Working in the rain and snow: Hull Pot

The Yorkshire Dales are pocked by deep scars: chasms eroded out from beneath the limestone by running water.  There is an excitement in this landscape in which springs erupt unexpectedly out of rock, run a distance and descend again into dark sinks.  Everywhere, my walking was accompanied by sounds of accumulating snow-melt: gurgling, rushing and roaring.  I purposely planned my route to paint at two deep pot holes.

Hull pot (7 1)

The day was accompanied by drizzle veering into snow.  I set up to draw in these conditions using a large sheet of heavy textured watercolour paper folded into sixteen panels that would slide into a plastic protection.  I decided to experiment with soluble graphite and inktense watercolour pencils.  This way, I could snatch brief interludes in the weather, use the drizzle itself or ground water, and work with limited materials I could hold in my pockets.


This proved tricky.  I could indeed work into the snow-dampened paper and the falling flakes or drops added to the texture.  However, I had to work for just a minute or two or the whole thing would wash off.  Drying in my pocket, the adjacent surface lifted some of the pigments though also added to the textures. This then was the first sketch.

hull pot (7)

Only later, with the paper thoroughly dried, did I work again into this with conti crayon, watercolour and knife to create the image I wanted.

I am editing this post in response to a comment below to add links to my use of this folded paper approach, in case you are interested.

9 responses to “Working in the rain and snow: Hull Pot

      • I love your techniques and how generous you are sharing with us all!
        I do have a question about the folding of the paper…once the section is painted do you detach it and then reassemble the pieces? I got confused. The scene is also most inspiring.

      • Thanks for calling by and commenting.

        The original idea was that the whole sheet itself can form a piece of work. The panels are numbered and paired with a non-adjacent panel. I intended to create a single extended scene across two panels, hence the waterfall is on the edge of this piece, but rain stopped play as they say. Once the paper is refolded, one can staple the central fold and cut the long edges to create a book. Another way to use this is to use the collected images as a ground and paint over the lot as a studio piece. This is all about challenging ones sense of edge and what makes a finished piece. I have not done half of this though. On this day, the folded paper was a useful way of fitting it in my pocket, having used the last page in my sketch pad.

        I will edit the post to include two links to my using this before.

  1. Pingback: Biting the paper (II) | kestrelart

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  3. Wow, I’m impressed by your determination to draw/paint under such conditions! Thanks for the idea of the 16 page book – I’ll have a go and see what I can come up with.

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