As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed myself on last Sunday's SketchCrawl, but don't let this lovely summery photo of Jo fool you - the day was decidedly damp around the edges!
We started well, in Sheffield's wonderfully old and overgrown General Cemetery. OK, the sun that I'd woken to had disappeared by the time we met up, but it was still pretty warm and, most importantly, still dry, so we all got stuck in with enthusiasm.
I was sitting beside Jo (on my new sketching stool!), looking up the hill across the tombs, and so this was my first sketch of the day:
I was so comfy and settled, I decided not to move so, while the one above was drying, I got out my Moleskin and painted the view to my left, back down the path:
The strange hearing-aid behind my ear is in fact a big daisy, picked for me by Maya, our 7 year old SketchCrawler.
It was just then that it began to spit with rain...
The forecast was bleak in the extreme: rain, rain, rain and more rain so, after a brief group meeting under a tree, we decided to go to Plan B before it got worse, and quickly moved a bit further up the road to the Botanical Gardens, where we could get out of the increasingly heavy rain, inside the glasshouses.
While the rain beat down on the glass, largely obscuring the view of the park outside, we tucked into our packed lunches, then people settled down to draw. I found it really hard to choose and wandered about for a while, finally settling on this fern:
I'd expected the tropical rooms in the glasshouses to be nice and toasty, if a little humid, but no such luck: for some reason it was decidedly chilly. People hunkered down.
It was rumoured to be slightly warmer in the Australian section, so I went down that end to sketch, but any difference was marginal.
A few people left because they were too cold, but the core of die-hards stuck it out a bit longer. I managed one more - a wonderfully hairy cactus:
I did have to finish it off at home, as people were gagging to get to the pub. It was still pouring outside and we all got well-watered on our way. Despite my worries though, everyone once again declared it a great success, even our two new members, who said they'd had a great time and would definitely come again (phew). One of them was Angela below, who I met at the last SketchJam and who did the lovely portrait of me.
After we'd finished passing round the sketchbooks, we were timidly approached by a man from Kuwait called Mohammad. He had been sitting at the next table, had seen our drawings and so rushed home through the rain to get something to show us: two books of short stories he had written, illustrated by a friend. We asked him to sit with us and it turned out he was a PhD student who had only been in Sheffield 2 weeks. He so liked the sound of SketchCrawls that he says he is going to come to the next one and give it a go himself.
As usual I will be loading other people's sketches and more photos into the gallery as they come in.