Part 3, project 2, exercise 2

Sketchbook walks.

It’s still a bit nippy hereabouts, also damp so this was quite a sprint. And my biro gave out so luckily I had a piece of conte about my person, as you do.


This is a quick gallop round the village at around sunset so when the sun appears there are long, deep, shadows. Otherwise it’s a grey, dismal, flat light.

I can’t say this is easy, compared with sheep which are a doddle because of where they are, for quick sketches, I find streets over-stimulating – too many lines, too much material, and too unaccommodating in terms of suitable places to stop/lean/balance hands and feet, sketchbook and media. Much as I value drawing from life due to it providing the kind of 3D experience photos simply can’t (and thereby training my brain to convert the image to a 2D drawing that looks 3D), it’s not the easiest. Perhaps when the weather is better I can try again with less of a dash.


Just now there are almost as many sheep in these parts as buildings.

These are quite Henry Moore-ish – biro on plain sketchbook cartridge – and the shaping is becoming easier.

I tried whorls of marks to make the rounded hip and shoulder joints on the one lying down. A little bit odd as the rest of it isn’t so abstract.


These are much more stylised – light conte marks on gesso-prepped sketchbook cartridge. I’m beginning to get a feel for sheep shapes now, although their legs are really quite peculiar – possibly because the knee joint is quite high on the leg which means they always seem to be slightly askew. I noticed Moore’s sheep reflected this so I feel better about how odd they can look.


I loved doing this. I had a roughly gesso-prepped page in an A4 sketchbook and blotted some very faint patches onto it as per my line-up of the sheep earlier in the field. Then once dry, I traced the opportune edges with fineliner to make the bodies and dripped water into the middles of these with a dropper. I anticipated that it would stop at the border between the blotted and the dry area and that, with removal of some excess, would allow for a stronger ink mix to move outwards and reinforce the shapes. Once dry, I made the face and feet with a fineliner, allowed the marks to dry and then wet them again to soften the edges. I’d initially made some quite noticeable lines but these seemed inconsistent with the rest of the image, blocking and softening gave me an effect that feels much better.

I’m hoping to get to the seafront some time soon, or at least the estuary, where there are so many more, and different, features to pick up.

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