Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Plein aire sketching


For the first time in a long while I treated myself to a nice long walk. There is an interesting church in the next village. It is one of those buildings that catches my eye every time I drive past it, and each and every time I see it I tell myself that I must come back without the car to have a better look. So when I was thinking of where to walk, to the next village seemed like a good choice.

When I arrived at the church I spent a while sitting in the churchyard and strolling interestingly through the grave stones as I looked at the buildings architecture from every viewpoint. When I'd seen as much as I wanted to see I headed across the road and took up position leaning against a sandstone wall, which is typical for this area.

My previous attempts at painting en plein aire have not been good. I don't know whether it's the fear of being approached, or the lack of a comfortable chair and easel, but I always rush my paintings and splash paint around as if I've only got minutes to finish. So, on this occasion I decided to sketch the church with pen. Besides, I'm not painting at the moment and enjoying pen work, so I'd packed pens and aquabrushes into my backpack.

Unlike the 'panic' I feel when I'm painting, I felt quite comfortable leaning against the wall in the shade of an overgrowing tree. I soon became oblivious of the passing traffic, not that there's ever a great deal in the village, and carried on confidently sketching even when the occasional pedestrian ambled by. I found it awkward sketching while standing and wished I'd taken my small collapsible stool with me, but I managed okay and thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was a bright sunny day and I wanted to capture the shadows to give the church some solidity and dimension. In the first instance I tried hatching, but this is something I'm still not at ease with and I didn't like the effect. Thankfully my pen was of the non-permanent variety so I used my aquabrushes to add some tones. I have a couple of perspective issues but, all things considered, I'm not disappointed.

Oh ... yep ... the tower leans. I'm still working on those verticals. lol. ;-)


14 comments:

  1. Awesome John, so many small details, and you got the sunlight too ! The tower made me smile and think of another famous tower ( guess which :-)) ) , I suppose this is just your stile and a great style too !

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    1. LOL .... I know which tower you mean Jane. Thanks for the nice comment.

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  2. Nice work. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the experience; that's the most important thing after all. Pen and ink is definitely your style, and maybe line-and-wash. It's a perfectly good way of working and has suited other artists , like Rowland Batchelor and David Gentleman.

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    1. Thank you very much Keith. Yes, I do like line and wash and will be doing some more of that soon. Just need to get back into things.

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  3. Your drawing shows you have confidence. And you should.!
    This is an excellent rendering John, and you'll certainly overcome the few small issues you have.
    I give you credit for doing this outside in public. Good for you !

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    1. Thank you BJ. I'd like to think I could have done better sitting at my desk than standing on a street corner, but then the sketch wouldn't have had the same meaning for me. Looking forward to trying another.

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  4. Hi John.
    Nice drawing mate. I love Pen and Ink. But the other kind, which does not Bleed, Have you seen ROB ADAMS blog? He is fantastic. he has just become a member of rhe Wapping group. take a look and see how he uses Pen and Ink. Look up the Wapping groups website, you will see him being presented with his tie.All the best John.
    Vic.

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    1. I use permanent ink when I'm applying washes Vic, but there's something I enjoy more about the non-permanent inks, especially in this situation. I'll look up Rob Adams. Thanks very much.

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  5. Glad you are beginning to feel more comfortable drawing outside.

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    1. Yes, I'm getting there Sue. Though I'd be more comfortable if I took my stressless chair in a wheelbarrow. lol. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Super plain air work john ... And lovely style to all your recent works ...thanks for your e mail I will get back to you as soon as I can .

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    1. Thank you very much Jane .... and there's no rush over the email. ;-)

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  7. I have missed a lot of your posts, John but I have caught up! Your work is amazing!! .. I especially loved your work with pen and ink...which doesn't look easy!! But you seem to have mastered it!!
    Congratulations on this pen and ink of the Church!! Love it!!!

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    1. Thank you very much Hilda, and I really appreciate you stopping by.

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