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Mackinaw Island Weekend

These sketches are from a trip I took to Michigan a few months ago. I used a 6” x 9” Stillman & Birn watercolor book and brought along my Winsor & Newton field sketch box filled with Holbein tube paint. The sketchbook is small enough that I could carry it everywhere and the paper is perfect for pencil, pen, and watercolor. Most of the time I sketched the subject using a Sanford Uniball Micro pen, without blocking the scene in pencil first. I painted the scenes later, using reference photos only as needed. Usually the subject was obvious and I could remember everything.

More often than not, my subjects were based on convenience, and the time allowed. I was with a large group so I had to grab scenes when I could. The island was green and lush, with bright fluffy clouds and a gentle breeze. We spent a morning at the Grand Hotel: a beautiful historic structure with a long porch and a row of flags across the front. One of my favorite sketches is the concourse at Detroit Metro Airport while waiting for our early evening flight back home. There were shops and restaurants, people walking and waiting, tall inside trees, and a bright red monorail that passed overhead every three minutes.

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