Sunday, 17 July 2011

Newbury - Insectes - Night Parade

Last night there was this amazing parade by the Spanish group Sarruga in Newbury to mark the Newbury Comedy Festival - it was free and packed with people - swarming the streets - perhaps 2000.
I tried to  do a few sketches on the move, difficult but good fun.
The machines were massive and heavy pedal cars human powered by the Sarruga people and a few local helpers with some steering from the back. The insects towered over everybody splattering around and interacting with the public both at street level and on the upper storeys of buildings - specially the praying mantis.
Very impressive all around.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Retrospective 7 - France 2010

Catching up with last year's sketches - these I did during a trip around the Loire in France - Chinon and Chambord castles.

And this at La Rochelle in the coast - a place to eat oysters...

Newbury Art Group - Painting around Pubs

This year's painting days with the Newbury Art Group have focused around pubs - below - the first sketch is of a thatched cottage opposite the Bladebone pub in Chapel Row and the other a view of the Pot Kiln near Yattedon. As you can see the clouds were looming.

The last sketch is of one of our members - he sat on a field that was full of cows, they took an interest at some point and came to see what he was doing. typically English he continued unperturbed

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Outdoor painting 6th July 2011 - Newbury West Mill Allotments

We spent the day sketching in the allotments yesterday, very interesting and difficult to choose - between long views - i did a quick pen sketch at the end - or close views - of plants and sheds  - in the end i spent quite a bit of the time near Carol's plot and did a few of the poppies with and without petals and the great marigold field she has. The beans and fennel with the background of the shed was also very beautiful

Chapel Row - The Avenue crossroads - Bladebone pub - 360 degrees

I have done this 360 degrees sketch in three sittings (22nd June, 28th June and 6th July 2011) - the first day it was a Newbury Art Group painting day when I started it and did about 1 hour before it started to rain.
The second day I did a session of 2 hours and the third day another hour.
It is about 4 metres long so my speed is about an hour per metre.
All in black and white pencil but two types (HB the first day, very pale) and softer the other two.
What is interesting in such a long drawing is that as cars come and go and light changes all the time, one is choosing what to put in or leave out. As you turn around you are adjusting the perspective and varying the point of view. The three or four buildings at this crossroads are singular (a butcher's, a pub, a thatched cottage and a little shop). To complete the English tradition there is the typical phonebox and postbox on the wall. And magnificent trees all around that give The Avenue its explendid presence.

I show below the whole length as well as the daily outputs and a video of the whole drawing.

4m long - 360 degrees view

Day one

Day two

Day three

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Retrospective 6 - Segovia - preparing for the Pintura Rapida Competition

Last year i took part on the pintura rapida competition - these are a few sketches i did in the days running up to it. A magical place.

In the run up to the competition, it rained and rained, so we were worried about the painting day.

In the end I chose a spot under cover, just in case. This final picture shows the large (full watercolour sheet) picture that took some 6 hours to finish, i was being careful, we had signers in the square at one point, and the people on the cafe kept changing. The final display by the Acueducto with all the participants (more than 80) was very exhilarating. An exhausting day.

Retrospective 5 Sketching along the Cam

An interesting exercise we did in Cambridge, sketching in mixed media along the Cam, from a moving long boat. The day was miserable, it rained all day but the results were very interesting. A few examples below

Retrospective 4 - Ilfracombe 2010

In 2010 I went for a CAD course to Ilfracombe and unfortunately, left out a colour of my watercolour box, the blue. i was there trying to sketch a sunrise counterlight without it, very difficult - quite an insipid picture. But I had taken my watercolour pencils and my pens, so I spent the saturday morning taking in the views of the harbour and surrounding St Nichs chapel, the sea. It is good to use other media, liberating.

Retrospective 3 - Budapest 2009

In April 2009 I arrived by train to Budapest to take part in a watercolour painting course.
What a fantastic city (cities rather, there is Buda one side of the river (the Danube) and Pest the other) linked by various manificent bridges. cafe culture, long lunches and plenty to paint, the evenings we indulged in good food and culture (saw the Barber of Seville at the opera)
We had the most superb guide who took us to some interesting restaurants, the open air baths and we visited Szentendre nearby, we walked or took public transport everywhere.

Restrospective 2 - Grand Canyon and Angel's Landing (Zion) - USA

We travelled in USA during October 2008 and enjoyed a full day sketching in the Grand Canyon - breathtaking.

At Zion National Park we climbed to the top of Angel's landing - since i had lugged my watercolours up, i just had to do a sketch at the top.