Saturday, February 25, 2006

Developing a plein air sketch

In 2004 I spent two and half weeks in France painting - starting near Bergerac where I spent a week, meandering down the River Dordogne and through Gaillac via good restaurants over a long weekend and then spent another week painting near Carcassonne in the Languedoc.

En route during that long weekend I visited Domme which is a bastide town in the Perigord region I'd last been to Domme in 1976 and was intrigued to find out whether it was as I remembered it - and whether the view was still amazing. More tourist shops than I remembered - but the view was every very bit as stunning, albeit it was midday rather than early evening!

I had lunch sitting on the terrace of the Hotel L'Esplanade. The hotel enjoys the most amazing views over the River Dordogne towards the Cingle de Montfort. And I've been meaning to develop the sketch I made during lunch into a painting for some time now.




First image is the sketchbook drawing I did during my lunch. It's a double page spread in my A4 size black hard back Daler Rowney sketchbook - and I used my coloured pencils to sketch. They're very handy and don't require a water pot!

Notes at the bottom of the sketch indicate that I had Sandre (Pike) with morels, tomatoes and physallis and then Tuna (but I don't think I remembered to write all the food down) and that a nearby roundabout turned to the sound of the theme from "Titanic"! I like making notes about my environment on my sketches as they always help to provide better memories of the whole experience.

Also posted are some early stages of the painting. I'm doing it on Arches hot press watercolour paper (in a block) using coloured pencils - which seems quite appropriate given it's French paper! It's 12" x 16" in size (a classic 3:4 ratio).

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2 comments:

Laura said...

Just exquisite, Katherine. You really do deep space quite well. I think of colored pencils as a medium for close range subjects, but you've shown how beautifully they work (at expert hands!) in landscapes, too.
L(lines)

Katherine said...

I'm still working on this one - strengthening colours and then trying to stop myself before I go too far!

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