underwater ripples in the river that distorted the rocks underneath along with bits and pieces of underwater plants

Studies of Water in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden

For days 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of my January 2022 ‘Sketch a Day’ challenge I abandoned the Tanum pond in Sweden and ‘flew’ down to Mexico to see some very different ponds at the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden.

I worked from an extreme crop of various shots including the top left side of these lily pads.pink waterlilies in a pond at Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, Mexico

Because I had switched to a larger book this sketch was published in two parts, first the sketch (Day 9) and then the watercolour (Day 13). It took forever to finish and cured me of my longing to use a larger sketchbook. I filled in the water at the bottom with a lovely murky green. Although I also wanted to add a similar water to the top of the sketch I gave up rather than potentially ruin the image – in real-life painting there is no such thing as an ‘Undo’ button. Perhaps I will add the top water in the future when I have forgotten how long it took to get to this point.watercolour and pencil sketch in a pond at Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, Mexico

The Jaguar Trail in the Botanical Garden leads to the river where you can swim or just wade to cool off. I spent some time admiring the clear water and the underwater ripples in the river that distorted the rocks underneath along with bits and pieces of underwater plants.underwater ripples overlaying two rocks and some plants in the small river that runs through the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden

I painted a quick yellow ochre background then added pencil to try to capture the ripples for my Day 10 sketch.
pencil sketch of underwater ripples and plants in the river that runs through Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, Mexico

When I saw the final piece it reminded me of something and at one point I saw this image taken at the Van Gogh show, a huge blow-up of a pen and ink sketch of his showing waves rolling in on the coast of France. Apparently I’m not the only person to do studies of water. Van Gogh Exhibit showing his use of pen lines in sketches depicting water

My Day 11 inspiration, also from the river. underwater ripples in the river that distorted the rocks underneath along with bits and pieces of underwater plants

My Day 11 sketch, watercolour and pencil.watercolour and pencil sketch of underwater ripples and plants in the river that runs through Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, Mexico

This golden Koi fish in a pond was way too complicated for a quick sketch so I focussed on capturing the ripply reflection of leafy branches in the lower left corner.a golden Koi fish in a pond reflecting the leafy branches of overhead trees in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden in Mexico using the Sumi-e brushstroke filter in Photoshop

The start of the watercolour sketch.

My Day 12 watercolour sketch. watercolour and pencil sketch of plant leaves reflecting in rippling water of a pond at Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden

A crop that didn’t make it into a sketch is this one where I decided that colour was important and demanded a better quality paper. aerial roots in the pond at the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden

This is the full-size version showing the aerial roots coming out of the water, possible mangrove?aerial roots into a pond in the Botanical Garden in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

And another, of spiky Papyrus and burgundy-leafed water plants; this one is too complex for a sketch-a-day but now that the Challenge is over I really want to get my teeth into this one. spiky Papyrus and burgundy water plants

Full-size version.Pond with spiky Papyrus and burgundy water plants in the Botanical Garden in Puerto Vallarta, MexicoMore of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Water.

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