Early in the morning, when it is too cold to leave my heated camper, I look out the window and see the light beginning to show the clouds, trees, rocks, and foliage. The light changes everything fast and I try to capture it all in my small 9 x 9-inch sketchbook with chalk markers and gouache.
This first sketch above focused on the contrast of the light clouds with the still dark treetops and the foliage below. I did not realize it at the time, but the grasses in the foreground were sketched when the sun was more overhead and so is not consistent with the the way the sun was hitting the tree tops. I sketched with chalk markers and then went in with gouache to smooth out some of the lines.
The sun was higher up in this second sketch, so the angle that it lights up the scene is more similar to the usual overhead sun that we experience throughout the day. I drew first with chalk markers and then covered most of them with gouache, leaving some chalk marks to indicate texture in the tree trunks and grass.
The sun is barely up in this third sketch and shines across the landscape at a near-horizontal angle. It is a sunny morning and it lights up everything from the side.
So far, I like the way these chalk markers allow me to quickly sketch what I see. Because they are soluble, they work well with gouache and add possibilities for showing texture and form.