Day 1 ‘A rainy street scene in Stavanger’

Well, it finally came around and I have been unusually nervous which is strange because… tbh…. nobody is even signed up to this blog! So why did I create so much pressure! I think it showed in my work too….must learn to relax, must learn to relax, must learn to relax…….

Anyway, after days and days of temperatures in the high 20’s (celsius) I awoke to the sound of raindrops pelting the windows and skies that were purply-blue with rain! It began to dawn on me that this just got real and I have to do a sketch despite the weather, plus life goes on and I had heaps of other stuff to do too. So…. I went outside to do a reccy. The rain was coming down quite heavily and I have no car so had to work near home and in the rain. Here’s a little video of my opinion of the weather:

Day 1 Wet and windy

With my sketching gear ready, I dug out my wet weather gear and ventured out. I thought I’d sketch the view up my street 

Probably not very adventurous but my choice meant if I needed to grab anything it’d be in the house and … I don’t have a car 😳 To tell the truth I did feel apprehensive about people seeing me and my work being dreadful…. so I started with a pencil sketch in my watercolour sketchbook 

and then I went over it using a black waterproof drawing pen (0.3mm)…

The rain started to pelt down quite heavily but I decided to get a wash of colour on. I used a size 6 Rosemary kolinsky sable sketch brush and Windsor & Newton Cotman paint with 12 half pans. There were a couple of colours I missed that live in my Schminke box: Caput Mortuum and Cobalt Green, I may need to consider this in future.

after getting going with a bit of colour I felt the pressure ease a bit and I was aware of the enjoyment and the buzz I felt doing the sketch, I added a second wash…

Well, I don’t know about you but I think I over cooked it, I was too concerned with having the right gear with me, being seen by onlookers and being drenched in the rain I didn’t give enough thought to light or to perspective- I didn’t even worry about accuracy in colour mixing. I needed to clean my palette but I’d bought no paper towels and was guilty of laziness and lack of pride in my work…. disappointment loomed and I went indoors.

After I’d taken care of my other jobs I decided to revisit the composition and I tried again- I went from memory and was sat at the dining room table, I can’t get too used to that, I started, as before in pencil, then in pen…

This time I was much more relaxed about my composition and colour mixing. I realise the challenge is to be equipped to sketch wherever I am and whenever I need to so, painting on my dining room table could be seen as cheating by the purists among us. Hey!! It’s a learning curve, right? So, here goes, I added colour and felt a bit better but a long way from totally happy.

One thing I like is the shadow under the main building roof. Overall this one seems to have more command over darks and lights and I think the colour is more delicate and accurate. Kinda pleased I suppose and ready for tomorrow’s little jaunt. I’ll pack some tissue and make sure I persevere. I’m considering swapping my sketchbook to my Moleskine one, I think it’s rougher and keeps its shape better when wet. Not having a rigger seemed strange, I also have to rethink my recording. Stopping and getting my camera out was awkward in the rain and I was scared of dropping it…. something to ponder over this evening. Day one done

     All set for day 2 tomorrow.
    John

 

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