Thursday, 17 August 2017

Sketch Outing to Kelmscott Manor

At last, a promising weather forecast for our sketch outing yesterday.  Eight of us met up for coffee and then set off down narrow country lanes to find Kelmscott Manor, a 17th century house situated in The Cotswolds near the upper reaches of the Thames.  Purchased in 1871, this was the summer home for the Arts and Crafts Movement textile designer, artist and writer, William Morris, and his family.

We made the most of the sun and spent all our time outside, but the interior is well worth a visit as it is decorated with William Morris wallpapers, furnishing fabrics and embroideries (by his wife and daughters), together with examples of the paintings and drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti who shared the house with them for some years.

Both images in the grey Hahnemuhle sketchbook - pen
watercolour and gouache

Saturday, 12 August 2017

A visit to Bowood

After a very wet start to the week, we were lucky to have good weather for our visit to the Bowood estate on Thursday.  This is a National Trust property with the spectacular grounds and lake, covering some 100 acres, designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown in the late 1700's.

We were enjoying the sun so much, we didn't have enough time to take a tour of the house, so I missed out on the opportunity to view a famed collection of early English watercolours.

My journal sketch of the boathouse on the lake was done later at home from one of my photos.

Pen and wash (approx 3" x 3")

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Station sketch outing

One of our urban sketching members organised a morning at Swindon Railway Station. We were limited to ten members, given visitor passes and made very welcome by all staff.

The building on the north platform was particularly interesting, despite the fact that it was partially obscured by scaffolding, and a few of us chose to draw this.  I have since found out that the exterior has remained more or less intact since it was built to Brunel's design in the early 1800s, with the original decorative cast-iron columns still supporting an old-style wooden canopy.  Now designated a Grade II listed building, I suppose the scaffolding was evidence that some much needed restoration work was being undertaken.

Swindon Station - platform building - pen and wash
over mixed media background in Hahnemuhle Grey Book
 I chose to ignore the scaffolding and building paraphernalia - too confusing!

Train guard - pen and wash

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Rainy day sketch outing

With the forecast of heavy rain for most of the day, our Wednesday group met up in the cafe of a local garden centre. We enjoyed a morning of arty chat over coffee, sharing past sketchbook drawings and, rather than all of us obviously turning our attention to the customers around us, we sketched each other.  Good practice.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Norwegian Fisherman's Hut

This is an Indian ink and gouache resist painting I did after a trip to Norway some time ago.  On this occasion my reference was one of my photos - we were on a guided tour, so there was little time to stop and sketch.  Although it was a fairly grey day, the red painted hut with its turf roof captured my attention as we headed towards the Saltstraumen, one of the world's strongest tidal currents.  Here the incoming tide from the sea, clashes with the water in a narrow channel of the Skerstad Fjord, forming a whirlpool which can be as much as 1 metre below the level of the surrounding water.  The current wasn't too ferocious on the day we were there, but I wouldn't have wanted to be one of the group of tourists being driven through it on a rather flimsy looking inflatable craft.

Fisherman's Hut, Norway
You can see more of my ink resist paintings on my Gallery page.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sketch outing - TWIGS

Another plein air sketch outing on Wednesday with a group from the Royal WoottonBassett Art Society. The venue was TWIGS, a community garden formed about 20 years ago by a local resident who realised the therapeutic benefits that working with nature could bring to those experiencing mental health problems. A surprising oasis of wildlife and luxuriant plantings in the midst of a busy town.

A couple more sketches done in this garden can be seen in a previous post.

Both my sketches were done in the Hahnemuhle Grey sketchbook.

Pen and watercolour over a light acrylic wash and random gesso print  

Pen and watercolour plus white gel pen

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Portrait sketch

Last week I spent a great day out with a friend from Australia, she was over here visiting family and catching up with old acquaintances.  We had glorious weather, although the afternoon proved a little too hot for both of us! We made the most of shaded walks through our local arboretum, but with so much news to catch up with there was no time for sketching.  Needing an image to add to my journal entry for the day, I decided to attempt a portrait of my friend from one of the few photos I took.

People drawing is not my forte, so I played safe and started the pencil sketch on drawing paper rather than directly in my journal.  To seal the pencil sketch I sponged over it with a light wash of liquid acrylic plus glazing liquid, then added some watercolour washes and gel pen. I am not sure anyone would recognise the "sitter", but it was good practice for drawing faces.

Pencil, acrylic, watercolour, gel pen
(approx. 2" x 3")