Sketching in Shetland, 2018

In Shetland I was learning to paint clouds. Here’s one of the pictures I like best, also the simplest.

Shetland 2018 drawing

Sometimes the clouds are lighter than the rest of the sky:

Shetland 2018 drawing

Sometimes very dark:

Shetland 2018 drawing

Sometimes rather complicated:

Shetland 2018 drawing

Below is a picture drawn in the rain. I was using a sketchbook which had very heavily sized pages. In light Shetland rain, the pages became damp, and were absorbent.

The water is brighter than the sky: a Shetland phenomenon.

Shetland 2018 drawing

See how this heavily sized paper lets me put layers of colour on.

Here’s another picture in the same sketchbook. See the colours in the sea.

Shetland 2018 drawing

This was a sketchbook from the Vintage Paper Company, based, appropriately enough, in Orkney. The paper is described on their website:IMG_5323

“The paper was made in the 1950s in Somerset, England. It’s a 180gsm, 90lb rough surfaced paper ideal for drawing, ink and of course, watercolour. Made from cotton rag and gelatine sized, it’s a dream to paint on. “

It took a bit of getting used to.

I found it didn’t take the paint very well, until it was damp. Here’s an early attempt. See how I struggled to get the paint to adhere to the paper.

Shetland 2018 drawing

This was painted in a strong wind from the edge of a hill. At first I thought this picture was a total failure. But later, it seemed to have captured something. perhaps you can see the rocks, the dry grass, the shifting sky and sea?

 

Later pictures were a bit better, especially if I kept things simple:Shetland 2018 drawing

IMG_5324The other sketchbook I used was a Khadi cotton paper, much more absorbent. Below is a picture of the roads of West Mainland. The roads are calligraphic strokes on the landscapes. Shetland 2018 drawing

Here’s anther picture of the roads:

Shetland 2018 drawing

I also drew birds:

On a day it was raining outside, I drew my boots:

Shetland 2018 drawing

Below is a picture of Burrastow Cottage, where I was staying. I swam in that bay. Despite the blue sky, the water was cold. I rate it somewhere between “refreshing” and “challenging”. That is, probably about 12 degrees Celsius.

Shetland 2018 drawing

I had a wonderful time.Shetland 2018 drawing

Suffolk Sketchbook, June 2018

I drew a picture from a bird hide, looking over the estuary of the River Blyth.

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Bird Hides make good places for watercoloring. Here is the view from a Bird Hide at Minsmere.

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I had a go at drawing birds too.

 

In the evening, kayakers made their way upriver against the tide.

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I watched the crabbers on the quay.

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All pictures in a Katazome Sketchbook with vintage paper, from the Vintage Paper Company, experimenting with loose watercolour technique.

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Katazome Watercolour sketchbook, from the Vintage Paper Company.

 

Lady of Avenel etchings

Here is the Lady of Avenel in aquatint.

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Lady of Avenel, aquatint

Here is the hard ground, before the aquatint went on:

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To help with the aquatint, I made a small test plate. It seemed a pity to leave it blank, so I put some sea life:

Lady of Avenel is an 102ft brigantine square rigger. I sailed on her for the swimming expeditions in the Hebrides in 2017. This is why the sea life is relevant, and realistic. Especially the jellyfish.

I drew the Lady of Avenel in Heybridge basin, see this post:

Lady of Avenel at Heybridge Basin

Lady of Avenel website is: www.LadyofAvenel.com

Etchings done at East London Printmakers, 18th January 2018.

Suffolk sketches

Here is a view of the lighthouse at Southwold. While I was drawing it, standing on the path by the sea, a woman came up and told me I was very gifted. I said thank you. Her husband said he’d told her to say that, because she’d seen me on the way down, and not said anything. He said she should express her feelings.

He had a pit bull dog. Because his mother was pure Romany. I was not sure of the connection. He said this was Kensington-and-Chelsea-on-Sea. He said that people here told him “you don’t have a London accent”. That’s because he’s not from Kensington and Chelsea, but from a different part of London.

This is the picture:

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Here’s a drawing from Southwold pier:

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This is a sketch from a bird hide in Minsmere. The two ducks on the right are Shovellers.

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This is the sunset at Walberswick:

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It was misty. I drew the Church, St Andrews. There is a ruined part, from 1493, on the right. And a more modern 18th Century part on the left.

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I drew the view up the river. Here it is in the mist.

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Here it is in the dark.

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We went home by train. I sketched the people waiting.

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Bristol Skyline from Mud Dock

I did this directly in pen, no pencil, and it took just over half an hour. Outdoors it was raining.

Mud Dock Deli (@muddockdeli) is directly above a bike shop, all wooden and modern. On another table, a coach was advising a man on how to conduct himself in a forthcoming interview. Make your career relevant. Smile. Be serious but not too serious. Be keen but not desperate. I couldn’t work out what the job was, and both men were out of my line of sight. Their conversation was a sound track to this drawing..

Lady of Avenel at Heybridge Basin

Here is Lady of Avenel, 102ft Brigantine.

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This was the third of three sketches. Here are the first two.

I have drawn Lady of Avenel previously: Outer Hebrides 2017

See also these pages for pictures of and from Lady of Avenel:
Outer Hebrides 2017
Outer Hebrides 2016
Sketch notes from maritime Holland