Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sketchbook snapshot: Arizona's Sonoran Desert

Field sketches
Right now, I'm working on a book illustration commission, for a book about the history of desert bighorn sheep near Tucson, Arizona.

Since I have in-laws in Phoenix which we visit every Christmas, my husband, father-in-law, and I took advantage of the opportunity to drive a little further south to see (and sketch!) the ecosystem I'm illustrating.

While they photographed and frolicked with our new puppy, I sketched to my heart's content. 

Media coverage
I also happened to bump into a newspaper reporter, while standing atop a parking garage sketching the Tucson Valley.

The encounter actually led to a bit of online media coverage of me sketching on location!

Photo captions
  1. The Catalina mountains, surrounded by a 'human fence' created by development. These mountains are the focus of the book I'm illustrating, and a recent bighorn sheep reintroduction project.
  2. Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea giganteawith a small woodpecker perched atop
  3. A barrel cactus fruit, rendered in pen and ink (left) and watercolor and ink (right). Beware the enthusiastic artist - I spent days picking and rubbing at the fine prickly hair-like needles coating the cactus fruits I handled.

If you'd like to read the column, let your local newspaper or magazine editor know you want to see an illustrated version of the West in their publication!

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