Tag Archives: Aquarell

Seagulls Swarm

Diving for pop corn

Diving for pop corn 6″X9″ Aquarell water graphite on illustration board.

Ever entertaining

The seagulls are always an attraction by Lake Superior and especially near the popcorn stand. This is a quick water pencil sketch, as the birds do not pose in the air, one must build birds in short dashes and flashes of glimpses and brush strokes. The water graphite media is great for this as the tone and details can be enhanced with strokes of water both in process and later. I have found a #4 or #6 round sable works well to render most any small sketch. Then I found the water handle brush, it has it’s own water supply in the handle. A slight squeeze and you have a drop of water on the bristles. Quick and flexible and easy to carry both pencil and brush and water in your pocket.


© John Michael Cook

Sail Boat Regatta

36-wednesday sailors Study  6″x8″  (Aquarell water graphite pencil on watercolor paper) I love these pencils – they are so fun to use. Draw and add water with a small brush and shade as you go.

Duluth, Minnesota at Lake Superior – study sketches. Sailing boats are always moving and a bit of a distance away so you have to plein air grab what you can or photograph them. I prefer to just find a bench or rock and give it a try. Later these boats may become a studio painting, or maybe not. The Aquarell pencil allows great range in shading and drawing on site (plein air).

The Aquarell pencil also gives a uniform look to sketches over time, with consistent shading values.


© John Michael Cook

Endion Station

endion station

Endion Station, located in Canal Park, Duluth, MN.

On site sketch (2005), rendered in graphite on illustration board 8″x10.” Some tonal work was done with the Aquarell water pencil

The Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Endion Depot is a historic railroad depot in Duluth, Minnesota.   Built in 1899 for passengers and freight. It was formerly located at South Street and 15th Avenue East. The Interstate 35 extension in 1985, necessitated moving the building; it was relocated to Canal Park.  It features fine brick and stone architectural detailing and craftsmanship. The building is designed with projecting gables that form a transept. Its architect was I. Vernon Hill. The stone came from the Kettle River quarries near Sandstone, Minnesota.