrsomebody

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Thank you @naideth. I appreciate your comments. And I am following you now. I really like your drawings and your style! I like to keep a loose journal as well as doing sketches on trips, so Steemit is a good venue to put it all in one place. I never have a plan on trips, but once I scan the drawings and write about it, it seems intentional and planned.

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Keep it up, you are in the correct place .. You will always find in this incredible platform people who really love post like this :) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, a hug

All of your travel journal posts are just magical, @mrsomebody :) I love them. They make me feel like I am virtually thumbing through your sketch book <3 Wonderful works !!!

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Haha well that's a nice feeling. I'm glad they come off that way. @veryspider

I find this post more interesting than the usual travel posts. You used another media of visual representation to depict what was observed rather than approach it with mainstream landscape photography. The thing I like about people relating their travel experience with sketches is how old school the method can be.

Charles Darwin had to sketch his observations in the Galapagos Islands to relate to his readers what he actually saw. I think this requires a lot of technical skill to capture the image right and finding the right words to explain what you saw. Whereas, when you just take a snapshot of the place, most of the effort to relate your experience gets taken away.

I had to google the arches to see if my imagination fits the black and white sketch and this is a novel experience already. Congratulations on receiving the curie upvote and you deserve it for this post. :D

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Hi @adamada. Delicate Arch is situated on a curved sweep of smooth rock, so you can walk around it and see it from many angles. I've done a couple sketches of Delicate Arch from different places, though it also depends on how crowded it is and if you can find shade to sketch from. Sometimes I will open one of my sketchbooks and a little dirt or sand will come out. They endure rain and all kinds of wear and tear, but this only makes the experience more real. It is like the sketchbook itself has a life of its own. I take photos too, but those only take a moment to capture, whereas drawing takes time, so that the image makes a deeper impact on you. Early on I wanted to document archaeological digs this way, but never figured out how to get into it. Thanks for your comments!

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"Early on I wanted to document archaeological digs this way, but never figured out how to get into it. "

Progressive sketches may work. Site A looks like this on Day 1. Day 3. Day 5. With some notes on what transpired during the previous days.

Good luck with your sketch journeys :D

Beautiful sketches @mrsomebody. I find the arches really interesting, for them to be formed naturally that way. What do the symbols next to the drawings signify? What medium do you use for your sketches?

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Thank you @marblely. I agree I think the arches are fantastic. And the way they catch the sun and cast their shadows. Like giant sculptures. I don't know what the symbols mean. They were drawn from pottery pieces and rock carvings I saw in a museum. I drew these wither with pencil, pen and ink, and the small color ones with watercolors. I have a small portable watercolor set for that. Thanks for your comments.

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You are right, they are like giant sculptures. And for some, its a wonder how they manage to balance the way they do, like your first photo, the Delicate arch. It does look top heavy. But I suppose they can because they were naturally formed by the natural process of erosion of the weather.
Ooo... ancient symbols probably. Really nice. Do you always carry a drawing and painting kit around in your bag and draw whenever you see something you like?

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@marblely Yes I always bring a book to read and my sketchbook on travels. Having my sketchbook causes me to look more carefully at everything, wanting to find something to capture in a new drawing. Even around home I sometimes bring it and try to see some new perspective that might make an interesting sketch. The arches continue to weather as they age. Some years ago a car-sized piece of rock fell off of Landscape Arch in Arches National Park.

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Ah, it is nice to be able to draw just about anything and everything that captures your attention :) Oh dear, I hope nobody got hurt? A car-sized piece of rock is huge.