Milling Around

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.

Heygates tombow

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 toΒ  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.


20 thoughts on “Milling Around

    • Haha, art supplies are undoubtedly a drain on home economy! πŸ™‚ I’ve found the Tombow colours in the basic set I bought are quite vivid, so not necessarily great for every subject, but there are some things I think they are brilliant for – this type of shading being one. They come in different sized packs, but you can buy just the black one from Amazon for about Β£3, which I don’t think’s too bad, especially if you would like to test how they behave before investing more. I’d love to see how you get on with them. πŸ™‚

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