thunderheads and stubble …

Stormy skies & stubble field

Stormy skies & stubble field � Mari French 2016

A few sketchbook spreads from a recent day sat at the edge of a local harvested barley field. I’d passed it earlier in the day on my way back from shopping, so when I got home I threw my sketch bag in the car and shot straight back (about 3 miles from home).

Dark impressive storm clouds were towering on the horizon. It was very humid, with bees buzzing, crows calling in a nearby field, warm wind, skylarks. Thunderheads massing but then dispersing away over the fields. Bronze stubble. 

Decided I’d try to be a bit looser than my usual watercolour sketches, so I used ink, gouache, posca paint pens and tried to evoke the movement of the wind and the birds and insects over the field.

Stormy skies & stubble field � Mari French 2016

Stormy skies & stubble field � Mari French 2016


Thunderheads over stubble field � Mari French 2016

Thunderheads over stubble field � Mari French 2016

 

 

 

Sun & storm clouds (ii)…

Stormy sky towards Thornham

Stormy sky towards Thornham. © Mari French 2016

On my second recent sketching trip to Thornham Saltmarsh, I wanted to try out my new Posca paint pens with gouache and ink, as a change from the watercolours I normally use outdoors. 

I encountered Posca pens for the first time back in January on the Emily Ball workshop I attended in Cambridge, but this was the first time I’ve used them out sketching. They come in a range of colours and types of nib/width etc and at first look like felt markers. However, what I particularly like about them is their ability to be used over other colours without losing their clarity (see the fine blue lines and the white thicker ones in the sketch above). They seem to combine well with gouache, but I’ve seen them used effectively on acrylics, collage and so on.

Although the yellow rape had gone over, you could still detect its balmy, honeyed, slightly medicinal aroma along the raised paths around the marsh. Many other wildflowers were out – purple mallow, yellow rattle, white clover, ox-eye daisies, cow parsley and the stunning blue chicory,  with sea lavender blushing the marsh with mauve.

Butterflies flickered along the margins of the paths (one landed on my sketch), and many plants were studded with tiny button-like snails. The wind rustling through the reedbeds and the grasses emphasised the peace and quiet.

Ragged Marsh. © Mari French 2016

Ragged Marsh. © Mari French 2016

 

Hot day, windy with skylarks and jets. © Mari French 2016

Hot day, windy with skylarks and jets. © Mari French 2016

I didn’t walk as far as the beach this time, but spent an hour observing and sketching the weather over the marsh. From distant Thornham village, acrid woodsmoke drifted in, giving rise to the brownish smudge on the abstract sketch above. A jet zipped through the sky ripping it open, but the skylarks continued spiralling upwards casting their songs into the air.

Chicory, Holme dunes. © Mari French 2016

Chicory, Holme dunes. © Mari French 2016

 

Bench & signpost. © Mari French 2016

Bench & signpost. © Mari French 2016


Sketchbook © Mari French 2016

Sketchbook © Mari French 2016


Sketch in gouache and Posca pen © Mari French 2016

Sketch in gouache and Posca pen © Mari French 2016

 

Sketch in gouache, ink and Posca pen. © Mari French 2016

Sketch in gouache, ink and Posca pen. © Mari French 2016

 

 

… and mud, stones and sand

More playing around in my workbook this week after an overcast, misty and very cold trip up to Burnham Overy Marsh on the north Norfolk coast earlier in the week.

 

Workbook mixed media sketch © Mari French 2015

Workbook mixed media sketch © Mari French 2015

Workbook mixed media sketch © Mari French 2015

Workbook mixed media sketch © Mari French 2015