The Heat is On

#Inktober is an Instagram challenge to draw daily in ink throughout the month of October. Last year, I took part and drew a series of some 25 vignettes focussed on Lanark. Some of these were framed and went off to be sold at the Tolbooth Christmas pop-up shop.   I really enjoyed drawing these on watercolour paper prepared with a thin wash of warm yellow ochre.

From Castlegate towards Broomgate

With the recent cold weather/strikes etc, a lot of my plans for the busiest time of year have gone adrift so I’ve begun to sort through a pile of past work including these wee Inktober sketches of Lanark.

Part of Castlegate, Lanark

Not only have we just been through a sharp cold snap, but we’re in the darkest time of year here in the Northern Hemisphere. I was thinking how the recent fiery skies were such an uplifting shot of colour.

View towards Lanark from Hazelbank, late Autumn skies.

I decided to see how the Inktober sketches would look if I added the hottest cadmium red to the sky as a flat block of colour and then simply to respond with other colours working over the ink studies as underpaintings.

Here are the first of the results.

‘Smug Dug’ – formerly known as the Girnin Dug of Castlegate

More will follow as I play and experiment with these lovely gouache paints. It feels good to try something different.

Red Skies over Greyfriars Church, Lanark

Having embarked on a year of Professional Development with Paintbox School of Art, it’s becoming second nature to look at past work with fresh eyes, whether it was done a few weeks ago or a few years.

Castlegate, Lanark

Sometimes, I’m still happy with the work and sometimes I think ‘What if I changed one thing?’ Or, ‘This all seems a bit flat, how can I perk it up?’

Old St Kentigern’s Lanark under Indigo Skies

These drawings were all made on thick, 300gsm Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper and the ink lines are waterproof. If I don’t like the results, this paper will stand up to a tap washing the gouache off. I can press the drawings flat and work over them again. Or use them for studies for paintings. Or cut them up for collage. It really frees me up to experiment and discover new ways of working.

Most of these are now framed and available to buy from the Tolbooth Lanark; (Castlegate will be framed and at the Tolbooth next week). The rest will be available to buy from my Etsy shop as fresh stock for the New Year or if you see something you like, just get in touch – they are all originals and priced between £60-£95.

Thank you all for spending the time with me over here and I wish you and yours a happy, peaceful and loving Christmas/Season of Light and all the very best for a creative and fulfilling New Year.

Love Ronnie x

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