Spring back into Sketching

View from Charlotte’s Ice Cream Parlour, yesterday morning. Even in the mist and rain there’s something to draw in the panorama of the Calder Valley.
Houseplant, Howarthia, a South African succulent, a member of the lily family, Filmore & Union, Redbrick Mill, Batley.

In search of a drawing for my latest Dalesman article, I’ve been delving back through my sketchbooks of ten and eleven years ago. Browsing through pages that I drew while we were travelling or at family gatherings, I realise that it’s time for me to get back into everyday sketching

As a small start, here are a few pages from my current pocket-sized Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. It’s paper isn’t intended for watercolour but, inspired by those 2007/8 sketches, I feel that colour adds a lot to rapid line drawings; not just extra information but also mood.

If you use a sketchbook as a visual diary, colour can evoke a memory more effectively than black and white.

So far, it hasn’t been a hard winter, but it has often been drearily wet so the veg beds in our garden are sodden and the paths in the wood muddier than usual, but snowdrops and winter aconites have been in flower for weeks and we do keep getting brighter days, encouraging Barbara and I to begin to thinking about setting off for the coast or the hills or to take a city break or a Eurostar break.

When we do I want the sketching habit to have become second nature.

Spurred on, I drew people on the platform at Leeds station last week, adding colour from memory later.

I’ve taken to scanning my sketches a high res, 300 dots per inch, then scaling them down for the web, but seeing the full res version on screen, I realise that I lose a lot of texture in the smaller version. In fact, I can see the drawing better blown up on the screen of my iMac than I can in the original sketch.

This figure pulling along a case is just an inch and a half tall in my sketchbook.

Hatstand at Peter’s Barber’s shop.
Peter the barber, drawn yesterday in Ossett.



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