Today my husband and I went sketching in The Walks, which is the big park in King’s Lynn. It’s a pleasant, leafy space well used by the population, and contains remnants of buildings and walls from Lynn’s medieval history. We chose to sketch the Red Mount, a tiny, red-brick chapel dating from 1483. It’s octagonal in shape, but I think that either the builders weren’t too careful in their maths, or that there have been ground movements over the centuries (or maybe both), as the angles definitely don’t have the precision we might expect if this design was being built today. This eccentricity certainly made it a challenge to sketch.
We looked in vain for a comfy bench, but ended up sitting on the grass, which had a bearing on how long we stayed. The light today was very flat. I knew at the outset that I wanted to show the surrounding trees, as a contrast to the red brick of the monument. A grey, cloudy sky meant that there wasn’t much in the way of contrasts of shadow or highlights, which did present a challenge when it came to trying to put some 3D shape into the building. When it came to adding the paint, I started with the sky, then the brickwork. The trees followed (the ones on the right are a bit bizarre) while the terracottas dried, then some more deepening of the brick colours, and finally the grass and path at the front of the scene. I finished off with some touches of the ubiquitous fineliner, just to sharpen up the stone edges of the Mount.
All in all it was a very pleasant sketching session, accompanied by the sounds of the local schoolchildren using the park for sports day. It’s not often you hear cheering when you sketch!