Succulent of Unusual Size

I am getting ready to give a demo for the San Diego Urban Sketchers at the end of this month. I’ll be sketching at Balboa Park’s Succulent Garden. It is full of eye-catching plants and land formations and is one of my favorite places to paint in San Diego. Three succulent garden scenes, in particular, fascinate me, and I have returned to paint them multiple times over the past few years.

I think I have settled in on a 20-foot succulent because I like its style and unusual size. It sits on the edge of a canyon and lends itself well to the Urban Sketchers’ mission of telling our stories, one sketch at a time. Additionally, we might like the abundant shade from the majestic eucalyptus trees that border the area.

This is my practice sketch for the demo. After looking at it, I know I will choose a more rectangular sketchbook to work in so that the stalks can stretch up into the sky. I like having a figure in the sketch so that people realize just how big the plant is, but I think I’ll move her a bit behind the plant so that the plant is the clear focus. Finally, I will emphasize its spiky leaves for visual interest. But sketches take on a life of their own. Who knows what I will really sketch when I go back in two weeks?

About Sarah Sullivan
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