waterways projected revisited (at last) and playing with Neocolour II and Inktense

Ros, June 08, sketching along the canal at Aylestone. conte pencil. Vivien Blackburn
On Monday I went sketching along the canal at Aylestone with Ros - sketch of her above, working hard.
It was lovely to be out and a friendly little robin shared our lunches and spent the afternoon virtually on our feet and perched on the bench I was sitting on :>)
.... and of course I didn't have my camera.
It was a lovely warm, still afternoon and everything was lush and green. Along the bank in front of us the seed heads on the grasses were a pinky mauve colour and there were white clover flowers.
We were near a lock and boats occasionally arrived to tie up while they operated the lock gates and went on their way and occasional walkers passed by. The robin stayed throughout :>)

The canal at Aylestone, the curves and ridges of medieval strip farming are still visible in the field on the other side. Plein air Pencil sketch. Vivien Blackburn

This was the first sketch I did using a mechanical pencil - it's ok for the light and the information I need is there - but it's a bit grey for me and I don't find it as interesting as using colour. I was quite pleased with the shine on the water and the reflections and ripples.

small experiments with inktense pencils and neocolor II pencils

I'd ordered some inktense pencils - and as I can't find my Neocolor II's I gave in and bought some more. They arrived and I had the little play above, working from the pencil sketch. I like colour! I'm enjoying using them. The inktense aren't as waterproof when dry as they seem to claim - they do still lift and muddy other colours.

The canal at Aylestone, with the ridges and furrows of the medieval strip farming system still visible in the form of the field opposite. Inktense, Neocolor II. Vivien Blackburn

This was done from the pencil sketch, changing elements a little and finding out what the inktense and Neocolour II will do when used together. I like the fact that you can get very subtle colours out of them as well as deep vivid tones.

Some of my students liked the pencil sketch better and others the coloured version - what do you think?

I like the coloured one best.



Rose Welty said…
Vivien, interesting question...seems to me that both mediums invoke different moods and both are nicely done. My totally subjective opinion is that the pencil sketch invokes the medieval mood or feel better, so I like that one.
vivien said…
an interesting point Rose - the Victorian canal cut through the original fields and there is a small stream as well as a river and canal so the area is a flood plain. There is an ancient packhorse bridge there as well.

In fact loads of bridges! Victorian, medieval and modern
Lindsay said…
One of my favorite subjects!...waterways. You certainly have a way with reflections in any media.
dinahmow said…
I love the pencil sketch!Especially the watery feel of it.
The coloured one is fine, too, as a trial sketch, but I missed the ripples! Maybe you were not "doing" water movement in this?
For what it's worth (not much!) I sometimes use Aquarelles, dry and as water colour and like their softness.And they seem to retain colour as I know of some that have been around for more than 20 years in frames on walls.
vivien said…
Thanks Lindsay and Dinah

It was good to know about the lighfastness :>)

Yes the second one was simply to see how the media worked and I didn't go so much for the ripples - being a canal there isn't much flow but passing moorhens and breezes did keep creating patterns of movement.

I'm hoping to get out with Ros and Glen again next week and do some more work :>)
Chris Bellinger said…
Have just done a quick sketch with neocolr and a edding pen, as you can see on my Blog1
it is from memory and of newlyn Lighthouse, so there is a Cornish connect.
loved your sketches.
I like those little ones best - guess why!
laura said…
I absolutely love the quick inktense sketches--the colors, the movement, the energetic feel of them; and marsh grasses are a favorite subject too! Tough choice between the pencil and color sketches--there's a different feel to each, but I especially like in the color one that the water is left mostly colorless!
vivien said…
Katherine - conversations about greens spring to mind!!!! those blue greens that you love so much :>D

Chris I'm off to have a look at your Cornish sketches :>) - I'm hoping to go down to Sennen Cove in September - an area that I've never stayed in and don't know as well. so I'm quite excited about it :>) - near to the Great Atlantic Mapworks Gallery and St Ives and Penzance for the galleries too!

Laura thanks :>) I liked that - the light constantly changed but when it was really still there was that large expanse of shine
Sandy said…
Both look good Vivien, but my preference is for the pencil sketch. Very nice!
vivien said…
thanks Sandy :>)
caseytoussaint said…
I like both of these - but am instinctively drawn to color, and you've handled it beautifully here! I also recently cracked for a set of inktense and what you've done here is really inspiring me to get to work!
vivien said…
I look forward to seeing what you do with the Inktense Casey - you use watercolour so well. I only bought a set of 5 to try them out.

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