Friday, December 9, 2011

Sketchbook Journeys - Ireland: Days 11-13

I took way too many art supplies with me when I went to Ireland, just like I do for every trip. I always have such high hopes of all that I'll accomplish: "Oooh, I might want to try out those colored pencils! And I just might need that spatter screen and all those drawing pencils in various hardnesses. And I'm sure I'll use that set of markers." Then reality hits when I'm in the midst of my vacation and for days I haven't had time to do anything more than jot down a quick pencil sketch.

So, I thought I'd show you what I actually used when I was on location in Ireland. I took a watercolor set with 18 pans of color which I had filled with Winsor & Newton and American Journey watercolor paints. I like having a decent sized mixing area and a nice selection of colors to work with, so this size works well for me. I usually sketched with either a mechanical pencil, or a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Pen with Superfine nib. Often, I did a preliminary pencil sketch to make sure my proportions and perspective were okay, then inked the lines with my Noodler's Flex Nib Fountain Pen and added some details. I always carry a kneaded eraser or two, plus a stick eraser. I took several regular paint brushes along and used a few of them, but mostly I just pulled out the water brush you see in the picture above. Now that I know that I can get by with just the basics, I wonder if I'll be able to control myself when I'm packing for my next trip. Hmmm, probably not.

I mentioned Kylemore Abbey in yesterday's post. While we were there, I picked up a few fall leaves and pressed them in a guidebook we had along, so I could use them later in this collage.

Collage, watercolor, 7" x 10"

(Click on any of the pictures to see a larger view.)

Our traveling companions added so much to our enjoyment of our week-long tour with Driftwood Tours. All four of us kept saying over and over how thankful we were that we all liked each other. We can't imagine how the trip could have been any better.

Collage, watercolor, marker, 7" x 10"

After saying goodbye to our friends, we were on our own again. We stayed near Galway that evening and got a kick out of people-watching as we walked along the Promenade.

Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x 10"

Because a hurricane was on its way, the winds were fierce, and some good-sized swells were crashing into the old diving platform at Salthill. It was half submerged, but people were still jumping off of it into the turbulent waters of Galway Bay. Those Irish are hardy souls!

Detail of Salthill diving platform

Another page of text...

Heading east toward Dublin from the west coast, we drove through County Tipperary. I wanted to paint one final picture of the gorgeous green fields before we returned to the city, so I sketched this one.

Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x 10"

I thought it would be fun to surround the sketch with a border of frolicking sheep and an Irish stone wall.

Detail of County Tipperary

Only one more day to go, then it's back home again!

1 comment:

  1. What a delight to see these pages. I chuckled as soon as I saw the photo of your palette and few writing utensils -- I have that same palette as well as the blue flex pen. Also, I could really relate to your description of taking too many art supplies. I have the same weakness .... because "I just might need this thing too".

    I'm also learning more about Ireland through your pages and getting more of an interest in going back (we were limited to a 3-day weekend, most of which was in Dublin).

    Thanks for sharing your pages, the info, and your enthusiasm for Ireland.


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