I spent a relaxing holiday in lovely Dorset last week, and while my batteries have fully recharged while I was enjoying walking on cliff tops, through forests full of wild rhododendrons, eating fish & chips at the seaside, a great National Trust day out, and many more things, they seem to be already drained again. But anyway.
Of course I took my sketchbook with me, but I ended up not really doing much sketching at all. But I got two done, at least. One sketch I did on the train, using a black Bic pen. It's a bit of a bumpy ride at times, so getting a straight line was even more of a challenge than getting a straight line in itself already is, but it made the two hours from Woking to Dorchester pass quickly.
N. and me are not much of the going out type, we're usually out and about all day, and then are too tired in the evening to do anything else than flop on the sofa and all attempts to go out never came to anything and it was all beginning to become a bit of a joke. So when N. announced that he had arranged a night out for us, and on a Saturday night too, I must admit I was very intrigued, and a little bit worried, especially as he absolutely refused to tell me where we were going. What could he possibly have come up with? After all, the possibilities in Dorchester are somewhat limited. Well, I needen't have worried, because it was a great evening out. N. had got tickets for Mat Ricardo, "gentleman juggler", at the Corn Exchange, part of this year's Art Festival. It was just amazing, an hour full of fun, stories and history, and of course stunning juggling tricks. If you ever have a chance to see him, do! You won't regret it.
Apart from a range of pens and pencils, I also took some coloured penciles with me this time. I haven't used them for ages, but I'm trying to explore them a bit more. Most of all, I'm still looking for the ideal travel sketching set with mediums that are easy to carry, versatile, and fun to use. Last time I sketched on the train to Dorchester, I spent half of the journey watching my watercolour paints dry. And you have to remember to empty your little water spray bottle before boarding the plane, and to refill it again after landing. And although they're very handy, I'm just not a great fan of those plastic water reservoir reservoir brushes, I just prefer proper real brushes. I just bought a fancy little travel watercolour brush in England, though, so I still hope to use watercolours more often for outdoor and travel sketching. But coloured pencils definitely are an option that need some more testing.
And then of course there's the Bic ballpoint pens. I really don't know why I haven't discovered them earlier, they are absolutely wonderful for sketching. So smooth, and such gorgeous fine lines. And I like the fact that the red one is a nice dark red, and not the bright red I had expected (feared) to be. And then I found those beautiful "fashion colours" at a shop in England, perfect for summer. They're slightly thicker (1.6) than the normal ones (1.0), but still make nice lines. Bics are definitely going to be a part of my sketching basics.
Back home from the much more agreeable temperatures in England, summer is now arriving here, and temperatures are rising, getting close to 30°C today, and over 30°C over the weekend. I'm not a summer person at all, and I'm not looking forward to the heat, and I'll be glad when summer's over and autumn will bring cooler temperatures. But there a couple of things that I'm looking forward to this summer, one of them being Summer of Color 4: Smudge, Splash & Pop, hosted by Kristin. I participated for the first time last year, and it's one of the few challenges that I actually completed. And thoroughly enjoyed. It was a great experience to use colours and colour combinations that I wouldn't have used, and really liked how my paintings turned out. You can see my posts from last year here, and read more about this year's Summer of Color and how to participate here. The first colour prompt will be up on Monday, 9th of June. Don't miss the fun!
And lastly, I'm going to link up with Paint Party Friday, even though technically speaking, I haven't done any painting at all. But it's been ages since I joined the party, and I can't wait to see what everyone's been up to.