Last Friday, my husband intimated that he was up for a bit of sketching, in or around our local haunt, Downham Market. He suggested a few options, but I had somewhere very specific already in mind, and when I suggested it, he agreed it had potential.
I’ve been eyeing up Heygates Flour Mill for some time. It’s a collection of industrial buildings and stores which have evidently been multiplying over many years as technology in the milling industry has developed. The result is a jostling scene of high towers, squat warehouses and silos made from a selection of industrial materials. To cap it all, there’s a good vantage point for sitting and sketching across the Great Ouse river, and hardly any passers-by. We packed up and went. This time we were in situ by 9.45, which meant that there were still some interesting shadows to observe, and that was a definite plus.
I opted for simple – a smooth sketchbook, fineliner and black Tombow and waterbrush. The aim was to produce a picture similar in flavour (although a very different scene) to my sketch of Besalu, which I’d really enjoyed making.
There was a lot of challenging stuff in this sketch, from the perspective and angles of the buildings and silos, to trying to find a formula to represent all the cars parked in front of the site, without drawing each one individually. No way was that on the menu!
At first I was afraid (I was petrified!) that I’d positioned the buildings too far to the right for the picture to be balanced, but once I had the bushes drawn in everything settled down, especially as I was able to get some good darks in the foliage with the Tombow. I really enjoy the way that you can use the waterbrush to pick up a little paint from a dark area to add in lighter tones elsewhere. It feels very spontaneous.
All in all, I’m happy with this sketch – a change is as good as a rest, they say. I think that must be true.