Sketchbook Walk

I decided to potter around my own garden as I would like to make changes in it so thought it was a good idea to go out and study it. It is quite overgrown in places and the wildness appealed to me. There’s an ongoing battle, us against nature, which I thought would be interesting to document.

My first image is where the gazebo used to be and where some container plants had been moved temporarily. I am investigating this theme of human absence at the moment so this sketch appealed to me on that level too.

patio and plants in pencil


I chose this primarily for the composition, the different shapes, the round pots against the geometric bricks, and the strong verticals of the budding plants. This lacks a bit of depth too, and I found it challenging to fit everything in. Only afterwards I thought perhaps the image lacked colour.

I realised I should use more colour so decided to use watercolour pencils. I really did not like the drawing so used a paint brush to water them down somewhat. I did not like the effect of this either to I decided to draw back into with an ink pen.

Photo 06-07-2017, 11 22 33
picnic bench in watercolour pencils and ink pen

Adding the ink improved it, I like the verticals from the trees and the cross angles from the picnic bench. This image appeals to me as, although the main subject is the picnic bench, it’s as if nature creeping slowly in to dominate. The bench works well to divide the background from the foreground, and thus the different textures are also divided. The resulting composition is more interesting than I imagined, due to all of the differing lines.

My third drawing I drew a pile of grass my husband made in the front garden. I picked it because I thought it was a bit of a different image but when drawing it I really hated it!

haystack in coloured pencils

Whilst the hay pile was the most interesting to draw, there was a lot of grass going on in the view and it was hard to distinguish between the foreground and the middleground. I really detested drawing the back shrubs and trees. Sometimes the minutiae of detail irritates me as it did here. I think the background looks quite childlike so I scribbled vertical lines over it to make it recede. This is not a great sketch although the verticals may add a bit of interest.

The weather has been so overcast of late that everything looks dark and depressing, even though it is summer it has been dark skies. This probably has influenced my mood somewhat, maybe I am expressing my dissatisfaction with the weather!

My final image is a small shot of the birdhouse and the stone wall which I like, with one of my favourite plants, the cordyline.

birdhouse and garden wall in coloured pencils

Although the drawing isn’t particularly skillful, I like the horizontal lines of the walls echoing the horizontals of the fence. These lines are broken up by the foliage and the main focus, the birdhouse. There doesn’t seem to be much depth here, I’m not sure the middle ground of the plants on top of the wall is well represented, I would say it is lacking depth.

For all of these images the sky has been overcast, when it wasn’t raining so light direction wasn’t really an issue here. I have chosen different patterns, juxtaposed verticals and horizontals and tried to create interesting compositions. Not my finest work


4 thoughts on “Sketchbook Walk

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