Pencil sketching outdoors

Jenny and I have just returned from a break in Pembrokeshire where the weather was ideal for sketching: balmy sunshine with a lovely haze that lost all the distant detail we didn’t really want to include in our sketches, and hardly any wind. Strong winds can make life sheer hell for the artist, especially if you happen to be perched on a knife-edge ridge high up on the crags.

Garn Folch is just about the wildest jumble of rocks in the county, as though some giant has decided to hurl a few bits of mountain around and then brushed them up into a pile. Often scenes like this work well in a semi-abstract rendering. This is a rapid pencil sketch carried out on an A5 hardback book with part of the left-hand image spilling onto the next page. The roof of the cottage was fine, a typical north Pembrokeshire style with a light slurried covering over the slates. The rest of the house was a mess of scaffolding, huge modern windows and a garage front on one side, so I simply scribbled in a few details with a 4B as I thought it may have looked fifty years ago.

Sometimes it pays not to get too close to your subject. The imagination can conjure up all manner of desirable objects in the distance, which can lose their romanicism at close range. My walk then took me closer to the cottage, but the scene failed to improve……but round the corner appeared a really spectacular view of more crags, which I captured with watercolour and an inadvertent touch of cappuccino.

One thought on “Pencil sketching outdoors

  1. Awesome painting of St Brides Bay – feel that storm!! Sheil & I am going to Pembrokeshire later this month and we are hoping for a safe passage to Skomer Island on 30th April!

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