Waiting for water to boil – Jetboil stove sketch

While backpacking in the Upper Yosemite Valley, I was sitting and waiting for water to boil (at least with the Jetboil’s lid on you can’t actually watch!) It made sense to sit and draw the stove itself (at least to me) so that’s what I did. This workhorse was purchased about 10 years ago and has been going strong ever since!

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Half-Dome sketch in Yosemite

While in Yosemite, we took an overnight backpacking trip up into Little Yosemite Valley. Half-Dome wasn’t open yet, since it was still snowed in. That was fabulous, as it felt that we had the whole valley to ourselves. Though we didn’t make it up to the top of Half-Dome, we did hike up to the snow line. While there, I sat and enjoyed the view, taking the opportunity to sketch Half-Dome from the north side.

Matthew sketching Half Dome

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Charcoal drawing of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley charcoal sketch

It seems like every National Park has an “Inspiration Point” somewhere along the trails. And from that point you can see an iconic view.

Yosemite was no different and the view was truly stunning, overlooking Yosemite Valley itself. It was a wonderful place to stop on the way into the valley, enjoy a short hike up to the point itself, and enjoy lunch before capturing the view in a charcoal sketch.

You can see El Cap on the left, Half-Dome in the middle, and Bridal Falls toward the bottom right. What a fabulous experience!

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Charcoal drawing of Yosemite Valley in the National Park
Yosemite Valley

Sketching at Hetch Hetchy

Out for a 2-night backpacking trip up past Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. After a full week of exploring the park we took a lazy day at camp. While there I sketched Ashley as she enjoyed the view out over the valley, and a few of the awesome, gnarly branches of the shrubs surrounding the rock she was seated on.

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Sketching Half Dome from the North

Overnighting on the John Muir Trail in Yosemite National Park, we hiked up from our campsite in Little Yosemite Valley to the Half Dome trail. The cables haven’t been installed on HD itself, so the trail isn’t officially open, but we only made it about 3/4 of the way until running into snow anyway. Made for a great location to sit and enjoy the view down into Yosemite Valley and up at Half Dome. Pulled out the graphite and sketchbook to record the iconic granite monolith from the north side .

Sketching Half Dome

Got hot while hiking, so zipped off the bottom half of my pant legs, but then cooled down when stopped so pulled the fleece out of my bag.

Sketching Half Dome


Half Dome


Graphite Sketch of Half Dome


Sketching Half Dome

Suspension bridge in Yosemite

First night in Yosemite National Park we hiked up a trail near our campground and went across a suspension bridge along the way. On the way back we stopped and enjoyed the view while I sketched it.

Suspension Bridge in Yosemite

Graphite Sketch of Suspension bridge in Yosemite

My favorite part might be the inclusion of the sketchbook at the bottom of the sketch. I thought about adding another one inside it, but thought that might be a bit much.