I recently realized I hadn't done much work in my sketchbook, in ages really. (well months) So I sat down and started doodling and produced a sketch of tree roots. It looked really nice just with the pen I'd used, wish I'd taken a picture of it at that stage. but then I wanted to add color.
So I used my Prismacolor pencils. I liked using all the browns together to achieve the various shadings that you see on roots. Then I wanted more amorphous color in the bigger non-root section and sky area, so I used some Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons. When I used my Yasutomo watercolor brush to add water to move the watercolor around I realized that the pen I'd used to sketch with was water soluble (oops). So that made for a very different end product than I'd originally been shooting for. But I like it and how the colors blended together.
And then I still wanted to sketch, but wasn't happy with the way the paper in my sketchbook was reacting to the water. It really isn't suited to watercolor work. So I grabbed one of the blank watercolor paper cards and drew some more roots. This time the color was only added with the watercolor crayons and pencils. I'm pretty happy with the way this card turned out.
Driving or walking around everyday I see exposed tree root systems, as the roads are cut into hillsides. This is of course why every winter during the heavy rains, we have trees falling over, taking down power lines, etc. But seeing this everyday makes it a "go to" image that I tend to sketch. A lot of times I find the patterns the roots make more visually interesting that the tree that grows out of the roots. I guess this noticing what is around me is part of the gathering inspiration process that I automatically use now. I'm glad I've learned to incorporate and be inspired by what is in the natural world that is all around me. Day in and day out.