Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sketching in Val di Chio

Lamy pen and wash with W&N Sepia ink

This week Sarah and I walked and sketched along the Old Mills Trail in the Val di Chio. Sarah has a post graduate interest in the ancient Etruscan waterways of the valley and her art is influenced by all things Etruscan.

Sarah sketching

Sadly we didn't find any old mills still standing but we did find grape vines growing in the traditional manner wrapped around the trunks of maples.

Lamy pen & watercolour - Canson 17.5 x 24 cm sketchbook

I'm still having trouble getting anything but very diluted colour with my waterbrush. Next time I think I 'll try the coloured pencil approach inspired by Katherine Tyrrell's lovely drawing in a vineyard not far from here.

Old stone structure in Val de Chio

I had to balance on a rock in the stream to take the photo above, so I didn't risk a sketch.

All sketches look a little drab here because I've had to scan the sketches because the light isn't great for photographs at the moment. Does anyone else have disappointing results with scans?


Anonymous said...

I love these monochrome sketches Robyn! The sepia is beautiful. A great one of Sarah captured those nonchalant feet well!

Joan said...

Nice job on those new vines! I love how they wrap around the base and sprout in such lovely directions. I find the waterbrush has its advantages and disadvantages. It is hard to get deep colors because you can't really control the amount of water coming out.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

How delightful for two friends to spend time walking and sketching together and in such wonderful countryside. Enjoyed the sepia artwork. Visited some of our local windmills this week with my granddaughter and boyfriend who were staying with us here in the Norfolk Broads. Photos on my blog.

dinahmow said...

Your sepia sketch is lovely.
I have lauded my water brush many times, but,yes, sometimes it's tricky to get intense colour. Have you tried something like Aquarelle pencils? I find they develop a good hue when wetted.
And scans? Now that I do have a scanner I'm dissappointed so I soldier on with the camera!

Toni said...

I don't think they are diluted. They are beautiful.

Water brushes are hard to control especially out in the field. the watercolor pencils just might work better for you.

We have vineyards near us and will have to check them out this fall when the grapes are ripe.

Robyn said...

Ronell, Thank you. I'm glad you noticed the feet. That's my favourite detail.

Joan - Thanks. I will eventually get control of the waterbrush, I'm sure.

Dinah - Thanks. I have tried watercolour pencils but find I like them without the water. I have this expensive little tin of watercolours I really must justify ;)

Joan S-C - You trip sounds great. I'll pop over to see your photos.

Toni - I'd love to see some grape paintings from you.

Adam Cope said...

dear robyn
interesting drawing of the vines btw
paint on


Paintings of Painters Painting : Drawings of Draughts-Persons Drawing

All levels welcome, from genius to absolute beginner.

I thought it might be fun to gather together a few of the images from 'Le Musée Imaginaire' (André Malraux). Images of paintings of painters painting or drawings of draughts-persons drawing. Painting holidays or painting workshops are great occasions to practice this subject.

Do you have an artwork of this type of subject? I'm going to create a static web page for these when I've done a 'round-up'. If you'd like to be included, why not send me a web-ready image (72 dpi - 500 pixels largest dimension) (to me at, and I'll include it. Don't forget to tell me your URL if you want a backlink. It could be fun to get all these images together. Pourquoi pas?

All levels welcome. Preferably your own work. Ongoing Project. Please spread the word & pass on the invitation! Everyone welcome.

See the growing collection here :
'Paintings of Painters Painting : Drawings of Draughts-Persons Drawing

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I don't think they're drab at all! Pen and ink always seems understated when you've been painting in colour or when you've been outside in nature's glorious technicolour.

But "less is more"! I think pen and ink really suits you.

Robyn said...

Adam - I'm honoured to be invited but I don't think I'm up to scratch yet with my people painting sketches. I'll keeping working on it.

Katherine - Thank you :) I hope you know you inspired me to sketch my friend Sarah, sketching.

Adam Cope said...

whenever you feel reday, pourquoi pas.

btw, some pen & ink tips to be found chez-moi under the pen & ink category,

you might thnk of using a wash of silvery tone to knock back the wwhite in all but the most essential places?

paint on.

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