I've spent the weekend working through Shari Blaukopf's landscape class, painting alongside her instructions and demonstrations and finishing the various landscape practice pieces that I've started last week. Since I just wanted to learn and practice, I have used her reference images/paintings, rather than finding my on. But now hopefully, I'll be ready for some outdoor sketching on my holiday in England. Maybe I'd better practice some "rainy skies" before I leave next week!
Because the class jumped between the different paintings, and because all of mine were in the same sketchbook, I always had to wait a bit for them to dry, before continuing on an other one. So I decided to sketch some of my watercolour brushes in my other sketchbook. I'm trying to put together a good selection of brushes, and thanks to the class, I've rediscovered some old brushes I had lying around, like the big squirrel mop brushes, perfect for skies. As you can see, there's space left for some more brushes that I want to add to the collection, like a rigger and a dagger brush. And another #6 brush with a proper point, because the one I have just doesn't want to form one. Luckily, they're already waiting for me at Ns.
I've also kept up my daily drawing. Well, almost daily. There are days when, for whatever reason, I don't get a sketch done. But then, on other days, I do more than one, so it all works out in the end. I'm using different mediums, whatever just feels right for the moment, to catch something of the day on paper. On Sunday, I had sweet potatoes for the second in my life (the last time was over 20 years ago) and the first time I cooked them myself (but not the last time). I made myself go to the cafeteria at lunch time to try and sketch some people. There were two men absorbed with their phones, but they left soon after, and I only got one of them on paper. A quick pen and ink sketch of parts of my breakfast before work, and a lunch time sketch of some beautifully twisted trees in a picnic area on the campus. I even added the watercolour when I was there, which is a bit of a big thing for me. Even though I've been carrying my watercolour box with me to work every day for the past three weeks or so, I usually end up just making a pen and ink drawing, and then adding the watercolour later, at home. I'm taking it very slowly to get used to sketching outside.
Also a good tool for sketching outside, especially when you don't have much time, is a brush pen. I've had a couple of them for a while but am only now discovering how great they are to use.
It's going to be a busy weekend, with household chores, laundry and packing. But hopefully some drawing too, especially as it is going to be another rainy day on Sunday. Then two more days at work, and then, finally, it's time for my holiday. I've already prepared a page in my sketchbook, with places we've visited, places we're hopefully going to visit, and lots of space to add more places. And of course I hope to fill many more pages in my sketchbooks.