cover image Sketching Outdoors in Summer

Sketching Outdoors in Summer

Jim Arnosky. HarperCollins, $12.95 (47pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06286-6

Readers familiar with Arnosky's Drawing from Nature and Sketching Outdoors in Spring will find more incisive instructions as they follow the artist's path, winding its way like a snake in the hot summer sun. Some of the sketches are done on fishing trips ``between casts for trout and bass.'' Graphic depictions of small details are supplemented with impressionistic strokes of wide pencil lines when the mass of green is seen merely as ``a chaos of lines, shapes, and shadows.'' The ordered structure of the picture is observed only after the work is finished. And ``hide your eraser,'' the artist advises, ``there are no mistakes to be made.'' Motion, noise, cooling rain and scorching heat also are not to be absorbed by the artistnot even the noise of the carpenter-pencil scratching along the surface of the paper. With varying degrees of complexity and usefulness, Arnosky's instructions are imparted here to convey the need to ``feel'' first, then sketch, nature's seasonal passage through time. For some, looking beyond the hand-and-eye technique may prove invaluable; while able; while others may want to find their own path through the outdoors. Ages 10-up. (May)