Monday, December 8, 2008

A new way to sketch

It was an annoying sort of day yesterday - I heard too late about a peaceful protest at the Emmarentia Dam park very close to my home and my heart. City Parks want to erect a pallisade fence through the middle of it, to keep the dog-walkers away from the botanical gardens section, which they want to chop into further sections, build more erections and no doubt, in time, charge entrance fees to a place which was expressly left to 'the people of Johannesburg' by the owner of the original farm, Louw Geldenhuys. Ooh, my blood is boiling again, so I'm getting off that rant and back to sketching. Anyway, I was too late for the protest (and to draw the people and their dogs), but there was to be an outdoor concert there later in the afternoon, so I thought I'd go along to that and sketch. But a massive thunder-and-frightning storm struck, nipping those plans in the bud for all concerned.
Back in the blogging saddle again, I came across Sarah Wimperis' sketching list on her Muddy Red Shoes blog, and things started looking up. I have the very Pentel Aquash pen that she recommends! And she uses it with normal pan watercolours to produce her gorgeous sketches! So far I have only used it with water-soluble pens (here a Pentel signpen) to produce quick and easy tone washes. I spent what was left of the day happily trying it out with my little Cotman pan set - the above sketch of hydrangeas and Walter, the wooden carving my husband bought when he was 16 years old and hitchhiking, by himself, to Zimbabwe (yikes! yikes!) from Cape Town (yikes!) - has no good features of composition or planning, I was just trying out the brush and colours with what was in front of me. But I'm excited to have this as an alternative to my last attempt at sketching from inside my car, w/c pan set on my knee, sketchbook balanced on the steering wheel, little pot of water jammed in the side door-pocket, brushes being dropped and disappearing into the nethers of the handbrake mechanism.... this makes it all seem so much simpler! Thanks Sarah!

5 comments:

muddy red shoes said...

glad to be of assistance!

laura said...

Lovely hydrangeas! Thanks for the link to Sarah's skecthing list. Muddy Red Shoes was the very first blog I ever found and read; Sarah's paintings continue to inspire!

Gillian said...

I'm here and I'm enjoying the view...

Teresa said...

Isn't it fun to experiment in art? Somehow doing something different seems to put the childlike joy back into it.

Re: the park... I often think the southern expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", should be required reading for all the decision makers who seem to often make decisions that are unnecessary and frequently unsuccessful.

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Laura - yes, I don't suppose there's such a thing yet as a 'classic blog' - it's all too new, but I'd consider M.R.S. as one of them.

Glad you're still there, GH - :o) XX

Teresa I think I'm experimenting too much... need to knuckle down and apply myself, but this does make sense to simplify just going out and sketching with a minimum of fuss.
The park - some people think it's broke (don't like the dogs), and others don't - and never the twain shall meet!