Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Prague interior - and making notes while sketching

Baroque Angels, Pulpit - St Nicholas Chuch, Prague (1993)
coloured pencils in A5 Daler Rowney black sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I've got an awful lot of sketches from many, many years of sketching. I've decided to start posting these with a little bit of an explanation about where they are and why they are significant - if they are!

I first started sketching with coloured pencils in Prague (Praha) in the Czech republic at the end of September 1993. It's a city with a fascinating history and it's quite remarkable how much of the old city is still intact - it really is like walking back 600-700 years in time.

Prague is a great city for artists and sketchers to visit as it has lots of great subjects to sketch and paint - all of which are central and within relatively easy walking distance - so long as you don't mind hills. However it can get very cold at that time of year. Sketching outside can be finger numbing!

This sketch is one I did of the marble pulpit in St Nicholas Church is in the Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti)) in Prague (not to be confused with St Nicholas Cathedral!). What I notice most about this sketch is that my tendency to have certicals leaning to the right have been around for a very long time! I now tend to get one straight line down measured by eye from the edge of the page to avoid this happening.

When you're with a group, as I was, you sometimes can't linger as long as you'd like to. In these sort of circumstances I tend to sketch on the right hand page and write notes on the left hand page - which you can see on the right.

I made notes about:
  • what I was looking at - a marble and gilt pulpit in St Nicholas Church
  • the main colours - very pale salmon, very pale green grey and 'old' gilt
  • plus quirky features as an aid to understanding later ie "painted ceiling - arches are illusions where pale")
  • at the bottom of the page there is an arrow to indicate that the brown structure is a wooden confessional.
Now as it happens I don't have photos of this interior - but if I did the sketch, the notes and the photos would together provide me with the material needed to develop it further if that's what I wanted to do.

How do you make notes?

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