Monday, 28 May 2012

A Week in Staithes



















Staithes Roofs (0.8 fine line marker in 21 x 26 cm sketchbook)

As I do every year, I went off at the beginning of the month for a week's "painting" with some of my mates from the Art Club. I put that in inverted commas, because it's rare for me to get anywhere near some paint. Mostly, it's a couple of sketchbooks and some favourite pencils and pens and maybe a slosh of watercolour and a smudge of coloured Conte.

I honestly thought this year might be different.  For one, in Staithes  I'd be amongst buildings, which should mean I'd not be hunting for the odd twisted tree to provide some structure. Buildings, after all, are my thing. So it did seem as if I might at least get out the tubes of gouache I take along every year.

But I'd reckoned without the wonderful British weather. The north easterlies blew straight in off the North Sea and up the Staithes Beck valley. Although the torrential rain we'd been promised in the forecast didn't materialise, and the sun shone quite a bit, it was bitterly cold - one night saw temperatures drop to -6C!

But I set off with a good heart the day after we arrived, climbing up the side of the valley to look down on the town. From there I could see Westgate, the house we were staying in  That's it in the centre of the drawing, just across from the former chapel now housing the Captian Cook and Staithes Museum.

Surprisingly, the wind wasn't too bad at the top of the valley, so I was able to spend a couple of hours working on this drawing. I thought about adding colour, but I was coming to the view that I might do without colour or tone in the sketchbook on this trip, so I left it as it is.

18 comments:

Tina Mammoser said...

oooh! lovely! I went to Staithes with Open University for a geology trip and SO want to go again and paint it. (and by paint I do probably mean sketchbook) Hope you got at least a little bit of the sea in some drawings. :)

harry bell said...

Thanks Tina. I know the sea is a passion for you, but I've never been a sea person much. Maybe something to do with almost drowning at Portobello when I was little?

I hope you won't be too disappointed find there's no sea whatsoever in any of the drawings I'll be posting from this trip although some of the material I collected may result in a boat painting or two.

JimBairn said...

I really like the black and white drawing, Harry. Probably my technical/graphics preferences coming to the fore.

harry bell said...

I know what you mean, Jim, thanks. I'm trying in some way to draw my two practices - fine art and cartoons - together.

Boud said...

I grew up in north Yorkshire (in the dales the first few years of my life) and went to Staithes a couple of times on family holidays. What a treat to see your renditions! not like my memories, admittedly, which included being scared to death in a fishing boat of the mackerel being pulled in and jumping all over my feet!

Thanks so much for your post.

Shirley said...

Fabulous drawing! I love rooftops and try to collect as many photos of them as I can for later reference pictures. Were these buildings multicolored or blended into one big gray or beige vista?

harry bell said...

Boud -- thanks for calling in and thanks for your comment. I'm really glad you like the drawings. Stick around; there'll be one or two more before I'm done with the Staithes trip.

harry bell said...

Shirley -- I love rooftops too. Living where I do, I can look down on rooftops from the bridges that span the River Tyne and they've provided me with subjects for many paintings.

The buildings in Staithes are pretty much of the grey/beige type, but some are painted blue or yellow. The roofs themselves are either grey slate or orange pantiles.

marancat said...

I love your drawing, especially the way it stands alone, without colour. Looking forward to more sketches from your trip.

harry bell said...

Thanks, marancat, and welcome to Boogie Street. I've been enjoying the challenge of making drawings with line alone.

Sandra said...

Glad to hear that you didn't finish that drawing in 20 minutes. The many angles seemed like quite a challenge.

harry bell said...

They were, Sandra, and I can't deny there are one or two mistakes but I hope that adds to the charm. Thanks for visiting.

Alex said...

Nice sketch!

Timaree said...

There seems to be some color on the picture. I like it. I love color but everyone needs a break now and then and seeing your lines making all these buildings is enough just like it is.

meegan said...

beautiful scene and i do like it in black and white.

harry bell said...

Alex -- Thanks!

Timaree -- I think the slight areas of colour are what remained after I tried to clean up the drawing in Photoshop: it's the colour of the sketchbook page.

nanke's stuff said...

What a wonderful nob on a complicated subject! nancy

harry bell said...

Thank you, Nancy.