Friday, 18 December 2015

Joys of Journaling

Going out in nature with a sketchbook or journal  is such a brilliant pastime. I cannot recommend it enough. The act of spending time, observing your subject rather than just taking a quick photograph and moving on, is extremely rewarding. Feeling the spirit of the place, the wind and sun (but not much of this lately here in Wales), hearing the birdsong; it all evokes emotions and hopefully you pass this on into your sketch. 

Bridge and waterfall at the Hafod Estate.

You can see my rucksack here which has everything I need (almost) from graphite sticks, watercolour pencils and pans with a water-brush, gouache and ink pens, aswell as various types of paper and books.

This scene was drawn using graphite, pencils, pen and white gouache on a slightly tinted paper to make the white water stand out more.

This is a view of the snaking river Ystwyth on the Ladies walk at the Hafod Estate,
 just roughly drawn in colour pencils.

 This I did back in October, of Devils Bridge - Pontarfynach. The left one was painted in watercolour and pen in situ but I later redid this one at home as I felt I'd overdone the pen!! But maybe the second one is too pale. I think I need more practise on my watercolour stonework!

Here's the completed journal page.

As well as making a journal, I've made two little concertina books and added prints of my paintings,
 a leaf one and a fungi one.

I want to spread the joy of journaling in my area so I am doing a nature journal workshop at Denmark Farm on the 20th of March 2016 and another at the Elan Valley Centre on the 8th of May. 
If there is enough interest, after the workshops, I want to hold free journaling events where groups can meet up and draw outdoors for a day. Great to keep up interest and discipline with sketching and meet like-minded people.

Other good news is that I have 5 paintings hanging in Oriel Flodau - Blossoms Gallery,  in Aberystwyth. I am very pleased with how they look. The new gallery is a great place, run by lovely people with lots of amazingly talented artists and diverse crafts for sale. If you're in the area have a look in.