This was a rather lovely way to spend a Wednesday afternoon in late October; great weather, swimming, beach tennis and a sketching opportunity provided by splendid company.
I joined the Vejer Sketchers in the castle for another life drawing session on Sunday morning, easily one of the coldest days we’ve had this winter.
Our model valiantly disrobed and while we drew, swathed in hats, scarfs and woollens, she patiently posed with a couple of meagre heaters and a hot water bottle to ward off the chill. Brave and generous to a fault.
All sketches charcoal and chalk pastel.
The model we’d booked to sit for us couldn’t get her car started but luckily found us a splendid last minute stand-in and all went well until our half time coffee break in a local bar…
We returned to the castle to find ourselves locked out with all our equipment still inside. It took a fair amount of door thumping and shouting to attract the attention of the key toting tour guide inside.
All in all a very enjoyable if slightly chaotic morning. It was the first outing for my pastels too, I love the intensity of the colours, the granular texture and the smooth way they go on…I’m looking forward to conducting more experiments with them soon…
Late last year (2014) I was delighted to be invited to join Arte Vejer, a community organisation which aims to promote visual arts and creativity in and around the Andalusian town of Vejer de la Frontera.
The sketching enthusiasts, from various walks of life, of different nationalities and ages, meet once a week; usually to draw in the streets of Vejer, sometimes joined by sketchers from other towns,
sometimes traveling to join sketch groups in other locations,
life drawing with a model,
or even drawing each other.
In this Arte Vejer video, which features stills of some of my pre-Sketchers artwork, I talk (in Spanish) about my New Year’s Resolution to join the Vejer Sketchers, saying that street sketching in a group is brave and interesting and a great contrast to my usual controlled method of drawing and developing images in my studio with photos for reference.
Actually, the Vejer Sketchers experience has surpassed all my expectations; the group dynamic is incredibly friendly and supportive and diffuses the potential self-consciousness associated with drawing in public places (safety in numbers!).
I’ve enjoyed painting with watercolours since I was a child and the Vejer Sketchers have inspired me to try new techniques and different formats – my confidence, speed, motivation and skill have all improved.
Come and join us if you can!