View Full Version : 2 minute sketches along Rhine

01-05-2002, 08:11 AM
I usually take my 7" x 5"sketchbook and watercolours with me when on a trip. On this occasion I was on a coach travelling on the autobahn along the Rhine between Koblenz and Cologne. This page comprises impressions of the passing scenery done in brown gel pen as perhaps ideas for watercolours.
They are literally impressions of glanced scenery and the small ones took no more than 2 mins, the larger one about 5 mins, and is a composite of different foreground and background.

I will post the watercolours in the Watercolour Forum.


01-05-2002, 10:13 AM
Enoyed seeing your sketches Doug. I look forward to seeing the watercolours.

What a great way to remember your trip !

01-05-2002, 11:01 AM
We took a trip along the Rhine about fifteen years ago, so your sketches bring back happy memories. I particularly remember the vineyards. Am looking forward to your watercolours :)

01-06-2002, 12:59 AM

01-07-2002, 01:57 PM
Doug, these drawings are fantastic, free and loose... Can't wait to see the watercolors...

01-08-2002, 02:54 AM
Yorki, your sketches are great! I am impressed that it only took 2 minutes and that you could sketch anything while travelling on a autobahn. ;)

The sketches certainly bring memories of Rhine back (was there 2 years ago) and small towns with beautiful castles along it.



01-08-2002, 12:40 PM
Thanks Irina, of course I wasn't driving!:D

As I get older I find myself travelling by bus more often, and like to try and capture the passing scenery in a quick scribble. I find that gel pens flow much more freely and make quick sketches easier.

They come out surprisingly good, considering the hurried nature of the process, and it only goes to show that precise detail is not absolutely necessary to capture the feeling of the subject.


01-08-2002, 12:52 PM
And to prove it here's a full page sketch done in the freezing cold waiting for the wife to come out of the Christmas store in Boppard. This took around 10 mins and to me is not as satisfactory as the quick scribbles.

01-08-2002, 04:18 PM
They come out surprisingly good, considering the hurried nature of the process, and it only goes to show that precise detail is not absolutely necessary to capture the feeling of the subject.

This is the answer then. ;) I came to the conclusion that due to the lack of time one has to sketch only the essence of the subject. The problem for me is to quickly decide what it is that makes this place/scene special. :( Once mu husband and I found ourselves having lunch in a very picturesque old part of Granada and I got so inspired that I grabbed my pencil and started sketching while waiting for the order. I had enough time for a skecth but not a detailed drawing that I suddenly found myself doing. When I realised my mistake it was too late. :(
I guess I have to learn making that decision: what's important.

What are those gel pens anyways? :confused:
You must have a pair of special gloves that permit drawing outside in winter, right? :)

Your work is really inspiring.


01-08-2002, 05:16 PM
Wooly gloves were the order of the day, Irina. btw when the scenery is flashing past at 60mph you have to be quick, and this automatically forces you choose the most important elements of the landscape. Townscapes are a bit of a nightmare for me, but you do develop a kind of shorthand to represent roofs and gables, conifers and tree belts etc.

Gel pens are a newish type of ball point pen with a gel type ink which flows very easily. They are available in all colours including white gold and silver but their only drawback is they are not waterproof, and so run when a wash is applied.

I use white to apply thin white detail at the end of a painting for example for window frames and picket fences etc. - saves a lot of messy masking.

Cheers, Doug

01-09-2002, 02:44 AM
Doug, thanks for answering!

I forgot to say last time I thought your 10 min. drawing was very good as well. :)

I think now I know what gel pens are. :) Thanks for the tip on white pens.

run when a wash is applied

Do you mean a watercolor wash?

Looking forward to seeing your sketches in wc.


PS Still it's puzzling for me how you manage sketch anything at the speed of 60 km/h. and on autobahn it can be 150! :confused:

01-09-2002, 07:38 AM
The ten-minute sketch is great! I have gel pens - never thought of them for sketching :)

01-09-2002, 08:13 AM
Hi Yorky

Your sketches are are sound foundation for what I'm sure will turn out to be wonderfull watercolours, I await eagerly for the the finished paintings



06-14-2002, 05:03 PM
Nice sketches, Yorky ... wish I could sketch that quickly and capture the essence of the landscape as well as you!


06-14-2002, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the comment, Lisa.

Just give it a try! You will be surprised how quickly you get used to NOT drawing exactly what is there but the main features of the landscape in a kind of shorthand, e.g. a church spire, hillside, field patters, woods etc.

BTW you reminded me that I haven't done any watercolours from these sketches - i'll dig them out.


06-14-2002, 05:19 PM
Somehow this passed by me when it was first posted. Gesture drawings are good practice as well as setting down sketches for future work.