Neighbourhood View

I saw this view while I was washing the car this morning. The autumnal colours of the trees bringing this usually shadowed corner out into the spotlight, if only for a little while. By the time I had finished the car and sketched this, the sky was beginning to look a lot more grey. I used New Gamboge and Burnt Sienna for the main tree.

Another time, I might not align the lamp post with the edge of the refuse bin quite so well. Originally I wasn’t thinking of taking it as far over to the right, but it just happened, you know?

Painted in a hardbound A4 sketchbook Stillman & Birn, beta series.

The last three

Today, three pears remain uneaten, although if those we had last night with chopped pecan nuts and maple syrup were anything to go by, I don’t expect them to be around much longer. Apparently, Pears ripen from the inside outwards, so there is no point in prodding them while still on the tree. You have to lift them off gently just before they drop. When you come to sketch them, you have to try really hard not to make them look too much like old-fashioned light bulbs!

End of the platform.

This is a sketch I did recently while looking around the old railway station at Toddington. There are a whole lot of things going on there and loads to paint, which I hope to do more fully one day, now I know what’s there. Unfortunately I’ve discovered it just as I am in mid preparation for the new term. What I hope to do is to turn this into a larger painting and write more about the location, but it will be a few weeks before I get around to doing it! Just another thing to put on my ‘Places I must paint’ list.

Flower tower

Some places have hanging baskets to prettify their surroundings. Others have window boxes. In Stow on the Wold they are big on flower towers dotted around the town, to bring some welcome colour to the summer months. The place is also big on vehicles, making it hard to find anywhere to park unless you get up really early in the morning. In reality, there were lots of cars parked behind the tower, and something obscuring some of it in front, so I suppose they have to stack their flower pots on top of each other, otherwise no-one would ever see them.

In the meadow

Same subject matter, different location. This time in the meadows near my home. Fields of them, and nobody looking as if they are thinking about moving them soon. So while everyone was sitting sensibly indoors, I perched in the shade of a bale and breathed in the sweet scent of freshly cut grasses and wild flowers while painting today’s sketch. The only down side was when I became aware of an itch in the hand holding my palette and discovered a not-very-nice-looking creature happily sucking my blood. I flapped it away, but some hours later I can still see the puncture mark it made.

This is another entry in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.

#OneWeek100People Day 4

My people sketching was done a bit later in the day than the rest of the week, so a little busier. We had some interesting weather during the night, so not a lot of sleep, branches off trees, garden waste bins sent flying, that sort of thing. Still windy during the day. People’s hair flying every which way, and when it wasn’t raining the sun was so bright there was an outbreak of sun-glasses. Well, it is March..

I had a sort of idea how I wanted people spread across the pages today, but things never go quite as one hopes. On the other hand, I did the best I could as people came and went, and one doesn’t have a lot of time to think when people insist on moving so much . And at least I’ve nearly reached the magic number which I wasn’t sure if I would or not on Monday.

#OneWeek100People – Day 3

If I thought people were bustling on day one, they really stepped up a notch today as the wind and the rain swept in. There were one or two people who stayed still (almost) long enough to complete them, but mostly I had to remember their headgear and attach part of another body to it, which made for some rather lumpy people today. It didn’t help I had to keep cleaning the windscreen so I could actually see something.

There were one or two I would have liked to develop a bit more, and my original plan had been to try and group people a bit better, but it didn’t really happen. There is always tomorrow.

Everyone wears hoods or hats these days. Umbrellas are out of fashion.

#OneWeek100People – Day 2

The supermarkets must have special offers which appeal to the older generation on a Tuesday, as there was a noticeable difference in the age range of shoppers today – and more trollies being trundled. One good thing about the slightly slower pace was that I was able to do a few sketches and then add colour to a chunk of them while waiting for other people to come.

The only trouble was, I miscounted and had to squeeze two extra people in at the last minute…

#OneWeek100People – Day 1

Rather rashly, I decided to try out the #OneWeek100People challenge created by Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel. I believe this is year 5 and I have not tried it before.

The idea, for those who have not come across it before, is to spend a little time each day for a week, sketching people wherever you find them (while also being socially responsible this year). You can share your work on the facebook group page or any social media using the hashtag #OneWeek100People.

Normally I would have been quite happy to settle down somewhere with a cup of tea or coffee and and sketch other people, which would have been the better option as at least my ‘models’ would have been relatively anchored for a while.

However, life being what it is, sitting in a cafe is not yet an option this year, so where could I find people and observe them safely?

How about from the car park outside a supermarket? It sounded a good idea. Normally there are any number of people standing around chatting. Not today! Today, people Bustled. Not surprising really as it was distinctly chilly. Too chilly to stand around outside. Probably not the best day to try out this project for the first time.

I soon realised I was not going to achieve many full figures, so I began with a few heads, which was about all I had time for before they disappeared inside the store. I managed a bit more when a couple of people stopped to use the cash machine. Then there was a while where nothing much happened at all, which is why I included a trolley. I don’t know if that counts as one of my people, but I’m counting it any way for the moment. Then suddenly, there were people everywhere and I only had time to put in a few lines while I could and then go back and join some of them up later. Only two of these people were actually together. The others were, as far as I’m aware, unknown to each other and in reality were more socially distant than appears on the page (in case you were worried).

All of them were sketched from life and the bits of colour were added at the end of my session while still in situ, but from memory. I don’t know how the rest of the week will go. I think I will have less time towards the end, but at least I have made a start.

In the car-park

Sitting in the car outside a supermarket early this morning, I hoped to sketch some more figures. At first there were not so many people and I wondered if I was too early, then all of a sudden people came thick and fast and I had no time to manage a whole figure before they disappeared from view. Here are a few who came and went in a short space of time. I added watercolour later.