Christmas Day Trail Sketches

charcoal sketch of path in woods

“Uphill Path”, charcoal pencils on 2-ply vellum bristol paper, 5″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I like to capture whatever winter happens to be doing with a visit to the Panhandle Trail on Christmas Day, with photos of course, and also with sketches, and I captured three that I like.

Above is the first of a path I often walk up into the woods. It is steep, and actually continues up and up until it somewhat levels off, and in temperate times has a huge number of varied wildflowers, including the first trilliums of the year. We’d only had a dusting of snow but on this north facing side of the hill it was a little deeper and hadn’t melted. I like the look of rich black charcoal against pure white paper to capture a sense of the woods.

sketch of trail and trees and overcast sky

“Charcoal Dusk”, black and white charcoal on gray toned paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Above, the trail with a dusting of snow, the denseness of the trees along side and on a hill beyond, and the overcast sky. This is the first time I’ve used this toned paper while sketching, and it’s ideal for these winter types of sketches to start with a mid-tone.

The day began with a sunny morning but was so murky dark by the time I was ready to go in the early afternoon I held off until later. We did see some sun here and there, but I decided a late afternoon or even dusk visit would be good, and it was. It meant color was pretty much out of the question, not because there wasn’t any but because an overcast sky like that can really change the way my pastels look in the box and on paper. I did start one but decided to bring it home to finish, and will do others from photos—the clouds broke briefly just before sunset with lots of wispy color in the sky, awakening the cool blues and purples in the landscape, but the light changed so fast it was impossible to catch.

charcoal sketch of woods

“Ravine”, black and white charcoal on tan toned paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Above, a ravine with varied textures, and there happened to be a good bit of tan longer grass bend over under the snow.

See other original art and also original trail sketches here and here, my Christmas sketch from 2011.

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If you’d be interested in purchasing any of these sketches, please contact me.

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0 Comments

  1. Paulette Smith says:

    Love the black and white in the gray paper!

    1. Bernadette says:

      I’ve never tried it for landscapes before, Paulette–I like it!

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