another sketch in greenwich park

A solid blanket of grey clouds this morning made the light in the park less than inspiring. But after all my big talk yesterday, I was determined not to wimp out of drawing a bit of landscape without using my standard crutch of having one big central thing in the foreground filling the whole page.

I’m so used to using landscape to frame buildings and close-up trees, that it was hard for me to pick out a good alternative composition. (Figuring out what to draw must be half the battle.) In some of his drawings, Philip Reeve used the boundaries of fields as compositional lines (here, for example), so after walking across the whole park, I ended up using layers of footpaths for my leading lines.

I got very frustrated drawing this. I didn’t really know what I was doing, particularly with the trees. When they’re too small to pick out individual leaves – just little cotton balls – I’m not sure what kinds of lines to use to set out the different shapes, and it feels like I’m just scrabbling around. There were some lovely willows in the centre, but I didn’t really capture their downward-hanging branches; they just look a bit muddled. I really need to get some books of landscape drawing and actually take them along with me, so I can use them for reference while I’m drawing.

That’s the Millennium Dome and Greenwich Power Station in the background. Quite a few little dogs came over and made studies of me when they saw me sitting in the grass. I should get some tips from Alex Milway, he trained first as a landscape painter and he has a gorgeous canvas he’s working on sitting in the middle of his front room. Speaking of which, Alex is the key organiser for the Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival on 23 Oct, and bookings are now open! Lots of free workshops, author readings, comics, fun to be had. (Do you like my dinosaur poster?)

I just spotted this great animation over on the FPI blog, by Lane Smith (creator of The Happy Hocky Family and loads more):

YouTube link – It’s a Book, by Lane Smith

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the Super Comics Adventure Squad blog, the DFC team keeps popping up with loads of amazing stuff, including several new drawings by Monkey NutsLorenzo Etherington.

A bit quiet in the studio today. Lauren and Ellen are off at the Prince’s Garden Party again. This time Lauren brought along her giant squid.

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