View Full Version : Northumbria in an S&B delta sketchbook

09-20-2013, 01:22 PM

The first page of a sketchbook almost filled on a break with a friend, painting in northumberland. It's on the border between England and Scotland .... Lots of castles, beaches, high wild hills ..... lovely! We needed more time but I nearly filled my S&B A4 delta sketchbook :). More to follow.

I took everything nearly apart from my oil paints and used it all. This one is grey ink, drawn with a twig,and willow charcoal, a very quick sketch of Bamburgh castle. I was sitting in the dunes, that's the sea in the distance.

09-20-2013, 03:11 PM

And Bamburgh Castle again in watercolour and mixed media from a slightly different viewpoint. Again in the S&B

09-20-2013, 03:17 PM
Gorgeous scenery. Looking forward to seeing the rest.

09-21-2013, 10:18 AM

a scribbly ballpoint pen study when the light changed


and a view from a different angle in ballpoint pen and watercolour. A pencil wasn't fine enough so I went straight in with the pen, adding colour afterwards but while I was still there.

The not so vertical towers on the left are my photography - not the towers or the actual drawing :)

I got chance to play with all the materials I'd taken :) - the XL graphite sticks and pencils, the tinted charcoal pencils, watercolours, gouache, conte .... lots :) We both took SO much art stuff!

09-21-2013, 01:28 PM
Beautiful scenes and nice variety! Such patience to get the castle details in the ink sketch. The variety of watercolor shades on the castle walls adds such realism.

09-22-2013, 04:06 PM
Gorgeous. Sounds like super fun.

09-23-2013, 01:47 PM
It was fun Debby and so nice. Being with another painter, so no ' how much longer will you be?' :)

Thanks Candace :)


This one is done from the cliff edge, looking down at the rocks and surf.

Charcoal and grey ink with some white ink.

09-23-2013, 04:31 PM
Very moody sketch. Well done.

Sketching Bliss
09-23-2013, 09:24 PM
Love the look of the water. Incredible shading!

09-24-2013, 03:06 AM
:) thank you


Another one of rock and seaweed on the beach north of Bamburgh. This time in gouache

09-24-2013, 01:38 PM
Beautiful scene.

09-25-2013, 09:05 PM
Such an awesome array of sketches Viv! How lovely to have a sketching trip with another artist.

09-26-2013, 12:59 AM
Thanks Debby and Margo :)


And another study of rocks, parallel reefs and sheets, very unlike the coastal areas I'm familiar with.

09-26-2013, 07:43 PM
Gorgeous drawing.

09-27-2013, 04:21 AM

And another grey ink and charcoal rocks drawing.

09-27-2013, 04:25 AM
Love the look of the water. Incredible shading!

Thank you :). Charcoal is such a lovely painterly thing to draw with that shading just flows :)

I did get absolutely filthy with it! But a pack of wet wipes fixes that quickly :)

Terry Wynn
09-27-2013, 09:51 AM
These are all lovely. Your water looks so natural. Thank you so much for sharing. Feel like I am there, thanks to you!


09-27-2013, 04:52 PM
Viv, I love all of these. Waves and rocks and castles, all so natural, so moody and atmospheric! I love your style and this book carried me away. Wish I'd been there! Feels as if I am when I look at your works.

Joan T
09-27-2013, 05:03 PM
These are just great...love the different views of the castle and the sketches of the rocks. Isn't it great to be out sketching with another like minded person.

09-28-2013, 03:06 AM
It is indeed Joan :). And so great to have a solid week of painting and drawing every day, all day.

Rob and Terry thank you :). I'm so glad the atmosphere comes across as it is just what I'm trying to do.

I think it did me good to go to a totally new area like this, The light and colours are very different from where I paint more often.

And another of the rocks (beaches and the high hills yet to come)


This started off as grey ink and charcoal and then I decided to add some colour with the Derwent XL tinted charcoal blocks, keeping it muted. Oh and a thin wash of blue watercolour in places too.

09-28-2013, 05:55 PM
Lovely scenery you've captured.

09-29-2013, 07:44 AM

Now the beaches. This one is the view back to the mainland from Lindisfarne (Holy Island). we only had a short time there because the tide covers the causeway. Watercolour.

Not quite finished as we had to go or be cut off for hours.

It is a lovely area Debby :)

09-29-2013, 01:43 PM
Not good to be cut off. Better to have a foundation and take reference photos to finish later. :)

09-30-2013, 11:18 AM
That's what I thought!

10-01-2013, 04:29 AM
Lovely picsof one of my favourite counties. You've really captured the atmosphere of the place.


10-01-2013, 12:12 PM
Sigh. I always love your marks.

10-01-2013, 06:54 PM
Thank you :).


This one was done in gouache. The light for a short spell was really dramatic and surreal.

It's the beach at Alnmouth on a showery day. At this point we were in sunshine with the sea, sky and pools these incredible colours.

10-02-2013, 09:28 AM

This is one of the Farne Islands off the coast near Bamburgh

Apparently Becket, the film was partly done on the beach below the castle here too. Hogwarts to Becket - a bit of a leap!

10-02-2013, 02:27 PM

10-02-2013, 08:46 PM
Beautiful shore sketches! The lighting/colors in #27 is gorgeous. But I quite admire the rocks and pools in #28. Lovely work.

10-03-2013, 03:39 PM
Thanks :)


A quick study.wanted to record the surf breaking on these rocks a little way out, beyond those reefs.

10-03-2013, 03:43 PM
Viv, it is amazing how you can capture the feeling of something with such a minimal amount of lines and marks. Wish I could do that!! I struggle with landscapes.

10-03-2013, 03:53 PM
Thanks Rainy. :-)

It's sometimes a matter of feeling it and letting the hand/eye go on automatic pilot I think, developing your own shorthand of marks, and the more plein air you do the more that happens? My first plein airs, when I was fairly competent in the studio, were a disaster believe me!

10-07-2013, 01:09 PM

Last light up in the hills, colours gone. Time to get off these single track roads onto slightly wider ones and head back for dinner.

Derwent tinted charcoal in the S&B delta.

10-07-2013, 11:07 PM
You go to such lovely places. Marvelous landscapes.

Joan T
10-08-2013, 05:14 PM
Nice recent pieces. I like the splashing on the rocks!!!

10-09-2013, 05:08 AM
Thanks :). I was so lucky with this unexpected break.


This was high up in the hills, steep and dramatic. The valleys carved by glaciers. I loved sketching there.

Done with the Derwent tinted charcoal and a little underlying watercolour pencil.

This was done in late light on the same day as the previous one. The sun hadn't yet gone down in this one.

In the S&B again,

10-09-2013, 02:02 PM
What a view!

10-13-2013, 04:10 PM
what a lovely area to have to sketch, especially like the beach and rocks ones :D

Joan T
10-13-2013, 06:16 PM
I love that path going through the hills.

10-14-2013, 01:54 PM
Thank you ... That path is the road, very narrow road :)

10-20-2013, 06:25 PM
Oooh pretty waves on rocks! I love that page! You say so much in so few marks, it's like poetry. I can hear that surf.

Lovely soft hills rising and dipping, they make me think of Lord of the Rings. The Road Goes Ever On and On... so very poetic looking. That last dizzying, curving one, I think I'd want my power chair on that road, or a horse, or a car, something. Hiking it would be way too intimidating. You give a real sense of the vastness of the hills in both of them. Also of the quirky rocky skyline, I have a strong feeling that I'd recognize both of those spots from your drawings.

So beautiful. Thank you for posting these.

10-21-2013, 03:02 AM
Thanks Rob for the lovely comments :)

You really pick up on what was important to me about the places, which is great.

I was driving that road, very very narrow and you just hope you don't meet a car coming the other way as someone is going tho have to reverse for some distance. Sometimes with rocks on the uphill side and a big drop on the other! Luckily it's a very quiet road that comes to a dead end higher up.

Sadly my arthritis limits how far I can walk so it's fantastic to get out to these wild lonely places and have views that I can reach.

10-22-2013, 09:45 PM
A lovely adventure. You have inspired me, and next trip to the beach my Derwent charcoal pencils are going along.

10-23-2013, 06:34 AM
Great! :)

11-01-2013, 04:28 AM
Those places are so beautiful, and you have rendered them in a way that makes me feel I have been there in person and seen them myself! Great!!

11-02-2013, 05:21 AM
Thank you :). It was gorgeous, I hope to go again.