Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Trip to North Norfolk

In August I went to Norfolk with friends for a week. Between us we walked, sketched, visited galleries, bookshops and old churches and had a great time.

This is a not particularly good coloured pencil sketch done there in a small sketchbook. It was the first time I'd tried CP's plein air and I've decided I prefer to use oils plein air for the speed of working and the ability to change and push things around as I work. It's in a very small 6x4 inch sketch book so the double page spread is only 8ins across.

I have only recently started using coloured pencils as a medium in their own right, previously I'd only used them as an element in mixed media sketches.















The sketch was done at Burnham Overy Staithe, a small saltmarsh harbour. My friends had gone for a walk and I'd opted to sit and sketch the boats as the tide slowly crept in. Not a usual subject for me but an interesting challenge. The scan hasn't quite picked up the mauves and pinks in the wet sand/mud and I noticed a problem that's happened to me before - when held slightly bent the image is ok but when flattened out it doesn't read as well - I obviously worked with the book slightly closed in, distorting it.

Nearby children were catching crabs and as the tide came in people were coming down to their boats.

The harbours are very different from the harbours of my childhood, when I lived in Cornwall. There the wild Atlantic sweeps in and harbours have thick stone walls and there are high rocky cliffs. On this much flatter coast there are dunes and salt marshes with gently rising hills behind. The sea goes out a very long way with vast expanses of sand and sky with a thin line of sea on the horizon. I prefer Cornwall but this coast has a charm of its own.

This is a pencil sketch of nearby Brancaster Staithe, another salt marsh harbour done on a previous visit in April.

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Katherine said...

Nice sketches Viv - are you a convert to coloured pencils for sketching purposes then?

vivien said...

not totally! they are so much slower than my normal mixed media methods.

I think I enjoy them most when I want to do studies of small things on a small scale

I really do like them though