Saturday, 20 September 2014


I am never without my sketch book when I am away on holiday.  Sometimes, I just do not have the time to open it but it is there just in case!!!   I really get upset with myself because this is just a mundane excuse.  Of course there is time.  It only takes five minutes for a sketch.

I am going on holiday to France next Friday and will be in a huge nature conservation area.  Arriving at Bordeaux Airport and then finding one's way through traffic jams is apparently on the agenda.  We will survive!  The destination will be worth it.

Getting back to sketching.  If there is one thing I loathe, it is having an audience.   I tend to shut my book, stare fixedly into space until the intruders leave.  This is crazy.  There will always be the odd spectator. One thing I have discovered is that there are more people out there who do not , who cannot draw and have the utmost admiration for those that do.  Whilst sketching on the island of Crete, I was so absorbed that I hadn't been aware that a couple were watching my every line.  As I began to add watercolour to the sketch, I suddenly became aware of them.  I was about to shut the book in my usual way, when the man asked if he could buy the sketch as he really liked it.

Wow, what a compliment.  It gave me a lot more confidence and although I wasn't prepared to sell the sketch, we got chatting.  I gave them my card as they were interested in buying a painting of exactly that scene on Crete.  Unfortunately , other things took precedence and I never got around to painting a larger version of my sketch.

Good places to sketch are cafés and bars, particularly if you can find a nice secluded corner table with your back to the wall.  Another favourite of mine is a sea wall or rock.  You might get the odd really curious person but folk tend to leave you alone if they can't get behind you to look over your shoulder.  

 I am going to share with you one or two of my sketches of Crete.  Please take your sketchbooks with you wherever you go.  Sketching has a profound effect on your painting.  Perspective,  colour, everything improves the more you sketch.  Photographs are a great help but there is nothing like a sketch to indelibly imprint an image in your memory.

                        You can click on the images to enlarge them.