For a while I have been torn between using loose watercolour paper to create my sketches and recording in sketchbooks. There are pros and cons and as an urban sketcher with an interest in telling chronological stories through drawing, I have often worked in sketchbooks (moleskine, Stillman and Birn, SeaWhite, Handbook) and most often at A5 size for its portability. For me, the issue with using that approach alone is three-fold: one is the size is arguably a little small (although of course you can buy larger size sketchbooks, but then there is the size and weight!) ; secondly creating prints from them is not always straightforward. The third is that because work for prints was in my sketchbook, I was getting tighter and more precious with my sketchbook work (which is the opposite of what I want!). For commissions I am most often using larger watercolour paper on board so recently I have taken to using paper rather than just sketchbooks as a matter of course. I use paper for drawings of scenes that may perhaps be sold as prints, they are most often complex scenes with buildings, entourage and people combined. Because the loose visual diary approach is also very important, this is what I use my sketchbooks for now. They enable me to create more eclectic, arguably more messy and experimental pages that tell a story (but might not be what someone wants on their wall!). In this first of two posts about my recent 1 week trip Zakynthos (Zante in English), a Greek island in the Ionian Sea I share my paper drawings.
Time was spent drawing between 2 locations: The small town/village called Argasi (Argassi in English), on the south coast to the East of the airport with cafes, bars and restaurants located on a main central spine , with predominant telegraph poles and the pink flowering Bougainvillea
As well as the beach and pool in Argasi.
Or in the main town of Zakynthos with its wonderful harbour and interesting side streets.
My drawings, as usual, primarily aim to portray A sense of place and occasion, capturing the colours and textures that to me, tell you that it is ‘that place’. All of them were done on A4 (or similar) cold pressed watercolour paper 140 lb (300 g/m2). 0.7 mm 2B pencil was used to get the main shapes and angles and then detail worked over with black permanent ink. The pencil was then rubbed out before watercolour was added, all in situ. The text was the only thing added to the drawings later. They tell a story, but in a slightly different way to the sketchbook images I will share in the next post. Watch out for the next instalment!