Sketches for autumn

Autumn has always been my favourite season.  For two main reasons: firstly the quality of light ; lower in the sky but with a warm glowing quality: in the UK it has often been a sunny and bright season.  Predictably, the second reason is for the stunning colours; burnt reds; rich oranges and simmering golds; magentas and the like. This combination makes for an exciting 3 months and this week it has occurred to me that this magical mix is starting to be reflected in my sketches.  It is not necessarily that these sketches are full of the changing coloured vegetation in the autumn light ; more that the sketches from this past week ; whether inside or out; have a certain autumn look that is driven by colour and light.

This first combination of sketches is from a trip with Liverpool Urban Sketchers to St George’s Hall, Liverpool, on a rather chilly, typically autumnal day.  We were able to sketch overlooking the main hall and with the interior light and the light coming in from outside, it made from a complex and rich scene.  There is a distinct autumnal look to them I think.  The first involved set up lines whereas the second is colour first, set out in a fairly abstract way and then the line work is done over the top.


The second is one I did for some homework on Liz Steel’s Buildings Course.  It is of Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Salford a stunning red bricked building with sandstone columns and details.  It was drawn late afternoon and the sun was still casting some amazing shadows but the wind was cold and it didn’t take long for me to really fill the autumnal chill in the air.  I decided to do a portion of the building rather than the whole thing.  The reds, oranges and  ocres, together with dark purple cast shadows, creates an autumnal looking sketch I think.


The third was done on  a stunning autumnal  walk from Castleshaw , Saddleworth.  An amazing location with 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside.  We came across these dilapidated farm buildings, with their rich stone and brick,, not to mention rusting metal and breaking wood.  This, together with the fabulous tones of the vegetation meant for a rich and autumnal scene to sketch.


My final sketch is from a trip to the wonderful Gorton Monastery  (designed by Pugin)  with Manchester Urban Sketchers today (9th October).  It was a bright but cold autumn day with the front of this stunning but complex building my main focus of attention.  The colours of the brick and stone, together with the bright crisp day meant for a very autumnal feel.


I have a feeling I will be doing a lot more autumn sketch scenes and may even capture some of the Haloween celebrations so watch this space for more on this topic!


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