TravelSketch: Newbury

*Note* A single page of the sketchbook is 11cm X 15cm.

February. Perhaps one of the gloomiest months since Britain decides to exhibit her rain every single day throughout the month, in addition to that the skies are usually grey since the clouds have a passion in banishing the sun away from us. Hence the saying: “If the sky’s not grey, it’s not England.” So that was fun.

Earlier this year during that dreadful month, the school had an art trip planned out in Newbury, a little town in Berkshire. Each art student was given a sketchbook to record our little journey there and the one who had the best one would get a prize (of course it wasn’t me).

From the sketchbook, I handpicked a few highlights I’d like to share. Some of which I will make them into individual entries since I’d like to further discuss about.

Scan 1

Blue highlighter on greyish blue sugar paper.

This was my second time to Newbury. I vaguely recognised the roads when I first arrived. As expected, the roads were wet, the sky was dark and it was raining. I tried emphasising the gloominess by not portraying passerbys or vehicles to give it an abandoned atmosphere.
Scan

Red marker on pink coloured paper.

Then we got to the town square (which I presumed) since I saw a building with the town’s flag flying high in the air. I just managed to sketch the building quickly before the rain could completely soak the page up, so there is quite a lot of capacity for more detail here.
Scan copy

Water soluble pen, brush and hot chocolate.

We escaped the rain temporarily by staying in a tea shop for some cream tea. I had a cup of hot chocolate and quickly drew the cup after I finished it. Lines were shaky since I hadn’t completely warmed up yet and my fingers were trembling. As I didn’t carry any watercolour paint, I decided to use the hot chocolate I drank to paint the residue in the cup (people were giving weird stares but that was kinda the whole point of art). Even now, the page still has a faint smell of chocolate.
Scan copy 2

Red pen and yellow highlighter.

And it was lunch time. Rather than cramming into a fully packed McDonald’s or a cafe, which we had just visited, a comrade and I decided to go to a steak house for an ensuring full belly. Despite we were the only customers in the restaurant, the cooking took ages (but the food was great so I forgave them) so I decided to do a pen drawing of the restaurant. Yellow highlighter was used to represent the flames that came out of the kitchen while the chef was cooking (though it wasn’t too obvious since red pen was more dominant).
Scan copy 5

Red marker and tipex on craft paper and masking tape.

After that we set off to the next destination – the Living Rainforest. I wasn’t really expecting that mainly due to the climate of this country. I saw this flower in the greenhouse which reminded of a time I was trekking up a tropical jungle so I decided to stick it in my sketchbook in a simplified form of shapes. The alternating background was to see how it much it would stand out on different surfaces. The contrast was larger on the brown surface, though I like the subtleness of the tipex on the white one.
Scan copy 4

Blue pen on tracing paper.

The greenhouses provided a simulated habitat for tropical creatures, of which I decided to portray in my sketchbook. Tracing paper was used since I thought it would be visually intriguing to have their colours overlapping with the drawings overlaid on top of the mesh, which would be a recurring theme in some of my works.

Scan copy 3

Marker, water soluble pen and brush.

A two page spread of a drawing of the toucan – perhaps my favourite animal present in the greenhouse. Only the beak was coloured and the rest was done with the water soluble pen to give a sharp contrast. Again, the drawing was hastily sketched and was a bit sub-standard (also my fingers were still trembling as I held my sketchbook whilst drawing).

And that concludes the trip to Newbury.

+Reference+ Here’s the Living Rainforest’s website if you are interested: www.livingrainforest.org/

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