Thursday, 23 June 2016

Different Approaches with my Watercolours and Urban Sketches from Madeira

The sketches from my holiday in Madeira show some of the different artistic approaches I take with tackling subjects in the moment of experience.    All were drawn or painted from life and each had different objectives with the creative process.  


Exotic flowers and banana plants grow everywhere in Madeira. These flowers and bananas were lovely personal touches left for us in our holiday apartment.  They made interesting watercolour subjects.  


Both these pen and wash urban sketches were tackled from my holiday balcony.  The first was just a simple sketch done with no particular concept in mind.  With the second I was playing with the idea of simple block colour with no texture, form or shading and creating a simpler illustrative approach. 


Whilst hubby was watching the England v Wales football match on large screen in the centre of Funchal, I was sitting on a monument step watching and sketching the spectators.  Hubby is the third one along from the right.    

There were lots of waiting times which I filled with sketching opportunities.  My favourite of these was the streetlamp sketch.  Whilst waiting for a minibus tour early one morning, my eye was caught by the flash of red given off by the geraniums hanging from a streetlamp pole.  Geraniums always remind me of Mediterranean summers spent in Italy as a child.  I tried to accentuate the flowers with the co-ordinating coloured text. I was not too bothered about shape and form.  I just wanted a quick sketch that captured the feeling and colour of the moment.  Sometimes all that is necessary in some circumstances is just a simple expressive mark or two.  


I have not included all my Madeira sketches as that would get quite boring especially as I have pages of coffee cup sketches.  Having looked back at my sketches I was surprised to see how many times we stopped for a coffee break in a week.

Now it is time to review my photographs of Madeira and to see what I want to paint back in my little studio using a completely different approach yet again. 


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Ready for Some Summer Watercolour Sketching in Madeira

This week I have been getting my sketching gear ready to take with me to Madeira.  A Portuguese island surrounded by nothing but lots and lots of water.  That little bit of information tells me that I will need lots and lots of blue pigment.    

As I have no idea what I will encounter on my travels I have decided to take a selection of papers and my favourite mediums of watercolour, pen and graphite.  My stool is staying at home this time which will restrict where I can sketch with my watercolours. 

The last time I used my stool was for my sketch trip to the British Museum.  (A few posts down. Link here )  I remember the lady door attendant jokingly said to me: “Make sure you don’t bat anyone on the head with your stool.”  We both laughed.  It was actually quite nice to encounter someone in that job with a sense of humour.  Ironically, later I did bat someone on the head with my stool and that was ‘me’.  I did it when I swung my bag onto my shoulder.  My stool sticks out of my bag a little and it tapped my head as I swung my bag.  I had never tapped my head in that way before with my stool.  I thought of the lady attendant at that point and had a little chuckle to myself.

Landscapes and people are the subjects I want to try to concentrate on during this trip. I recently ordered Sketching People by Lynne Chapman.  It talks about a number of my favourite urban sketching artists and how they sketch people with their different styles.  I have only quickly scanned through the book as I have been saving it to read on my trip.