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")

Sunday, 2 July 2017

July sketch outing

We had reasonable weather for our sketch meeting in Faringdon Road Park on Saturday, with eight of us turning up with our art supplies. This fairly small park in the middle of town is mostly laid to grass, but around its perimeter are a few mature trees, a children's play area and a colourful flower border in one corner.  Most of us chose to concentrate on the buildings seen outside the park.

I am getting more attuned to using the Hahnemuhle Grey Book - this time I had previously lightly toned one of my pages with some blue/green acrylic paint, cleaning off my roller after using it for another project.  It worked quite well with my chosen view of a Victorian house, glimpsed above a flower bed of deep yellow lilies, rich red crocosmia and bright blue sea holly.

Park House (built 1876)
Pen and watercolour on acrylic toned background

Sketching in this historic area of Swindon has encouraged me to find out a bit more about its history.  Apparently, this land adjacent to the Railway Village was bought in 1844 by the Great Western Railway to provide a cricket field for the use of the local residents, as well as a general leisure area and the venue for annual fetes.  At one time it boasted a cricket pavilion, an entrance lodge, glasshouses and ornamental borders with fountains - all since disappeared.