Sketching on site

20090723 sketch 1

Swatch encouraged me to paint on location. It’s too much equipment for me to carry when the prime purpose of my walk is to walk briskly to get my cardio exercise.

It was an overcast day today, the temperature was in the mid-twenties. I thought I would have no need for a camera and instead I could take  a pocket sketchbook about the size a small Moleskine along with me today. My drawing implement was a Pilot H-Tecpoint V5 Extra fine permanent ink pen – much like the old Staedler technical pens. I stopped a few times along the way, trying to get the rhythm of the place I did a memory drawing of (see last post). I stopped at the chicken feeding spot, too.

Here’s what I sketched. Maybe I’ll colour them in tomorrow.

20090723 sketch 2 20090723 sketch 3

20090723 sketch 4

20090723 sketch 5

The sun came out late in my walk and I regretted not having the camera with me. One of the farms looked so beautiful in the late afternoon sun. The roof took on a reddish colour, more like old rose and it sat there with this soft colour contrasting so beautifully with the freshly mown hay surrounding it. They hay will be picked up tomorrow, I think.

I also saw a family of five in a canoe, each wearing an orange life jacket; and the boat was cadmium red, light. It just looked so beautiful and so peaceful, moving up river, this bright vibrant red and orange, gliding low-down between the narrow gap of the river, the water looking green and the tall river grasses too, but lighter. Yellower.  It would have made a beautiful painting.

And here’s a thought for the day quoted out of the book I’m reading (which I don’t recommend, so far) called Restoration by Rose Tremain. (Penguin Books, 1989).  A foppish, useless rich young man is taking painting lessons. His painting teacher tells him,

“… a picture must be composed so that no part of it is “dead”, so that wherever the eye wanders, there is interest, whether it is in the detail o the hilt of a sword or a minutely rendered rowing boat on a distant Arcadian shore. ”

The young painter goes on to say, “We furthermore approached the question of distance and perspective: how hills, for instance, which are further away will seem paler and less well defined than those which are near, and how the sitter’s nearness and vigour will be emphasised if he or she inhabits a pool of light.”

Just a tidbit to think about.  Certainly good advice for traditional paintings. The rules have changed so much in modern day painting and drawing, that the foregoing would only be one of several comcepts on composing images today.


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4 Responses to “Sketching on site”

  1. severnyproductions Says:

    great work, swatch is right

  2. swatch Says:

    Neat K – you have a short-hand that captures essences I think – are you going to work these into watercolours? I understand about walking unencumbrenced – a pen and sketchbook is nice and compact.

    thanks Severny (o:

    Hey K – are you going to do one of your magic memory paintings of the canoeing family – mmmmmm? (just testing heh heh)

  3. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Thanks for your comments. I try to capture the essence of whatever I’m drawing – the large shapes, the rhythm and flow, the composition all in the little sketch. I’ve coloured some of the sketches since and maybe am sorry that I’ve done so. I’ll post them beside the originals. Maybe not today. I spent a long time writing up the Drawing show and only got one of the galleries commented upon. There was only one other worthy note and I will report that one too, if I can find time.
    It’s funny being retired. There is never enough time for all the things one desires to do.
    I may even take up your challenge of doing the canoe family by memory, but I fear it will not be much like the original. It really was a photographic moment. I’d need one to render it the way I felt it, in watercolour or oil.

  4. swatch Says:

    Yes – I suppose sometimes memories are best left as just that. You are doing some great work these days. This time business is really tough isn’t it? There is so much to life.

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