Doodle 05.08.16

Good morning!

I can’t believe it’s August again already! This time last year I was, come to think of it, doing exactly what I have been doing for the past week or so: field sketching. That’s right – a little over exactly a year ago I caught a rickety old bus to the North East coast of England, toting a backpack of art supplies and cereal bars, with the sole intention of capturing nature at its best. And, funnily enough, a year later I took my art backpack on another little adventure, this time to the national park in Snowdonia, to paint me some mountains and seascapes. This time I did not go alone, but was accompanied by my mother, who waited patiently for me to commit these scenes to paper, often waiting for hours as we sat cramped up between a pile of boulders and waited for layers of paint to dry. I commend her patience in this endeavour, and would like to thank her on behalf of all the flora and fauna of Gwynedd who have been enriched by her conversation (as an alternative pair of listening ears to her otherwise-absorbed-in-sketching daughter).

What follows is taken directly from my field sketchbook and encompasses the rough sketches and water colours I made on my various walks around the stunning land of Gwynedd. I’d like to hope they capture some of the essence of the coastline and woods in a way photography often cannot. I’ll let you be the judge.

Barmouth Estuary, water colours and ink. After walking around Barmouth for a bit and soaking up the seaside air, I made my way across stepping stones and rockfaces to sit on a boulder for three hours trying to capture this vista of the Barmouth bridge.

A closer view of the sketch of Barmouth Bridge.

A closer view of Barmouth


The Bay at Borth y Gest, looking over to Harlech castle. Painted whilst snuggled into a crevice halfway up a cliff, using a rockpool for water supply.


Rocks and Seawater, pen and ink.


Harlech Castle in the distance, pen and ink.


A view of Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala) from the caravan porch. Watercolour and indian ink.


Llyn Cynwch, light study in charcoal and ink wash.


Llyn Cynwch, watercolour and ink. Painted whilst balanced on a rock in a field full of sheep, listening to the strange conversations of passing ramblers.


Until the next post!

Doodle 13.01.16

Do you remember this person in a boat?

Girl Travelling
Well, here is a little bit more of her story…

 

“Once upon a time there was a house on the cliffs, where a little girl lived by the sea.”

 
 

“One day, when the wind was howling outside, she sat at the window and wished she could go far away.”

 
 

“When the storm had passed she walked along the shore. A boat had washed up.”

 
 

“The boat was wrecked. It had no mast or sail, and seaweed anchored it to the beach.”

 
 

“High up on the cliff, a single sapling grew. It was twisted from always leaning against the wind. The little girl dug it up and planted it in the boat.”

 
 

“Then she took the table cloth from her house and made a sail.”

 
Once upon a time there was a house on the cliffs, where a little girl lived by the sea. One day, when the wind was howling outside, she sat at the window and wished she could go far away. When the storm had passed she walked along the shore. A boat had washed up. The boat was wrecked. It had no mast or sail, and seaweed anchored it to the shore. High up on the cliff, a single sapling grew. It was twisted from always leaning against the wind. The little girl dug it up and planted it in the boat. Then she took the table cloth from her house and made a sail. 

Now the boat had a mast and a sail, and the little girl could sail far away…

Doodle(s) 30.05.15 – travels to Whitby

Last week I took a sketchbook, a handful of sketching tools, and a back pack full of cereal bars on a bus ride to Whitby. Amazingly, both the sketchbook and I survived the trip, so you can see what came of it.

Over three days, I walked from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay along the cliffs, and back again, staying in hostels at either end. Unfortunately, I got sunstroke quite a lot because I was sharing my water bottle with the water colour palette and forgot to drink much.

On the first day I walked to Robin Hood’s Bay, to stay in the Boggle Hole. I took a picture of this place, tucked away on the beach, but the light was so bright it burned out my film. The only sketch I have of this first day was done in the evening when, having eaten some cereal bars, I walked along the cliffs away from the town, just when the sun was setting.

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The next day I walked back along the cliffs to Whitby again. It wasn’t as hot, and I stopped more often to sketch. This is a view of Robin Hood’s Bay from the North cliff path:

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A few miles along I stopped at the top of a steep drop for lunch:

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Then, about a mile out from Whitby, I climbed down to a rocky beach. It was so windy that, having sat down to sketch, when I stood up half my face was caked in sand. The sketches from the beach are rushed for this reason, and I had to add water colour washes later, in the windless parlour of the Whitby Abbey hostel.

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That evening I went for fish and chips at The Magpie cafe in Whitby. I have never enjoyed a meal so much in my life, after a few days of living off cereal bars. I took my sketchbook with me for company and drew this cave from memory of my walk:

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The waitress seemed to like it, anyway.

I walked off my giant tea with a stroll down the pier, where I sat on a bench and battled the growing wind to produce this masterpiece (my hands had become a little numb by this point):

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After giving up on that view, I went down to the beach for a long walk, and on the way back to town I sketched the pier.

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Just as it was getting dark, I climbed the 199 steps up to the abbey and the hostel, then sat next to St Mary’s church to take this charcoal sketch. By then I had lost my pencils on the beach, and only had willow charcoal left, which got very messy very quickly.

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Finally, I holed up in a drawing room in the hostel with a book until curfew, when I tried to get some sleep in the supposedly haunted hostel. I didn’t see any ghosts, but the next morning I did see vikings!

I bought my ticket to visit Whitby Abbey and wandered, sketchbook in hand, onto the site. I was a bit surprised when, instead of emerging from the entrance into an abbey ruin, I ended up in the middle of a viking camp. One viking looked up at me from where he was cooking his breakfast in a copper cauldron and looked very confused. I just held up my sketchbook, pointed at the ruins, and walked forward. No one had warned me that a viking reenactment group were staying at the Abbey.

Despite a few curious vikings, this is the result of my trip to the Abbey:

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Unfortunately, the vikings wouldn’t sit still long enough for me to sketch them, too. They were too busy running around with swords and axes.

 And that was my first sketching trip, of which you can see some of the results.