Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Ecology Park pond in December - an update

I thought that people who mainly follow my sketchbook blog might like to see how sketches get converted into more formal drawings which are currently being posted on my other blog - Making A Mark.

Below you can find a couple of original sketches already posted on this blog and the drawing done as a result

The Ecology Park Pond - 26th December 2008
8.5" x 11.5" pencil and coloured pencils


Ecology Park Ponds Series #4 - 26th December 2008
The Willows across Moor Hen Pond
10" x 14", coloured pencils on Arches HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

2nd January 2009 (12.30pm)
Canal View Bridge from the side of an icy Willow Pond
8.5" x 11.5" pencil and coloured pencils


Ecology Park Ponds Series - 2nd January 2009 - #3
Canal View Bridge and Moor Hen Pond

10" x 14", coloured pencils on Arches HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Plus another couple of drawings which I've been able to do because of my growing familiarity with the Ecology Park Pond.

Formal Drawings
(left) Lily Pad Pond from Canal View Bridge - looking towards Tow Path Platform
(right) The Willows behind Dog Walker Bridge from the southern edge of Lily Pad pond

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The main differences I notice are:
  • sketches done in cold weather are never going to be as good as those done in when it's warmer - if only because I've got a tendency to hurry the sketching or to pack up before I've finished because I've got too cold!
  • the format of my sketchbook and the size I've been working are not quite the same. Maybe time to think about cutting up some paper to the right size and/or same format?
  • more formal drawings usually have a more defined and definite value pattern - with the darker values worked up better. That's partly because it takes quite a time to get good darks on the bond paper in the Daler Rowney black sketchbook which I like to use (because of its smooth bond paper - coloured pencils skate across the paper very fast!).
  • I'm pushing colour in the more formal drawings and the colour is not completely faithful to the environment. That's a deliberate aesthetic decision over any commitment to total accuracy. I think on the whole I prefer the faithful image which "speaks of the place" rather than absolutely reproduces it
Some things to think about the next time I go sketching!



  1. These are elegant compositions. I am amazed at your use of the colored pencil to achieve the reflections on the water (particularly in the Formal Drawings), the lush aquatic (yet winter shaded) effect of the reeds-full, thick, and suggesting movement, as if someone may have just walked through them, leaving them to fall where they may.
    Very nice.

  2. Such a beautiful series developing here, Katherine. I appreciate both the original sketches and the final pictures. The darks are so effective.

    You obviously put a lot of thought into the composition because that is always consistent with the final. How you achieve all that in the cold, I don't know. But brava!

  3. Really lovely. I love the reflections in the water. I can see incredible benefit from returning to the same space over and over to capture the same scene in different weather/seasons/times.


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