A few months ago I purchased a copy of Sketchbook Explorations by Shelley Rhodes, which is an excellent book, particularly if you enjoy mixed media work. Of the many wonderful ideas in the book, the notion of sketching (or mark-making) when you are out on a walk, really appealed to me. Shelley Rhodes calls her pieces ‘Walk Sketches’ and pre-prepares very long, thin strips to take out with her – the linear nature linked to the nature of a walk. I decided to prepare a much larger piece of paper, just so that I could cut and fold it when it was finished. Before I left I stuck random scraps of mixed papers over the background to create interest and texture.
I intended to walk across the fields opposite our cottage, but in fact only walked to the end of this track – there was so much to draw! I used a black Caran d’Ache Neocolor water soluble pastel, another thing that was recommended to me but stayed in the tin! Interestingly, although it says ‘water soluble’ on the tin, in the leaflet inside it states that they are ‘water resistant’ – I was keen to have a go! I just recorded, very loosely, the things I could see around me – stony ground, bare hedge, brambles, fir tree copse – drawing on the background and the patches.
I then washed it across with a mixture of pale green brusho and walnut ink, the pastels smearing beautifully with the water. I’ve photographed it wet, picking out some smaller sections. I will in time work into it some more, but keeping the naturalness of the marks and colours.