Memories of Utah (pen and ink, 9″ x 12″) – in progress

Updates: March 14, 2010 | June 3, 2010 | September 5, 2010 | December 20, 2010 | January 10, 2011

Update March 14, 2010

One thing that I kind of miss from the times when kids were small is packing them into the car along with everything else and going places. About 10 years ago we did an especially long trip through Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Wisconsin, and the fondest memory for me were incredible rock formations that we never saw before. This piece is about Utah. It is not any particular place there, just something that makes me think of it. I am going to plant something below the towering cliff; not sure what it is going to be yet, and that slope at the right decided to be steeper than I wanted, leaving too little space for a tree… We’ll see.

Memories of Utah - 9 x 12, pen and ink

Update June 3, 2010

SVOS and preparations to it kept me busy through the most of April and May, but I am now back to a somewhat normal drawing schedule. “Memories of Utah” are moving forward finally. I started to define rock formations. They will probably change somewhat as I make more progress with the cliff. Good thing this is not a depiction of any actual place and I am free to experiment and reshape rocks as I see fit 🙂

Memories of Utah - 9 x 12, pen and ink

Update September 5, 2010

Finished almost all dark areas which are the most time consuming. The rest should go easier, provided I won’t catch a rock-reshaping bug again. I really need to refrain from doing that before I ruin the piece.

Memories of Utah - 9 x 12, pen and ink

December 20, 2010

Ok, it’s been a while since the last update, but the rocks are almost done now. All that’s left is the ground below and the furs. There are going to be furs growing behind the slope. Shaping them is going to be as much fun as building the rocks. No, seriously, I have tons of reference photos for both, and not a single one looks like what I want, so for the most part this piece is coming from imagination that suggests dozens of different versions for every detail. That probably explains why it takes forever to finish it.

Memories of Utah - 9 x 12, pen and ink

January 10, 2011

And it’s finally done. A few things I learned while working on this one:

  • the same pitch black India ink will look paler if dispersed from a Rapidograph pen with a thicker point; size 7 produces the palest shade of black
  • just because the paper is called Bristol, it does not mean that it will take kindly to puddles of ink that a hick point produces; the one I used, Bienfang smooth surface drawing Bristol, buckled slightly its surface became sensitive to applying more ink when I wanted to make the areas of flat black darker
  • Rapidograph size 000 (0.25mm) is still my best friend, no matter the size of the artwork

I think that if I ever venture into the world of abstractions, and I really want to, rock formations are likely to be an intermediate step for me.

Memories of Utah - 9 x 12, pen and ink

See a bigger image here

2 Replies to “Memories of Utah (pen and ink, 9″ x 12″) – in progress”

  1. Yelena, this is beautiful. I use to take my kids camping at Deception Pass in WA state and would enjoy hours of sketching trees.

  2. Thank you! You are lucky if your kids give you time to sketch during the trip 🙂 When mine were smaller, I would sit them to sketch with me, and for a couple of years that worked. I finally resorted to just taking lots of photos on location and only sketched from the car.

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