While baby sleeps

I love it when my baby girl falls asleep in the car and I can’t do anything else but to sketch the surroundings. We went to a softplay place last Monday, called Piglets in Hersham. She had a play date, but the car journey made her fall asleep. So while waiting for her to wake up, I managed to do a quick sketch of the entrance. The watercolours were added later on at home, as she didn’t give me much time to do it there.

RWS Friends Sketching Day – 20th March 2011

Wonderful day along the river today! We visited the RWS Spring Exhibition first, with one of the Friends giving us a guided tour through so many inspiring paintings (some others not so much!). Then we headed off towards the Tate Modern. One of the Friends and I found a nice spot on the steps just below the Millennium Bridge and, although it was crowded as usual, the view was not interrupted. I liked the overall view with the modern and sinuous silhouette of the bridge and the very classic St Paul’s Cathedral at the end. I did underestimate, however, the very complex shape and perspective of the bridge! I also realised, after so many years sketching in London, that the colour palette that I use the most is always the same: cobalt blue, yellow ochre and ivory black…..not very exciting! I think I’m going try a different approach next time, I’ll take out these three colours from my sketching kit and let’s see what happens.

St Raphaels Church from Kingston Riverside

What a sunny day! It was warm and calm; we went for a nice walk along the Thames and sat relaxing in the sunshine. The colours of the riverside walk are slowly changing, yellows are starting to show and beds of early spring flowers are announcing the coming season.

RWS Friends Sketching Day – 14th November 2010

Pencil Sketch

St Michael, Cornhill, City of London
It was another cold day for outdoor sketching, one figure temperatures and rain. I spent a good 40 minutes in the district line from Wimbledon to Tower Hill, I had forgotten how slow this line is! On my way to station I picked a bunch of leaves: a Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba) leaf and a very red leaf from another tree which I can’t find the name. I tried to do some pencil sketches while I was in the tube, but I’ve found it a bit difficult to keep my hand steady. Although it was raining we did a tour around Pepys tramping ground and I stopped to sketch in St Michael’s Alley. It took me a long time to get the sketch done as I wanted to use a pen & wash technique. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel very confident using a pen straight away, so I did a pencil sketch first, then pen on top and some watercolours to finish off…..it took me over 1 hour to do that!!

Pen & Wash

Water Level Indicator

St Paul’s Cathedral

Canary Wharf

I was reading the SAA July issue last night and I found the article on Allan Kirk’s sketching technique quite interesting. He uses Stabilo Fineliner pens for quick pen and wash studies to ‘capture the moment’. I had some coloured pens for some time now, but don’t use them very often as I prefer sketching with watercolours. I thought I would give it a go as the technique allows for really quick sketches on the move. I used some pictures I took during a boat trip on the Thames; it took me about 15 minutes to do all three of them and the results were not as bad as I thought. I used heavy cartridge paper to minimize buckling, although I’d like to do some further tests using watercolour paper.