We interrupt this Mexico City travelogue to bring you a few drawings (click to enlarge).

The landscape in charcoal pencil is now finished. I had intended the picture to be framed by the two largest cupolas, but the composition drifted as I drew, so I cut off the leftmost couple of inches to restore it.

While I was drawing the charcoal-pencil picture, I got fascinated with the colors of the jacaranda, purple doors, and bright turquoise door slightly south of where I was drawing, so the next one made them the focus. I learned a lot about working with soft pastels on this one.  I think it’s finished now.

I started drawing this tree, which is in the garden of my drawing teacher, Silvia Velasquez, on Tuesday. I love the way the biography of the tree is written in its shape and skin. It not only grows out of the rock, it’s carried one stone with it. I’m not sure you can make it out yet–to distinguish between the texture of the stones and of the tree itself (and the ivy, and the birdhouse) is one of the challenges I’m setting myself with this drawing. I’m amazed by how many different textures are in the bark–it’s as if it’s several trees, or has lived several lives. Another thing I’m working on is to focus on volumes and planes as I draw, more than on outline; I’ve filled in a lot of linear detail now, but the broader strokes, done with charcoal, are still evident in the stones below and the right-hand branch. Today will be my third morning drawing it, so I’ll post an updated version. I should record stages like this more often–it’s easy with the digital camera, and I’d probably learn a lot.

I can’t wait to get back to this tree!