Winter En Plein Air

Tricia Johnson sitting on the grass sketching outside.
Me sketching.......outside!

Here on the South Coast, Winter isn't too bad. Wet, yes sometimes very wet! But when it's clear (and sunny) it is lovely.

During this year (with COVID restrictions in place) I have taken more walks out, either locally or to local woods and countryside, than I would normally have time for.

In this blog I'm going talk about small very portable kit. So for those who want to start taking a sketchbook out, but don't want to specifically go out to sketch. If you want to know more about my larger sketching kit I've discussed this in a previous blog. (Find it here)

Before I talk about the kit I take let me just remind you about taking care walking out on your own and especially in Winter weather.

I always take my mobile phone. You will see I also have a hat and some lovely fingerless gloves I can wear while sketching. I take tissues, both to clean my fingers on after sketching and for a good nose blow! Make sure you take a drink and possibly a snack, you can be out much longer than you expect once you start stopping to sketch.

And don't forget suitable clothing for the weather. (Or the predicted weather, better to wear a coat and have to take it off than not and get wet and cold).

For Summer sketching I suggest something to sit on (maybe a blanket), but for Winter sketching it's all too much to carry and who wants to sit in the cold for too long sketching anyway?

Click on image to enlarge.

This is about keeping your kit small for quick sketching. So you could just go with your favourite pencil and an A6 sketchbook.

But this is what I've been taking out with me:

- A hardcover sketchbook. They are easier to rest on and sketch in than softcover sketchbooks.

- Clips to hold my pages down.

- I have 2 pencils in a pencil holder, so I can do quick loose sketches if I just want to capture shapes. Plus a random coloured pencil that made it into the bottom of my bag!

- I then have a little metal tin with tiny odds and ends in. This tin can slip in a coat pocket or into my bag.

- I carry a little spray bottle of water just in case. I can use this to clean my hands/fingers with or to spray on my page when using the water-soluble graphite. I don't have a brush, but use my fingers to move the graphite across my page.

So what's in my tin?

- ArtGraf block, this is a water-soluble graphite.

- Small sticks of charcoal and Conte pastel.

- I have some tiny 'nubs' of oil pastels. But I haven't used these as much as I thought I would.

- Rubbers. I have a putty rubber, but I also have 2 'plastic/vinyl' type rubbers which I use a lot. I have 2 as I tend to lose these easily!

So here are a selection of images from my sketchbook over the past couple of months:

Have fun sketching and Blog you later....


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