After an early rise and a virtually sleepless night, jo and I packed up the car and drove over to Gatwick airport and we were greeted with the usual chaos of baggage drop off and the cattle processing experience of being de-humanised in airport security. As a reward for this experience we allowed ourselves to have a big breakfast, coffee (I’m definitely a tea person but will indulge in a coffee probably only once or twice a month). I t was while I was at breakfast and contemplating sketching other airport travellers I had the rude awakening that I’d put my sketching gear in my suitcase and had checked it in, I wasn’t even armed with a ballpoint pen 🙁
When we arrived in Stavanger, late in the afternoon our landlord was at the house and we had to discuss some bits and bobs with him after this we made it across town to collect Tanzie the (very dusty) labradoodle. I know I’m rambling but I’m paving the way to saying I didn’t get my sketch done today so I made up for it the next day.
We went for our usual walk and sat down in the sun near ‘the white cabin’ on the shore of large Stokka lake. For some reason Tanzie was extra nosey and parked herself on the table, I couldn’t push her off she was too cute and smiley..
I had packed something different to try, the paper I used today was Arches Watercolour block in Rough, 300 g/m2 – 140lb 15 c 30 cm. wow…. I love this paper!! It has a great surface texture 9rough) and the pad has gummed sides (should call it a block really I imagine) so it won’t buckle. this size firs superbly into my bag too. It took longer than expected to dry in the lovely warm Norwegian sunshine so I left in a bit too early with subsequent layers and had some ‘happy wet into wet accidents’.
My usual procedure followed in as much as I sketched some detail of the treelike, buildings and slopes although I must stress this took around one minute and I wasn’t looking for precision. I did have more grip of the composition, light and values as I sketched and planned where lights would be left out of the initial wash. Its hardly visible in the photo but I included it anyway
After this I quickly moved into the first wash and didn’t even worry about the dried paint on my palette from the Calleva arms sketch. This is where I had such jaw dropping pleasure watching the paint doing its thing on the Arches paper, it seemed quite a lot more ‘mobile’ than on my trusty Moleskine sketchbook.
I thought the paper was dry and very soon realised this was not the case although the wet into wet effect I got wasn’t disastrous and the row of distant trees worked well with the sky.
When this was dry, after a paddle and a hug from Tanzie I added more saturated colour to show detail of the buildings in the centre and the red school building to the right. overall I loved the experience and feel some of it was captured, it’s day 28 and some new things are being introduced and I look forward to mastering this paper in future work, it’s a delight to use.