Here are three small sketches from a walk across fields last weekend. They were started in the open air, using conte crayon, water and cool grey brushpen, and reworked at home with layers of crayon, watercolour, white gouache and knife. They are done in the smallest size Moleskine notebook, about A7.
I have been following s series of tree sketches by outsideauthority which stimulated me to think again how to capture their form. On this walk, there are no unbroken woodlands, but rather narrow lines of trees following the ditches and tracks. I stood on a wooden bridge like a troll’s lair in the gloom of the branches and looked out into the open fields beneath a heavy winter sky.
For the second picture, I looked back along the track I had walked, marked by single trees overhanging the hedgerows. I overworked the pleine aire sketch with successive layers. The knife proved the most effective tool and I, at least, like the dynamism of the heavily worked surface. However, in the lower part of the tree, I should have scored the paper vertically across (not following) the main branches, to capture the sense of the upward growing peripheral twigs in three dimensions.
I forgot to make a record of the third field sketch. Here is the finished, somewhat unsatisfactory, piece. The path crested a low hill and the descent was marked by trees clinging on to the eroding soil.