On Saturday, I met up with some of my SketchCrawl chums, where we had a little stall at the Sheaf Valley Festival.
It is an annual festival and is held in a fantastic location: an amphitheatre, right in the centre of Sheffield, cut into the steep hill behind the station, with great views down over the city:
We took it in turns to man the stall and, in-between, went out drawing the fun. There was plenty to go at. I especially enjoyed the challenge of sketching the dancers.
Throughout the afternoon, there were performances by lots of different kinds of dancers - all ages, from quite young children up to adults, and all in fabulous costumes, like these majorettes:
The Son de America were particularly good to sketch, in their long, swirly skirts and I loved that massive sombrero:
But possibly my favourite was the Indian dancing, with it's very particular movements. The saris were glorious. One little girl of about 9 did a long and remarkably confident solo dance. She came over to see my drawing of her afterwards and her mum took a photo.
Our stall made a very handy 'base-camp': a place to chat, chill and eat cake between sketching bouts (we were opposite a way-too-tempting cake stall). There was also a massive stall (about 4 trestle tables, laid out end-to-end) celebrating different kinds of bread, all baked and donated by local people and businesses:
I am amazed, looking back through my sketchbooks from the day, that I managed so many drawings, as I seemed to spend quite a long time chatting. It was a really sociable day - more time than usual to talk to my fellow sketchers, plus and I kept bumping into people I knew.
At 3 o'clock there was a dog show. I remembered it from last year and so was really looking forward to it. There were all kinds of dogs, big and small: some beautiful, some cute, some bouncy, some hairy - almost all rather over-excited by the occasion. They had proper judges from Crufts (!) but it was still absolutely bonkers and really funny:
We were very lucky with the weather. Despite threatening clouds and occasional wild gusts which threatened to blow the stall away, we stayed dry all day and had some bouts of gorgeous sunshine to wallow in.
The day finished off with live music. I have always had a soft spot for barbershop quartets, so especially enjoyed the Manor Tops. I gathered a crowd of children behind me while I was doing this sketch ('Can you draw me and my friend?' 'You're right good, you' 'How'd you draw that so fast?'):
It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon: local people, celebrating local talent and showcasing local produce and community groups, all having a good time, hanging out together in the sunshine - exactly what local festivals should be about. SketchCrawl North collected several new recruits over the day too.
A big thank you to the organisers: a great success. I'm already looking forward to next year!