A change is as good as a rest

I spend quite a bit of time sketching in Manchester and as a result, can get a little overloaded with the cityscape!  So, as this last weekend was the last chance I would have, before the Urban Sketching Symposium in Manchester (#USkManchester2016), I decided upon a different environment for my sketching and headed off to the south Lakes, around lake Windermere. Recently I have been doing specific commissions and this has meant that the fast and quick sketches, that are going to be the order of the day for the symposium, have taken a back seat.  Therefore, in this first week of my own personal sketching practice countdown to the symposium I decided to let myself in gently (although the voice in my head is shouting very loudly: Don’t panic Mr Mannering!!).  My only restriction was that I would spend less than 45 minutes, and ideally 30 minutes, producing each sketch (including colour and some text); these could be paint first or otherwise as long as the sketch was completed apart from all the writing.  The mix was that of landscape/buildings and people.  I cheated a bit (a couple had colour added later although it took less than 5-10 minutes), but it made me realise that I have some work to do in these next 3 weeks!  Here are the results:

Both these two Windermere sketches below were colour first although on the people in the rain sketch I added more colour after line.  The right hand one took to the limit of my time because of the detail although in general, adding colour fist seems to make me a little faster.  The downside is waiting for the paint to dry!


The top two of this set of 3  were paint first and were completed in the timeframe apart from the main text which was added separately.  The bottom one was paint after linework (it took quite a bit longer -15 minutes more).   2016-07-04_0002.jpg

Of course its important to capture people in action when you are an urban sketcher so managed to find a cafe and a pub to do some people sketching!  Both these last two were completed in 30 minutes each or less but for the right hand one I added colour later (I intended to keep it black and white but changed my mind!).  The process is Line work; darks; colour.


Needless to say that practice is going to be the order of the day for the next few weeks leading up to the symposium where I am going to be  one of the 4 correspondents!  I will try to update you as I go, even if its just in images on social media and will also be completing the last 3 of my full countdown sketches of Manchester City Centre.  I will post a full blog on all of these more detailed sketches too.



One thought on “A change is as good as a rest

  1. I have so enjoyed your sketches of Manchester and look forward to seeing all those places in person next month. Love these village drawings too. As I am looking for a “country/village” day trip after the Symposium, would you recommend Hawkshead as a possibility? It appears to be easily reached by train from Manchester, correct? Thank you very much, see you soon.

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