Pencil landscapes

As a break from ink-brush propaganda here are some pencil landscapes from the Summer. The first is on a lane in Lancashire during a light rain shower, the second and third on the Galloway coast (clouds over the distant Isle of Man, and a peaceful dusk near Kirkudbright). Pencil’s lovely for feeling out the lines in a landscape, and great for blind drawing the clouds and foliage. The way it smudges for tone is also useful, but not the way this then spreads through the whole sketchbook… A water-colour wash seems to fix the graphite to the page, so I’ve tried using just gum arabic as a portable and non-stinky clear fixative – fail! Any ideas?

galloway etc12galloway etc11 galloway etc095B Grafwood pencil, water-colour, A5 – 20/30 mins each

About Ed Mostly

Enthusiastic daily sketcher based in Bath Uk
This entry was posted in blind drawing, clouds, Galloway, landscape, line drawing, pencil, sea, technique and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Pencil landscapes

  1. Jim says:

    The darker and more satisfying the lead becomes, the more it smudges. It’s a problem. I’d love to know the solution. There are fixatives, but who wants to carry around an expensive aerosol can as part of their kit?

    But pencil’s so lovely, as can be seen by your first sketch with the birds on the wire

  2. JohnB says:

    The ink-brush propaganda is just white-wash. The water-colour is a gem

  3. Viktoria says:

    Great sketches! I have the same problems with pencil, and after having put together a pencil-kit for winter, I have also bought some scent-free hairspray in a non-aerosol can that I have poured into a very tiny spray bottle I got from my optician, which gives off a very, very thinly distributed spray. I´m not sure how this will work in the field or how the small spray bottle will work long term with the hairspray, but I have great hopes!

    • Ed Mostly says:

      Hi Viktoria, despite my frequent promoting of ink-brushes, the cold weather is already making them a bit tricky for plein air sketching, the ink doesn’t dry… So like you I’ll be using pencil for some outdoor sketching! Let me know how your fixative works. The tiny sprayer sounds good. I tried dilute gum arabic in one and it was too thin. Ed

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