Watercolor on 140 lb., 8.5 x 11″ Strathmore Visual Journal. Westbrook, Maine. 1 June, 2012.
Nothing says “carnival” to me more than the scent of fried dough. It smells delicious, and I’m sure that when the oil is new, the result is very good. But, ugh — I tried it once a number of years ago and even though I’m a hound dog for anything covered with sugar, the dough was heavy and greasy and sat unpleasantly in my stomach. My friend and I were walking off an excellent meal of Indian food last weekend, when we happened upon a small carnival in a park by the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, ME. Full of saag paneer, I was able to run the gauntlet of carnival delicacies without succumbing to any temptation. Until I got to the milkshake stand, that is.
Looking around at the carnival sights as I contentedly sipped my chocolate shake, I realized how extraordinarily crisp the lights of Jensen’s Fried Dough stand lit their flags against the night sky. I had my sketch book with me, but didn’t feel comfortable whipping it out and starting a sketch. So, I snapped a photo and sketched it at home later that evening. I wasn’t thrilled with the sky rendering, so I started another version with a different palette and here is a view of the comparison. Although I like the sky in the second attempt, I think the first sketch has more personality.