Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cold weather and small quick sketches

When the weather gets cold I do much less sketching outside. Mainly as a risk management strategy for the problem I have with tearing ligaments and muscles my feet. If I stay too still and get too cold, muscles contract and seize up which then means balance is difficult and can make walking very risky for me if the surface is not dry and safe.

One possible answer is a smaller sketchbook - one that fits in the pocket of my very robust anorak - and quicker sketching!

Lake People #5
5.5" x 7", pencil in small Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I find it works well for my sketches of people having a cup of tea or bite to eat at the Pavilion Cafe in Victoria Park (when I'm sat inside the Cafe looking out). The one above was done just after the snow fell just before Christmas when I discovered that the walk along the canal is very risky in poor weather conditions (ie slush and ice). I concluded that it is only safe for me to go out when the snow is dry and powdery - and this wasn't! The only bit I enjoyed on that walk was tramping across the snow on the grass in Victoria Park which was still dry.

The small sketchbook works less well at present for my sketches of the Ecology Park Pond. Maybe because I'm still wanting to do larger sketches and the time I allot for a sketch while sat outside in the cold is minimal?

Willows around Willow Pond
5.5" x 7", pencil in small Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I need to keep reminding myself that Turner and Constable both made an awful lot of sketches in very small sketchbooks. I think I'm going to have to study them to identify their techniques for sketching small landscapes.

You can see all of Turner's 300+ sketchbook here on the Turner part of the Tate Gallery website - Tate Collection | Turner Collection | Sketchbooks

Links:

3 comments:

  1. I have the same problem. Being quite arthritic these days, I tend to seize up if I stand painting outside in this weather! I always carry a compact digital camera but it's not the same as actual sketching though. So - outdoor places tend to be my summer subjects and indoor people my winter ones!

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  2. Bravo for going out to sketch even with your physical problems. These are very nice. At this time of year I look for view that I can sketch from the front seat of my car which is my "portable studio." I only paint/sketch that way if it is warm enough to sit in the car without the heater running. lol Be careul out there.

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  3. Lovely sketches, Katherine. I am ready for warm weather too!

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