Thursday, 11 June 2015

An Amazing Day: Plein-Air in Winnats Pass

I have been more or less padlocked to the computer during the week, which is really frustrating on sunny days. So, when I saw a forecast for particularly lovely weather, I decided to sneak a day off to go out sketching in the landscape. I knew exactly where I wanted to go:

Well wouldn't you? Isn't this an amazing photo by the way? The sky doesn't look real, does it?

John and I had already hiked through Winnats Pass, in Derbyshire, one Saturday afternoon recently. 
It was windy and cold that day, but the light and the shapes were so extraordinary, I had to sit down on the spot and do a quick sketch:

This time though, I could relax and luxuriate in the sunshine. John dropped me off and went on a long walk while I settled down to try and capture the fabulous sharp shadows. I took A3 sketchbooks, because it's such a massive landscape. It's very unusual too, because the really rugged crags are up close on both sides, giving you the ability to see detail and grandeur all at once.

This is my favourite from the day I think. I tried all different media, but compressed charcoal seemed to really get across the contrasts:

I tried watercolour, but couldn't seem to get the results I wanted. I am really still learning how to use paint, whereas I am totally comfortable when I am drawing. This is my first attempt. It started out quite interesting, but got a bit flat as I worked into it:

I tried again. The second one has kept more spontaneity, but still doesn't do interesting enough things or properly exploit the effects of the watercolour:

I did various other sketches in charcoal, getting black ingrained into my fingers and fingernails...

...but I also tried experimenting with watercolour pencil to add definition to the paint and combine the different sorts of mark-making:

I tried using my Sailor pen, but the line variation which I love so much is not as powerful at A3, so it couldn't hold the page without colour, which definitely helped:

It was a really enjoyable day. Even when things weren't going quite right, it was impossible to get grumpy. 

It is such a magical place, I knew that I would have to go back again, because I had really only scratched the surface. So, this week, I did it all over again. But that's another story...


sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Fantastic, what a place. You've gathered a wealth of material there, Lynne a good haul from a day's work. I particularly like the first charcoal drawing : ) Lesley

Sue Marrazzo said...


MissAdventureArt said...

Wow, what a beautiful location. And your artistic renditions of it are equally stunning!

Jimu said...

Facinatiing to see your persistence with different media of the same view, my favourite would be the Charcoal.

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