Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sketching Britain

A small flood of sketches, from the period 1992 to 1994. I'd only taken up sketching in 1990 at the age of 46. It took so long to get over the reaction of my art teacher at school whose usual response to my work was a barely stifled laugh... These are despite him...

Blackpool, my home since 1976. A familiar view, but the detail of it at floor level has all changed now with the new promenade.

Bowness and Lake Windermere. Drawn from a photograph at home, this A4 sketch took ages to do and is probably my first detailed sketch.

Sedbergh drawn on site on an A5 sketchpad on the other hand only took around 20 minutes. We were staying for the weekend with friends at their cottage. Good memories!

Polperro in Cornwall, drawn on a very crowded harbour wall. It took me a while to get to the stage where I could stand and sketch where I knew people would come to look over my shoulder. I must be lucky - no one has sniggered...

Cheddar, deserted as it was after 5:00pm. However one family - desperately looking for something to do, see or watch, spent the entire 45 minutes of this sketch standing watching and chatting. Nice of them, but added pressure as I was dreading producing something akin to the landscape version of a stick man...

Quite an early one of Clitheroe Castle in Lancashire. A touch of laziness is shown in the lines of the ground paving in the middle distance... Guilty m'Lud...

I don't know where this is - I sketched it from a photo in a magazine simply because I liked the composition. I'm obviously not alone as it's one of the more visited images amongst my sketches at Flickr.

Similarly with this one, sketched from a magazine photo, but at least I know where it is - Porlock Wier in Somerset.

An unmistakeable location for this sketch of the Bridge House at Ambleside. This (and the next) were drawn in a hardbacked A4 book with ivory coloured pages. I liked the idea, but haven't used it a lot as I don't think I've ever gone out on a drawing/sketching expedition. Instead I sketch as and when I have the time and when I happen to be somewhere I think I can sketch and do justice to the scene. So lumping an A4 book about is not good. Usually I have an A5 sketchpad in a leather folder from a work conference (thank you Emis!) long ago and this holds my propelling pencil that I use just about exclusively. (Though the Sedbergh sketch was done with an ordinary pencil - you can tell it had a broader point!)

From the same A4 book, a sketch of Lower and Upper Slaughter in the Cotswolds. A beautiful place and well suited to pencil and paper or paints. I paint even more seldom than sketching. Lately I sketch only on holiday and a week away produces only one or two sketches usually. But who knows... I plan to retire from work within the next year and it would be nice to spend time doing what I enjoy, whether on site or at home in comfort!

Some of the sketches done abroad have appeared on these pages before but I'll collect some of them together in similar articles and perhaps have a look at the very rare paint and coloured crayon sketches too.

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