Something I really enjoyed last year was drawing more. I love drawing and have not done an awful lot since leaving college (which is a mere 16 years ago!). It is something I come back to time and again, usually feeling very rusty!
Following the Urban Sketchers blog has been very inspiring and I find it keeps drawing in my mind, which is great. It was also there that I saw advertised a Craftsy class in travel sketching with Marc Taro Holmes, whose work I admire greatly. The class was half price (hooray!) so I signed up, not sure what I would get out of it.
It was great! Very inspiring, with simple techniques. I also loved that I could do it from my sofa - I don't have time to draw during the day but in the short time between the kids' bedtimes and my bedtime when I am usually too exhausted to do anything else, sitting on the sofa and watching a class seemed manageable, and after watching the class I felt totally inspired to draw and paint.
I thought I would share some of the drawings I made here. Above is a view from the top of our hill, drawn from a photo taken in the summer, of Sliabh an Iarainn. (More on the mountain later.) I used Mark's method of making a very quick 5-7 line drawing, sketching out the various layers of landscape, and then adding some tone using ink.
I found this scene really difficult to depict using pen and ink - there was so little variation in tone and what is one of my favourite views just looked like a vague scribble. Adding colour helped a lot. I'm not massively fond of the result, but it was a good exercise in how to tackle a difficult subject. Marc's comments were very helpful too. He is great at responding to questions - I would really recommend the class!
Sliabh an Iarainn translates as the iron mountain - iron was mined there for a long time. The Tuatha Dé Danann, (a mythical race of warriors) are supposed to have landed there in their boats. (At 585m high they must have had some pretty amazing flying boats.) They subsequently went on to have a famous battle with the Formorians not far from here at Moytura.
I love being able to see this special mountain from our hill, it is like an anchor drawing your eye in when you walk up there, and there is something about it that feels like home to me. I would love to do some drawings of how it looks at other times during the year. Maybe this year!