SketchCrawl 20

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It was a year and a half since I’d last had the chance to sketch and chat with Anita, so there was no way I’d be letting the wintry chill of the coldest day of autumn so far keep me from my date with her, here in Ely, for SketchCrawl 20.

Having downed the first of several coffees, we got the sketching underway with the King’s School boathouse, as seen from a bench overlooking the River Great Ouse. Anita was generous enough to let me use her Daniel Smith watercolours, and they were a treat. This is in my Canson journal.


I managed to fill another page as we recaffeinated and lunched at the Lamb Hotel. Going straight in with my pen for the people sketches was fun, but there are parts of this page I would happily obliterate. I gave no thought to layout, being caught up in trying to capture the lunch crowd, who were quite the most fidgety bunch of people I’ve ever observed. I used pen, Inktense and a bit of watercolour and gouache.


Our last coffee stop was at Costa, where our table out front amid the stream of Saturday shoppers afforded me my next sketching subject: this bloke, talking on his mobile phone. Anita and I had made a detour into the art materials shop prior to this, where I’d been unable to resist buying a tiny Paperblanks sketchbook, and at 2.5″ x 3.5″, it was the perfect size for a bit of surreptitious scribbling.

This is the mess I made of Nitsa’s watercolour palette. She didn’t mind. She’s a star!

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SketchCrawl #14: Ely

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Anita Davies and Diane Mainzer joined me in Ely on Saturday 19 May for the 14th WorldWide SketchCrawl: one small city, three enthusiastic artists, five sunny (if breezy) hours, three bags full of sketchbooks – and several tons of cake!

We grabbed ourselves a coffee and a table outdoors, and I took up Anita’s challenge to sketch the corner of Starbucks coffee house. But whereas Anita has a weakness for sketching buildings, my sketches of buildings are merely weak. Bah.


Profipen across two pages of small hand*book journal.

Our second sketchstop was Palace Green, where we spread out a blanket on the grass and became quite the tourist attraction. A middle-aged woman, who had marched up to peer over my shoulder, uttered a deflated and somewhat contemptuous “Oh” on discovering that my sights were set, not on the ornate majesty of Ely cathedral, but on the whacking great brick of chocolate button marble cake in front of me. An American gentleman later ambled over and exclaimed, quite superfluously, “You’re drawing food!” I sketched until both the cake and my oil pastels started to melt. This is my #7 in the WetCanvas 100 Pastel Sketches Challenge.


Caran d’Ache oil pastel & wax pastel in 9×6″ Daler-Ingres pastel pad.

My late al fresco lunch of fried chicken wings found itself the subject of a final sketch (done rapidly, so please overlook the wonky ellipses). I’m counting this as EDM #87: Draw your lunch. Though very tasty, these were almost cold by the time I ate them. How I suffer for my art!


Pen & watercolour in small hand*book journal.

Chatteris Museum sketches

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The good news is that our scanner is now up and running, so I can now post my Chatteris Museum sketches. The bad news is: they’re not pastels! I say this only because of the rapturous reception my pastel sketches received from artists in the EveryDay Matters group who were kind enough to leave me a comment. I kept my materials for the SketchCrawl simple and light: these are all Edding Profipen .01 with watercolour (or watercolour pencils), 3.5″ x 5.5″.

We have a carpet beater made of cane, an earthenware pitcher, some tea paraphernalia, a hardware store bell (EDM Challenge #21: Draw something old, antique or vintage – we were spoilt for choice, really), Keys (#37) and police whistles.

 

Cunningly, I also managed to cover challenges #38: Draw at a museum and #72: Draw somewhere new with this trip!

The paper in the hand*book journal is rougher than the Daler-Rowney sketchbooks I’m used to and seems more absorbent to watercolour, but it’s pleasant to use. Since joining EDM I’ve noticed worrying symptoms of a serious sketchbook fetish I don’t recall having before …

SketchCrawl #13: Chatteris

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Saturday 17th March 2007 marked the 13th WorldWide SketchCrawl.

It’s horribly frustrating not being able to share my sketches yet: I feel like the only kid who isn’t allowed out to play! Thanks to Anita Davies of the Fenland Visual Arts Collective, however, you can see what went on at Chatteris Museum in Cambridgeshire that day via the FenVAC blog.

Anita is the kind of compulsive sketcher I can only daydream of being as I sit dithering about what to draw. Thanks to being in the enthusiastic company of the “Fenland Friends”, I did fill five pages of my shiny new hand*book journal (not actually shiny – which is why I prefer it to the Moleskine) with drawings of whatever historical artefacts caught my eye. After several hours of sketching, yakking, laughter, lunch and poking around in one another’s sketchbooks, I bussed it back to Ely feeling more positive and excited about my art than I have in ages.

Sketches to follow. Honest guv!