Longshaw sketchbook

Sketching at Longshaw

My sketchbook and I went out for a brisk walk around Longshaw this week. There are some incredible autumn colours up there at the moment (just look at that bracken!). I had fun trying to capture the mood.

For those of you who are interested in these things, I sketched using a combination of watercolour & waterbrush, sailor pen with waterproof ink, wax crayon and colour pencil.

Longshaw sketches

Autumn colours at Longshaw

Walking, sketching, inspiration

Not much to report from the studio this week but here are a few snapshots from behind the scenes.

Some of my inspiration and sketches this week

As well as grabbing as much painting time as I can between all the Other Things, I’ve been working on lots of shop updates and improvements, and I’ve put aside the guilt (mostly) and made time for a few sketch/walks out in the Peak District for some autumnal sunshine and inspiration.

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Return to the Secret Garden

09-5-18-1803Almost a year to the day since I last went to the Secret Garden near Surprise View. It was such a beautiful day I had to get a bit of outdoor therapy and moorland inspiration for some new Peak District art. Gorgeous spring colours, shadows and textures, and lots of silver birches of course. I also surprised some sheep, but I apologised for disturbing them and took another path.

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Sketches from East Yorkshire in September

Driffield Countryside, East Yorkshire - digital sketch by Sheffield artist Sian Vernon

I took a bag full of sketchbooks with me on our recent visit to the East Coast of Yorkshire, but it turns out it’s quite difficult to sketch when you’ve got a toddler. I’m sure it’s not impossible and there were moments I could have got a sketchbook out but I always feel too bad for taking my attention away from the little guy. I’m okay with that, he’s pretty fun to spend time with and I’ll get back to sketching eventually!

I did make a couple of sketches (from my head) of weather-based moments I’d been inspired by when we got back:

  1. Some hazy fields in the rain somewhere near Driffield in the Yorkshire Wolds.
  2. Sunlight breaking through the storm clouds at Danes Dyke, near Flamborough

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I also did quite a few cow sketches from life (out of the cottage window). All drawings were created using the Procreate app on iPad and enhanced in PS Express.IMG_0022For those of you interested in cows, I believe they were Simmentals. They were very beautiful, and very inquisitive!

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Two or three seasons in one day

Moorland birch trees gouache sketch by Sian Hughes

Just a couple of quick gouache sketches that were inspired by a weather-filled walk on Hathersage Moor this winter. The wind was wild, moving the swirly-whirly clouds along so quickly and allowing the sun to peek out and do its reflection-y thing again here and there, it was wonderful. I didn’t get rained on either, which was a bonus.

Hazy January Sunshine at Higger Tor and free February Desktop Wallpaper Calendar thing

Carl Wark from Higger Tor painting by Sian Hughes

Scroll to the bottom for the free Desktop Wallpaper Calendar thingy!Carl Wark from Higger Tor Burbage, Peak District, by Sian HughesHathersage Moor from Higger Tor Burbage, Peak District, by Sian HughesOver Owler Tor from Higger Tor Burbage, Peak District, by Sian Hughes

The moors are beautiful on days like this. I mean, they’re beautiful always, but cold, bleak and hazy is one of my favourites. Colours begin so muted that they’re almost imperceptible. As the fog starts to lift, the odd flash of sunlight breaks through and bounces off silvery pools of water that have formed in dips in the gritstone. Then suddenly the cloud clears, the sun comes out and everything is glorious technicolour (well, still mostly grey and brown).

I was there with an outdoor playgroup, ushering/carrying my small person and a bag full of snacks rather than any drawing equipment, so I couldn’t sketch on-site this time. Cool playgroup though, hey?

Braved getting my paints out later while he slept. Tried to creep around and not wake him up. Got paint all over my keyboard. Didn’t swear. Managed a quick gouache and charcoal sketch based on my photos.
Carl Wark from Higger Tor Burbage, original Peak District sketch painting by Sian Hughes

I’ve made it into a Desktop Wallpaper/calendar thing! Do people even use those? View and download it for free here anyway (click on image to view full size then right click and save):Peak District sketch February desktop wallpaper calendar, free download, by Sian Hughes
Let me know if you use it and if it’s any good and I might make more.