2 years between sketches - it makes a difference


Stewart Cottage painted in 2020 and 2022

Visiting the Bannockburn Sluicings is such a treat. Especially a visit up to old Stewart Town, because you know how much I love old stone buildings.

I was up there recently with a couple of sketching buddies and I was there almost exactly 2 years ago with another local artist. When I got home this year I pulled out the 2 year old sketchbook to have a look at the difference. It's one of my favourite things about sketchbooks, being able to track your progress as a painter and to relive the memories of previous outings.

It's interesting to me how much more relaxed and free my sketches seem to be now. For me it's especially noticeable in the sketch of the Bannockburn Sluicings below. I don't think you'd describe my watercolour paintings as loose (I have abstract acrylics for that!), but I can certainly see a growing confidence in my approach when I look back at the same scenes from 2 years ago. Plus, it's really obvious to me how much difference the 100% cotton paper in my new sketchbooks makes.

I highly recommend sketchbooks for this type of reflection on past work. You may think you'll keep the old paintings in a drawer somewhere, but in my experience I'll often tip those into the recycling in a fit of studio cleaning. Not my sketchbooks though, I'll always have those to go back to.

PS - someone online asked about the trees in the 2020 sketch above. They're 100 year old pear and greengage trees, and don't worry! They're still there. I just left them out this year in a flurry of artistic license, giving the Vipers Bugloss place to grow and the cottage room to breathe. 

Bannockburn Sluicings - 2020 and 2022


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