Thursday, 15 January 2015

out & about

Artists, we're told, should always carry a sketchbook and pen. So when I had to leave my car at the garage for a few hours the other day, I decided to while away the time by making practice sketches in the park.  I gathered my Zig pens, Hahnemuehle sketchbook (last used in September!) and - very important this - fingerless gloves - and drove to the town centre.  At 8.30am it was bitterly cold, but to my surprise there were plenty of dog walkers about; unfortunately they were walking so briskly to keep warm that I had trouble getting anything on to paper, and didn't manage to draw any of their dogs!

sketches of dog walkers (minus the dogs!)
© Teresa Newham
I hoped it would be warmer when I came out of Mass at quarter to ten.  It was; and drizzling. When I originally had the idea to sketch while the car was being mended, I'd imagined a cold, frosty morning with sunlight filtering through the trees, and folk enjoying a morning walk in the crisp, clear air.  Instead, there was nobody about at all:

Rothamsted Park (minus the dog walkers!)
© Teresa Newham

Gloomy, damp and deserted.  There was always the trees, of course  - but I'd sketched them many times, and besides, drizzle is not the best environment to be putting anything onto paper.  Eventually I wandered into the rose garden, which I thought might be more sheltered.  It has an interesting layout which is quite striking when the flowers are not in bloom:

the rose garden, Rothamsted Park (minus the roses . . . )
© Teresa Newham

It was sheltered enough for me to attempt a quick sketch which was fun to do but frankly a bit of a dog's dinner to look at (in lieu of any actual dogs, who appeared to have deserted the park in disgust at the weather).  I really must remember that I don't have to include everything in a sketch, or use all the colours I can see!!

sketch of the rose garden
© Teresa Newham

Thoroughly chilled by now, I retreated to a local coffee shop to warm up, and managed to secure a discreet table by the wall.  To my relief, nobody batted an eyelid when I took out my sketchbook and pens; they were far too busy chatting to notice I was drawing anything!

warming up in the coffee shop!
© Teresa Newham
A couple of days later, I took a walk to the local shops.  This time I took the sketchbook and pens with me, but left the fingerless gloves behind; which was a mistake, as in the ten minutes it took me to walk there, the sun which had tempted me out in the first place had vanished:

shopping parade, Southdown
© Teresa Newham

Despite the cold, I managed a quirky little drawing and this time remembered not to include all the colours I saw in front of me.  I was attracted by the red blinds, and looking at the sketch now I wonder if I should have left it at that and not used any brown.  Still, I can always go back to make another one!

sketch of the shopping parade
© Teresa Newham

1 comment:

  1. Excellent sketches - really lively and colourful!