Sketching in the Rain

I love rain! The pattering sound works solace for my soul. For an introvert it’s also often more peaceful walking in the rain, because so many people stay inside, leaving the road or trails to me and the few other people who don’t worry about melting. When I was running track or cross country in high school, I usually finished third or fourth in races– unless it was a rainy day. Then I often won, because I found the rain invigorating, while most of the other runners were psyched out by it.

I also love sketching, but it’s not always easy to blend the two. A couple of weeks ago I was sketching wolves at the Wolf Center when it started to rain, and suddenly my pencil ground to a halt on my paper. The paper in my sketchbook was heavy enough to stand up to getting rained on, but it turns out that graphite pencils don’t work on ordinary wet paper. No problem; I switched to a watercolor pencil and continued to sketch the wolves. That worked okay, but I really prefer the finer lines and detail I can get with my trusty mechanical pencil with .7mm or .9mm lead or with my favorite– a Ticonderoga No. 1 (extra-soft) pencil sharpened to a good point.

When I came home from that sketching session, I did a bit of research and found the “All Weather Sketchbook” by Rite in the Rain. My order arrived last week, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a rainy day, so I could test it out. Today fit the bill, with heavy rain off and on all afternoon. I hurried out with watercolor pencils to draw the remaining colorful trees in our yard– I really love the soft look of fall colors on a rainy day. At first that worked beautifully, but as it rained harder, my drawing liquified and ran off the paper (onto me). At that point I pulled out my Ticonderoga pencil to sketch a tree that has already lost all its leaves. It worked wonderfully! This paper is really cool and stood up to getting heavily soaked. And now I don’t need to take weather into account when I schedule sketching trips to the wolf center or zoo!

Sketching in the rain
Sketch on Rite-in-the-Rain paper