Fields of Summer

Back in May, I wrote a post about Gardens Wild and Planted, where I wondered whether the home gardener could create anything as lovely as a spring meadow. Here I am again at the end of summer wondering the same once more. I visited this field (and started this journal page) back in July and revisited it last week to see it again (and finish the sketch). My own garden is a fine mix of annuals and perennials, and it has provided plenty of good subject matter for sketching. But it cannot compare with the wilder open fields where an annual mowing is all that is needed to create an entire season of beauty.  

Tips and Techniques– This sketch is a composite of various flowers and grasses in the field. Rather than standing in one place where all of this was in view, I moved from flower to flower to fill the page. I often use this technique when outside because it allows me the freedom to roam freely, discovering and drawing as I go. I sketch directly with a black Micron 02 pen and I may or may not add watercolor on the spot. A small travel watercolor set and water brush work well, though I frequently add more layers of watercolor at home. The text and border come last. Hope you are enjoying some late summer wandering and sketching!

21 Comments on “Fields of Summer

  1. thanks for your wonderful drawing inspiratios! I have spent the last 10 years ‘cultivating’ meadows into my half acre here. Its a worthy endeavour (tho not great for resale value)

  2. This is so lovely and peaceful. Your greens are amazing! Thank you for sharing your talents.

    • Hi Denise- I’m working on greens all the time. Still trying to find a really good dark transparent green. For a color that is so prevalent in nature, it sure takes some practice!

  3. I love the way you share your story! This is such a lovely wildflower entry.

  4. There is a beautiful little book called Noah’s Garden by Sara Stein. Restoring the ecology of our own back yards.
    I love getting these posts every week, Jean. Thank you.

    • Thanks Audrey- We have been naturalizing our yard since we moved here three years ago. We have a nice patch of meadow, and are underplanting clusters of trees where once was lawn. It’s a multiyear project!

  5. So beautiful! It’s so interesting to see the different varieties of wild flowers from region to region and what seems to be doing best from year to year. Last year here in N. Michigan Queen Anne’s Lace stole the show. This year it’s Joe Pye weed (one of my favorites) and Golden rod and Fire Weed. But there are so many beautiful wild flowers to sketch. I love your depictions and the variety you chose. How you chronicle them and the cheerful colors. Thank you.

    • Hi Erica- It is interesting to see the subtle changes from year to year. I don’t see Joe Pye weed often, but it’s a beauty and would be worthy of a sketch. Goldenrod is just coming on here now. And some of the leaves are just turning yellow to match.

  6. Hi Jean, Have you ever tried Daniel Smith’s Undersea Green? It’s a really nice convenience mixture of ultramarine blue & quin. gold (so PB29, PO48, & PY150), and semitransparent.

    As always I’m inspired by your work.

  7. Another delightful painting! We leave sections of our small property uncut, and the result is a wonderful wild meadow. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas on how to sketch it.

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