Instead of drawing individual trees, hedges and buildings as they flash by, I try to link them into a landscape composed of bits and pieces that may have been drawn miles – ten miles or more in some cases – apart.
By my first sketch I’ve written ‘Doncaster to Grantham’, while the second was drawn between Stevenage and Potters Bar.
On the return journey there’s a section where the line follows an attractive lowland river for a while.
After that the landscape features rolling hills, farms and stumpy church towers with small spires. My sketch also includes a couple of sheep, a crow and a cutting through Jurassic limestone. These features were scattered across miles of trackside landscape in the Grantham area.
Finally, as we neared Doncaster, here’s a landscape of more church towers, cows and distant hills that I didn’t quite get finished. I got as far as dabbing in a grey and pale green wash. It was a dull, overcast afternoon.
Until you leave the central zone, there isn’t much to see through the windows of a London Underground train. A fearless drawing journaller like Dan Price might have sketched fellow passengers in the busy train but I settled down to drawn my left hand. Again, as this is unfinished, you can see how I start off with a pale wash of grey before adding yellow ochre, sometimes with a dash of permanent magenta.
Permanent magenta is the cool red that I’ve used to replace alizarin crimson, or permanent rose or whatever else I was using in my pocket watercolour box. The thinking behind this is that magenta will be more useful for mixing the colours of wildflowers, so many of which are variations on magenta. Neutral tint recently replaced the rather acid, greeny blue version of Paynes grey that I’ve used for a decades as the grey in my watercolour box. So far neutral tint seems to work well for the natural subjects I’m keen to draw.
Finally, here are hand studies, and a handful of details drawn as they flashed by through the window, drawn between Kings Cross St Pancras and Hunslow East on the Piccadilly Line.