What do you do when you want to sketch but can’t?

©2010 - Cathy Read - Decaying brickwork texture - Digital image

Have you ever wanted to sketch but couldn’t?

On one such day, I woke to sunshine and planned to paint. The children were off which cramped my style somewhat. They do like to be entertained.


Take them for a picnic! Happy children, happy parent and happy dog!

What could possibly go wrong?

So, we set off for the woods – the dog, children et moi!

Fully intending to sketch I took all my gear.

Le Grand plan:- To create one or more masterpieces whilst the children played blissfully throwing a ball for the dog! I either have delusions of grandeur or have watched far too many bad American movies/sitcoms. You know, the ones that are saccharin sweet and have a strong moral at the end. Then insult your intelligence by hammering it home right at the end? Usually in the form of a diary entry or letter?

Oh how naive I was! (laughs hysterically).

Of course the one game they wanted to play was running full speed through the woods and hiding. Between carrying all the gear, in a bag that kept falling off (I’ve lost my rucksack), and looking for the dog/children – I managed about 10 lines, before moving on.

All was not lost, however. I had a camera!

So, one subtle media change later, and I continued. Photographing children and other points of interest. My obsession with brickwork and decay was very satisfied. The lighting wasn’t good but I like the composition.

Like this wall – the ghosts of bricks.

©2010 - Cathy Read - Decaying brickwork texture - Digital image
©2010 – Cathy Read – Decaying brickwork texture – Digital image

Says a lot when the mortar is stronger than the bricks!

They were part of an old World War 2 Airfield that has been swallowed by the forest. And then there were lots of fabulous trees, like this one.

©2010 - Cathy Read - Gnarled Tree - Digital image

©2010 – Cathy Read – Gnarled Tree – Digital image

There’s some argument over which is better, working from sketches or photographs.

And I’m still debating whether the camera should be on my gear list. There’s nothing like sketching for getting a feel for a place, but sometimes you have not choice.

There are times where a camera is a godsend.

Moving targets like animals and children are a case in point!

©2010 - Cathy Read - Gnarled Tree - Digital image

What’s your preference!

Where have you found a camera essential?

Or do you hold to the sketch only principle?

Leave a comment, I’d love to know!


This post was originally created in April 2010.



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