Go for a walk in your local park, around your garden or somewhere you normally walk. Find a view that you like or are familiar with and use your viewfinder to help you focus on a point of interest. This could be trees, a gate or a road. If you can’t get out, focus on a view from a window – or use a photograph.
Make four sketches during your walk. You’ll be drawing rapidly and you may make mistakes – but don’t rub anything out. You can draw over any mistakes and re-state what you want to depict. Try to capture the idea of what you see through drawing; think of your sketching as taking notes. Try to get everything in, no matter how roughly. Fast drawing helps you to concentrate and see more clearly, shutting out unnecessary ‘noise’.
Make written observations where appropriate:
• the time, weather conditions and direction of light and shadow
• the main point of interest such as a building, gate or group of trees
• the division of space into foreground, middle ground and background
• pattern and textures, repetition of large and small shapes, tonal values, etc. across the scene.
I spend a lot of my time in here – our garden studio in Balnain. It used to be our office when self-employed – now being put to a more creative use. I walked around and above it to quickly sketch 4 different views, angles, proportions and perspectives – some I got right, some not so. I found that the 6B sketch stick was just right for laying down the marks and shades quickly. This exercise also provided the chance to try out a newly purchased Frisk layflat sketchpad from SAA that I really like and am looking forward to sketching across both pages as A3. Previously I have been using Enviro sketchbooks using all recycled materials, both for the paper and binding boards (available from artway.co.uk). I now intend to keep using both sketchbook formats over the rest of the Drawing 1 course as I find they meet my needs and are nice to use. I will continue to use a cheaper A3 sketchbook as my research workbook and on occasion a concertina sketchbook (although this is quite tricky to hold if standing, easier when sitting).
Back to the sketches! I made these walking sketches in one sunny afternoon when the light was bright and coming in from the E and SE as the sun moved across the sky. I could have probably darkened the shadow areas of the wooden studio a bit more but was being tentative. As note-taking though, I found this visual capturing quite invigorating – must do it more often.
The background was merely suggested – adjoining field and woodland tree line. Likewise, the foreground is minimally suggested, while the main focus is on the shape and form of the studio with woodburner chimney.
The roof of the studio is covered with bitumen tiles and is suggested by rough cross hatching. For me the main attraction point are the darkened windows.
Stuart Brownlee – 512319
11 September 2015