Garden shed, not my own

After more than four weeks of social distancing in the house, I had to get out of the house to do some sketching from inside my car. That’s a form of social distancing too, isn’t it? I didn’t go too far, around the corner, really, to a parking lot of a soccer field where I could see a little shed in someone’s backyard.

I think this is a great time for experimentation with materials, so instead of bringing my watercolours, I packed a little tin of twelve Caran D’Ache Neocolor II crayons. I’ve had them for ages — passed down to me from my mother when she stopped painting — but never tried them. I drew the scene first with a permanent ink line and then went over it with the crayons. Of course there’s something wonderfully liberating about drawing with crayons, and it immediately helped me get over that feeling of being trapped in the house.

If you’ve used Neocolor crayons, you’ll already know that they are very pigmented and, besides releasing lots of colour, they also dissolve almost completely if you add enough water to them. But because they’re water-soluble wax oil pastels, they’re also quite opaque so I had to go over some of my black lines again to darken them. I loved they way the colours blended, especially on the trees, but in some places I found the colours too strong, like on the shed shadows. They will take some getting used to, but overall, a really fun change.

9 Comments on “Garden shed, not my own”

  1. edda blume says:

    Wow Shari, that’s quite impressive! Whatever materials you use it turns out great, I especially like the tree in the foreground


  2. Chris Rusk says:

    Really beautiful – I love your colour choices and the way your crayons are affected by water. Would a sharp blade work for scraping thick areas or to define thin branches?


  3. Judy Sopher says:

    Love this one, Shari.I have neocolor crayons and haven’t used them for ages. I’ll have to dig them out.

    BTW, I started your class but only got as far as the materials. You are using a different palette than in your Craftsy classes. So glad you are able to make your newer classes.


  4. Anderson says:

    Hello, Shari. I am a big The Sketchbook fan, and besides loving your work, I also enjoy the texts your write for each painting. As a student of the English language, I always learn a lot of nice expressions from your texts, and the way you write help me to understand your connection to the subjects you select to paint. While I am here trying to deal with the social distancing, I’ve decided to keep a phrase-book by reading all your posts. The Sketchbook is helping me both ways: words and images. Thank you so much. p.s. Every time you paint that lovely wheelbarrow, I remember William Carlos Williams’ poem : )


  5. Pastor Cathy says:

    they are very pigmented

    they’re water-soluble wax oil pastels,


  6. Donna says:

    I assume these canyons are still available? Something else to try. I like it. Tried to register today for. Your class but I think the internet is too busy. Will keep trying.


  7. Denise says:

    Hello Shari! Personally, I like the dark purple-ish shadow. It looks great (to me) with the orangey red in the tree. Registered for your class, can’t wait to get started!


  8. Cora Brown says:

    I carry a pocket palette made by coloring heavy squares of Neocolor II on folded cheap watercolor paper. It fits in an envelope in my purse. When I’m traveling, I carry a loaded water brush. It makes an always-ready super light paint set for unexpected sketching opportunities.


  9. Nice painting, I really like the colours you added to the trees.


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