Yesterday I took the children to a very small local zoo. It doesn’t have much to boast in terms of animals but it does have a fantastic full sized pirate ship to play on surrounded by sand. This gave me the rare opportunity to do some urban sketching while my children happily played.
The pirate ship was a huge challenge in perspective. I was sitting fairly close to it from two different angles and it was hard to make it look convincingly three dimensional. There were a lot of decorative details on the ship that I didn’t have time to include. I used my Lamy Safari F nib and Pentel brush pen for the shadows.
This morning I sketched this old bike near the village shop. I don’t often draw mechanical things but this was a pleasant challenge. And my husband even could recognise the model so I consider it a success.
I cannot say enough how thankful I am for all your messages and comments. As someone who doesn’t have any real life sketching friends an online support network can heal and inspire. I feel so happy with my decision to come back and am excited to share and connect again.
With that, here are a few sketches from the last week or so. Going back to my favourite subjects: food and flowers!
I sometimes feel I get a dependent on sketching “things” since I find sketching a landscape or cityscape daunting. So many details to get lost in. I challenged myself by drawing the view from our deck of our new hammock in a particularly wild part of the garden. Hoping to get more confident with these sorts of scenes in the upcoming months.
Today I had a bit of time to do some sketching in a playing field while my children were at the playground. Of course this time of year it is filled with dandelions, they might be a menace but I still find them charming.
Here is the spread of dandelions I did in different ways. As I gain confidence with this art thing I like to play around with the style of a single subject.
I always love pen and ink, something about the bold line of the pen always seems to feel right to me. I also get to splash on the colour very loosely this way.
This was done directly to watercolour, no pencil or anything underneath. I tried to use the strokes and values to indicate the shadows and petals. While I like it, it seems to lack a bit of impact for me.
The final one (seen in my original shot of the spread) is where I used a darker watercolour outline in a similar way to my penwork. I was looking for a more graphic look without the pen. I did end up muddying it up a little, but maybe I’m getting somewhere with that idea. I was using a waterbrush so the marks ended up pretty thick. I also did some very loose watercolour dandelions but they just don’t read like the flower to me.
In the end I’m still not sure which one I like best, pen and ink or the one with watercoloured outlines? I’ll keep experimenting. Do you have a particular “style” that you tend to stick to? Or do you like to play around?
It’s been a while since I’ve sketched with a pencil, I did some very early in my daily art project but then started inking over my drawings with pen and then progressed straight to pen drawings. I love the boldness of pen but decided to do some more pencil drawings to see how I felt about it.
A few tulips in my garden have just started to open and it was fun sketching them in pencil. I started out with very light lines making the basic shapes and then went progressively darker. I forgot how nice it is to have softer shadows.
In the evening I did this one of some spoons my husband carved a few years ago. The pencil works better for the texture of the wood than pen. The only things I didn’t enjoy was smudging the graphite with my hand. I worry that these probably won’t last long-term in the sketchbook.
Do you use pencils for sketching? Or are you devoted to ink?
Still on a bit of a bird kick I thought I’d try drawing a Great Crested Grebe using an old Staedtler Triplus Fineliner. Fun to do a drawing in colour!
Some of my great fellow wordpress bloggers informed me that yesterday (April 8) was Draw a Bird Day. Birds still one of my favourite subjects, even if I haven’t been doing many lately, so I was happy to join in.
Did you join in Draw a Bird Day? Let me know if you have, I’d love to see yours!
I want to thank you to you all for your kind comments and good wishes when I was poorly last week, having your support helped such a lot to get back onto my feet this Easter weekend. I can only hope you had as wonderful time as us, the weather was absolutely perfect: sunny and hot enough to make you think it was May or June. I spent virtually every minute possible in the garden soaking it up, and even managed to squeeze in some sketching time too. Here are some that I did over the weekend.
A little painting of two of my favourite visitors to the bird feeder, coal tit and blue tit.
Did some pages in my garden journal documenting what I saw in bloom or coming into leaf. Forsythia has the most vivid yellow flowers on red stems.
Taking this shot with the shield bug on the paper was not easy, he kept crawling away before I snapped this.
A really super quick (10 minute) sketch of our local church in my moleskine. I keep it in the bag that I take everywhere with me in case I get a moment or two to sketch. I was with the children so it had to be fast!
Something is rather mesmerising about drawing popcorn. Maybe it’s all those nooks and crannies? Fun to eat too.
Hope you all had a happy Easter wherever you are in the world and had a chance to do some art too (or take a break if you needed it).