Tuesday, 24 July 2012

SketchCrawl: Drawing and Painting in the Peak District

We picked the perfect weekend for our Peak District SketchCrawl, much against the odds, I must say!

Given how it's been this summer so far, I was getting worried that we'd be rained off, but it was lovely sunshine at 9am on Sunday morning, when a small group of us met at Sheffield Station and took the train off into the hills. 

Half an hour later, at the tiny station of Edale, we got out and walked up the track to the new, state-of-the-art visitor's centre. We sketched there for 45 minutes, while we waited for other people to arrive.

On a different day I might have had a go at the unusual, rounded building, with its lovely 'green roof', featuring a stepped waterfall which runs down through it's centre, then cascades over the doorway and down into a little rock pool in front of the entrance.

But I had psyched myself up for countryside, so felt in the mood for hills not architecture.

So I perched myself rather precariously on a dry-stone wall in the car park and painted this:

More people arrived, including Pete, a musician who I met at the Carolan SketchJam in April, and who's been trying to make it to a SketchCrawl ever since.

We were 10 strong by the time we set off to the foothills of Kinder Scout. We camped out on the grass and sketched for the rest of the morning. It was on and off sunshine which was probably just as well, as there was no shade at all. I'd lugged a tin of pastels up there, so I tried them out on the 1st page of a new sketchbook and was rather pleased with the drawing at the top.

We ate picnic lunches then set off along the low path the follows the river. It got hotter and hotter. We created a new base-camp by the river's edge. We sketched and paddled and chilled: a wonderfully relaxed afternoon.

At 4.30 we wandered back along the path to The Nags Head pub (the beginning of the long-distance footpath, The Pennine Way). the sun was really low by now and picking up every nuance on the side of the hills. It was way too lovely to waste, so I grabbed a pencil and tried to draw while we were walking along. I managed the bottom of the two below, but gave up and asked the others to walk on ahead while I did the one above it; sadly, no time for colour:

It was still really hot when we got to the pub. We sat outside and I enjoyed a cold lager-shandy while we shared the sketchbooks. It was so relaxing and pleasant that we stayed for a 2nd round. Nobody really wanted to go home. By the time we decided we really did need to make a move, we discovered that we had just missed a train and there wasn't another for 2 hours!!

At which point we gave up worrying and went inside for a meal. Which was where we met Jasper, the biggest golden retriever I have ever seen: more pony than dog. I did a 2 minute sketch with my watercolour pencils. His owners were really pleased and took a photo.

It was 9.30 by the time we got home. A long but thoroughly lovely day. Thanks to all who came and helped to make is so much fun. Next one is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 
on Saturday August 11thwhere we had a great time last year. The fabulous Miro show, that I sketched in March is still on. Meet us at the Information Point, outside the smaller cafe (Park Lane Entrance) at 10am.


dinahmow said...

Sounds like a wonderful day!

Elizabeth Alley said...

That sounds lovely! It also sounds like y'all were on Dominican time ;)

Serena Lewis said...

I loved reading about your day...sounded so nice, relaxing and enjoyable. Great sketches to remember it by too. :)

Sue Pownall said...

Sounds and looks like a fabulous day from your description & beautiful sketches.

Jez said...

Sounds a wonderful day in good company, and lovely weather (for a change), and your sketches are so lovely to look at. The English countryside at its best.