Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A week of sketching

Midway through doing a week's summer school at Leith School of Art.  Doing a course with the artist Jenny Martin, focusing on sketchbooks and the connection between sketches and finished pictures.  It's been interesting so far.  We've been to the Museum and to Newhaven Harbour, and we were privileged to view a few sketchbooks of Scottish Artists of yesteryear - Crozier, MacTaggart, Mackintosh Patrick, and Eardley - demonstrating how well they could draw!

Our efforts on this course have been done on coloured and collaged pages, which we have prepared, as well as white, and in a variety of media - oil pastel, chalk pastel, pencil and charcoal.

Today was beautiful at Newhaven, and here's the first sketch I did on a sketchbook page I had painted up in orange.
Newhaven Boats Sketch
I've painted on a coloured ground, but it was quite interesting SKETCHING on a coloured page.  In this one I've used oil crayons which forces me to be bolder than usual.  Here's another also using oil caryons.
Newhaven Lighthouse Sketch
This is less successful, I think, and perhaps the dark shade of red was just a bit too dark for sketching on.  And this was at the end of the day - getting a bit tired.  I did a thumbnail of the same view in pencil which made me think it might be a good composition.  I also did this study of one of the boats in the harbour.
Newhaven Skiff Sketch
The boat was sitting in the mud, and I was keen to try and capture the colour and shiny texture of the mud as well as the angle of the boat.  I then noticed that the boat had both a shadow and a reflection, making it even more difficult to capture.  I did it in chalk on a greeny-yellow ground.  How do you get the colour of mud?

Anyway, I had also used a yellow ground for this sketch at the museum yesterday (it seemed like the most appropriate colour).
Silver Relics Sketch
The colours made me think of a Philipson painting - I suppose he used that yellow a lot in his church interiors.  Maybe that was in my subconscious when I looked at the objects in the glass case.

So now I need to make a decision on which sketch to work further on tomorrow in the studio.  A difficult choice.  But it's just great to have a full week of drawing and painting!

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