Another outdoor landscape, another block of concrete

There’s been a lot of experimenting going on with this assignment, which is new for me. At one time, sketches were drawings and had to be perfect, sketchbooks were tidy affairs, and anything loose was usually on a piece of canvas board so qualified as The Art.

No more. Sketchbooks have become anarchic beasts full of dabs and drips, scrapes and scratches, and little clippings of other people’s art work. Not only are pieces on A3 also sketches, but A2 and A1 as well.

I should have known, I learned this with writing. After decades of being the One Draft Queen when it came to professional letters, reports, and journal articles, I discovered writers actually wrote drafts, and re-wrote drafts, and edited drafts, and scrapped drafts, and only after a great deal of this did a story emerge that satisfied them long enough to send it off somewhere. Why would art be any different? Well, it’s not.

So this is another piece of concrete in another patch of countryside. I’ve enhanced this image because I like to bring out the shapes that make up the whole and, as part of this assignment requires demonstration of perspective, there’s a bundle of that to be exposed.


I use Paintshop Pro for this kind of work, then I pin it up where I can work with it and usually draw out the various planes that often include horizontals that tilt and perspectives that fan. I could probably do with a protractor.


This was the first ‘draft’; all the lines in place but no real grit to it. That’s gesso-prepped cartridge, conte, oil crayons, and inks.

Because I wanted to see what might build on that framework and digital is way more economical than physical, I ran it through PSP first to try out darkening and lightening filters:


Then Rebelle 3 painting software to see how adding layers of other media might work with the original base. Rebelle has a good range of ‘brushes’, including watercolour, ink, charcoal, and pencil which allows for coverage and detailing. I took this version back to the physical piece to see how it could be replicated/enhanced.


This is where it is now with added layers of white and black gesso, ink highlights, fineliner detailing, and some inktense colour just for good measure. Dog walkers (and walkers) will know this place – although maybe not from this picture! – it’s under the Steyning bypass on the east side of the river Adur just south of Beeding bridge. Some of the graffiti has been, erm, ‘simplified’ out.


So is this the finished assignment piece? I don’t know, it could be any of the four I’ve put together the last week or so. It will most likely turn up as a print at some point, if anyone’s after a bit of grunge for their wall!

Steyning Arts trail

img_2769I’ve a feeling this month is going to zip by at a rate of knots, like that time between October when Christmas is forever away and December 24th when you realise a black hole ate all of autumn. I’m pulling together my bits and bobs; paintings, prints, cards, and arty sundries, for my pitch at Jill’s in Beeding. There’ll be sheep, brooding landscapes, some things with Tin Pots Hill on them, and a ‘Winter is Coming’ snow globe because obviously. Also cats, there’s always cats.