Summer sketching

Over the summer I organised a sketching club for my local art group. It was very much easy come, easy go, with no commitment required and I think that it worked out very well.

Week 1 was at our local woodland, Ruff Woods near Edge Hill University in Ormskirk. It turned out that I was billy-no-mates for this one - it was cold, the venue didn't have toilets (which ruled out all of the older ladies) and not even the elusive red squirrels put in an appearance. Speaking of toilets, ahem, I'm not sure what's going on at the end of the path...



Week 2 was at one of the club members houses and I'm ashamed to say that none of us sketched a single thing despite it being a gorgeous morning - we spent all our time drinking tea, eating toasted teacakes and chatting!

Week 3 was a miserable day and it was quite amazing that 4 of us turned out at The Hayloft, which is a farm shop and tearoom in Lydiate. We took shelter in the barn with the peacocks and peahens, but barely made it to an hour before we retreated into the tea room for brunch. This sketch is no-where near finished, I need to go back on a sunny day. Unlike the others, which are all sharpie, watercolour and oil pastel, this one is in watersoluble wax.


Week 4 was at another club member's house. Again the weather was appalling so we sat in the conservatory. A little sketching and a lot of chatting and delicious biscuits washed down with gallons of tea.



Week 5 was at the local allotments right by the church where we meet. Again I was on my own, probably because the church hall was not open and there was no toilet access. I found myself attracted to this wheelbarrow housed in a makeshift shed.




I missed week 6 as  I was away in Bakewell so I sketched the local fish and ducks, viewed from above at the bridge by the car park..



I'd enjoyed the whole sketching thing so much that I decided to take a still life along to our regular art club meeting. I asked my facebook followers what I should take along - the only stipulation was that it must be small enough to carry in my bike basket - and this was what I came up with.



I'm very pleased with how the sketching club progressed, and how my own sketching style has developed. For all of these sketches (except the peahen) I used watercolours, iridescent oil pastels and coloured sharpies. I really like the loose expressiveness of this style and will be interested to see how it develops as I do more.

I'll definitely organise something similar for next year, choose venues that all have toilets so that everyone can come along and join in the fun.