Mendocino Sketch-trip

Last weekend, Julia and I went up to the North coast on a sketching trip. I’ll have some more pics to post later but to begin with, here is a beaten down old truck we stumbled on towards the outskirts of the lovely little town of Mendocino.

The weather was beautiful & sunny, and despite occasional gusts of strong coastal wind, we both got a lot of sketching done, and had a wonderful time together.

My creative goal for the weekend was to think and draw tonally rather than with lines, as I normally do. This does not come naturally to me but it is something I must train myself to do. I worked all weekend in water-colour, using a great new set of colours Julia had given me (my old set is not very good and utterly thrashed, besides) and even when I did lay down some lines on paper, I was attempting to describe areas of shade rather than edges of objects. The use of AQUARELLES meant that whatever line-work I put on paper very quickly dissolved under my brush and forced me to think tonally again.

A few times, the wind was so harsh that it sucked the fun out of sitting outside and we were not able to finish the sketches on site. We each took some photos of our subjects and finished off some details later that same evening, in the comfort of our cosy hotel. In general, I don’t care for drawings done from photos, I personally find they can seem sterile, but I must admit that using them as part of a “data gathering” mission enabled us to do a lot more sketching in a short amount of time than we normally do. And, as the drawing and observations of the light patterns was always done on site, using the photo as a memory jog later on, maybe it wasn’t cheating too much…

2 thoughts on “Mendocino Sketch-trip”

    • Thanks, Eric. Yes, it was a wonderful trip. In fact, we were thinking of going up that way again and maybe as part of a group next time. So maybe you could join us!

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