three weeks ago today, when I was sitting by lake at
Newmillerdam country park near Wakefield, drawing Canada
geese and mallards, the temperature in the sun got up
to 18°C. We've had some raw wintry days since then
and I've decided to change the way I work during the
I've started compiling a book of local
walks and instead of drawing everything on location
- as I did with High Peak Drifter - I've been
striding around the valley with a digital camera around
my neck and a talkbook (dictation machine) in my hand.
Like the scenery painting at the weekend,
I think the change is probably a good thing.
typed up my notes then popped the photographs on a page
layout. Because the drawings need to be small, I printed
them out in black and white, about nine on a sheet of
A4, and worked from these little images, tracing the
drawing roughly by putting a small spotlight behind
my perspex drawing board.
I found working this way restrictive,
so for these two drawings, which I made today,
I simply sat at the computer with my sketchbook and
drew from the full screen colour image.
This is much nearer to regular drawing
from the subject - I'm not hemmed in by the lines I've
traced. I'm able to work at whatever scale feels natural,
though I have to remember that these will be reduced
in the book, so I'm using my Parker Reflex fountain
pen, which produces a fairly broad line.
These drawing are the of the banks of
the River Calder (above) and
the 'Dark Passage' (left) where
a footpath crosses the river beneath a railway bridge.