More sketching

You might remember that my last post showed a group sketching at Castle Rising, with everyone peering into the distance at – what? Well, as you can perhaps see from my own demonstration sketch, it was a distant church that could just be glimpsed between a couple of trees.

Sketch of church near Castle Rising
St Felix church, Castle Rising. Pen and wash sketch on Langton rough paper 12ins x 9ins.

That’s the great thing about painting on location. If there’s a tree in the way, just take it out, or move it to one side. Here, I’ve attempted to make an interesting sketch by using several simple devices. I ignored the small trees that were at the edge of the field and let the eye go through to the church, which I emphasised by making it a little bit larger than it actually appeared, and used the pen to give it a distinct outline. I made sure that it made a good light to dark contrast against some trees behind it. I painted quite a lively sky, and then finally added some interest to the foreground with a few dry-brushed marks on the green field.

All very simple, and somehow much easier to work out when you’re actually on the spot rather than working from a photograph. Why not get out with a sketchbook today!

Fill your Sketchbook

A week or two has rolled by since I last posted, so you may wonder what I’ve been doing. Painting yes, but mostly decorating, I’m afraid. We have had some building work done here and then, in the middle of it all, we had a leaking water pipe and half the house was flooded!

However, despite all adversity, I did tutor a very pleasant weekend workshop at West Norfolk Arts Centre at Castle Rising. Near King’s Lynn and just a short drive from my Dersingham studio. A nice bunch of artists and, despite a few showers, we did some good outdoor working, particularly on the Sunday.

Participants on my sketching workshop
What are they all looking at? Some of the group on my Fill Your Sketchbook weekend at Castle Rising.
Castle Rising demonstration sketch
A pen and wash sketch in Castle Rising churchyard. 12ins x 9ins on Langton rough paper.

Here you can see the eager group, staring a some mysterious subject in the far distance, and also one of my demonstration sketches. I’ll show you the mysterious subject another time, but this demo was done in the churchyard near the Arts Centre, and features the Lych Gate, framed by a big tree. It took about half an hour to do, maybe a little less, which I feel is what sketching should be all about. A quick snapshot of the scene.

One of the participants on the workshop was our old friend Jane Ford from Lincolnshire, an excellent artist and cartoonist. I remembered another sketching workshop back in 2008, where the weather was also an issue, and from which Jane produced this fine cartoon which says it all!

Cartoon by Jane Ford
And now for some relaxing sketching in the fresh air! A cartoon by Jane Ford, based on my Bircham sketching workshop in 2008.