Its October, so it's fitting to go sketching at a cemetery. Urban Sketchers at St. John's Anglican Church in Arva. This cute little yellow brick church was built in 1875. The first sketch was of the cemetery at the back of the property, a unique heart shaped head stone caught my attention. It was a little windy and cool back there, so moved to the front of the church. Went across the street to sketch an elevation view of the church, warmer with no wind. Micron Pen and water brush filled with india ink/distilled water mixture for gray tones... I spent about 45 minutes on each sketch.
I am still working on my "sketch every day" challenge. When I play golf, which is usually 2, sometimes 3 times a week during golf season, that is where my daily sketch is completed. Since I made charcoal from willow sticks that I collected at Greenhills Golf Course, it is where I have been sketching with the charcoal. It is a challenge, as the charcoal is bigger chunks than I am used to working with. I am most comfortable with fine detail and working small. This is forcing me to work a little larger, and I think that is a good thing!
First 2 sketches below are from Saturday and Sunday last weekend. Last drawing was created yesterday morning at home using a photo as reference. I like the first 2 quick and free sketches better than the tight and controlled last one. I had too much time to "think" about it, work at it, and worry about ruining good paper. FYI - 140lb watercolour costs $10 to $15 per sheet.
I think (or rather... I know) I have more work and practice ahead of me, to be able to create the picture I am expecting to create.
My process starts by picking up sticks, found near the willow trees on No. 18 at Greenhills Golf Course. Next you have to peel all the bark off the sticks. Cut the sticks to fit in the small tin can to be used as a kiln, which is just an old tea container. Visit friends to have a beverage, conversation, and fire the kiln. Wait until the next morning, when it’s cool enough to open and voila charcoal! Success, first attempt making charcoal! Then off to the golf course and test the charcoal our with a few quick sketches.
Charcoal is one of the oldest drawing media, appearing in cave paintings dating back 28,000 years. The medium has been refined, bound with wax or gum into sticks and pencils, and can be easily purchases at an art supply store. But making charcoal from sticks picked up on the course and then creating artwork of that course seemed like a fun process.
Charcoal can be used to produce either a soft or strong line. It can be erased without difficulty. It can be smudged to produce a different effect. Now to sketch and practice some more using the freshly made charcoal!
This AM the Urban Sketchers London had it's first event as an official chapter of Urban Sketchers International. Met downtown, the artists went where they wanted to and them met up at a coffee shop for the throw down. Some sketchers from Waterloo Region US made the trip. Probably our largest gathering of sketchers to date.
I have drawn/illustrated the (former) Kingsmill's Department Store building a couple of times before, but always from photographs. Now it's home to Fanshawe College: School of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts. And this time it's a sketch completed on location. I would not say the building was "saved", but at least we still have the original facade for the Dundas streetscape. I think, when you only keep the front wall, and completely rebuild the rest, you loose spirit of the building and have not really saved it. But this is better than loosing it completely!
New sketchbook started August 1 and this time a little bigger. First 2 were 6 x 6 inches, this one is 10 x 8 inches. Still working on sketching everyday.... still only missed one day since April 8.