Wednesday, 21 May 2014
What a Scorcher!
We are having a (probably) brief heatwave here in the UK and Sheffield has been gorgeous. It's been very hard to stay indoors and work. We had the excuse on Friday that I needed to go to the art shop, so we drove out to Rowsley in Derbyshire (where there's a great place that's like an Aladdin's cave you can wander round).
Of course, that was only round the corner to Chatsworth House, so we took a little detour and sat on the grass while I did this watercolour sketch of one of the gatehouses:
By then the clouds were rolling in anyway, so I didn't mind going home and getting on with work.
The good news was that it was still hot and dry for the weekend. We joined lots of other people in the Botanical Gardens on Saturday. We had a picnic, then of course I did the usual:
I started with the sketch below, working with watercolour first, then adding occasional bits of texture and detail with a few watercolour pencils and some white chalk. I have always found the intensity of full-on undergrowth quite a challenge. It's tricky is getting the shadows into areas between the brighter leaves, unless of course you are working on a dark background to start with.
I felt that, because of this struggle, I had slightly overworked it, so I did another from the same viewpoint but tackled completely differently. I sploshed the 3 coloured areas in before I began, in a deliberately inaccurate way, then did the line drawing as soon as it was dry (didn't take long in that sunshine). I was going to use pen, but decided a black line would be too heavy on the pastel colours, so went for two different coloured pencils instead:
I didn't know how it would come out (that is a big part of the fun for me), but was really pleased with the lightness of touch and the playfulness the technique provided.