Shoot it, Sketch it: Smartlea Street Bridge

Smartlea Street Bridge – Christchurch, 2012.

This week’s Shoot it, Sketch it photograph was taken around the corner from our house last autumn. You can just make out the curve of the little footbridge in the blurry distance. Is it just me or does the light shining through the willows look like fairylights?

Smartlea Street Bridge –  ink, watercolour and digital, 215 x 175 mm, 2013.
Smartlea Street Bridge – ink, watercolour and digital, 215 x 175 mm, 2013.
Smartlea Street Bridge, detail – ink, watercolour and digital, 2013.
Smartlea Street Bridge, detail – ink, watercolour and digital, 2013.

The short story ~ the sketch is an ink and watercolour painting that has been altered using a kind of digital-resist effect (a combination of Photoshop filters that mimic the wax-resist technique used in making batik).

The long story ~ I’m going through an experimental phase. I’m curious to see what happens when I venture out of my comfort zone (ink drawings with lots of fiddly details and carefully considered watercolour and acrylic paintings) — I want to explore different ways of seeing things and be less concerned about the end result. What if…? That’s what happened in A trip down memory lane and it’s what happened here. Smartlea Street Bridge began as an ink and watercolour sketch which I then drew over with a brush pen to thicken the lines and make some areas inky black. The final image was created in Photoshop by inverting a scanned copy of the painting and applying various filters. The batik effect was discovered through trial and error.

Being out of my comfort zone does have one little drawback — it’s not very comfortable. I’m having to resist the urge to edit the light and dark areas to make them look more like the original photo. But so far, so good…

14 thoughts on “Shoot it, Sketch it: Smartlea Street Bridge

  1. All very interesting and brave following your “breakout” from comfort. Is there a known goal or is it just ‘see where it leads to?’ Good on you!

    1. …to grow…to discover… so I guess there is no “known” goal. If I knew where I was going, it wouldn’t be much of an experiment — would it?

  2. Hi Anna, I really like this. Venturing out of one’s comfort zone is hard. So brava to you. I’ve been trying to venture out for a while, but still haven’t made it.

    1. Thanks. I like it too. I’m still finding my feet in the art world… so many mediums and styles — and there are not enough hours in the day!

  3. Please keep experimenting Anna !
    Its so good to see different approaches to art drawing painting …. when it takes you away from your comfort zone I’m sure it does feel slightly unsettling …but with your many ideas formulating and new techniques at your fingertips to try out it would be a shame Anna to resist any urge to try something new 🙂

    1. Thanks. Okay, I’ll keep experimenting. I really appreciate your encouragement.
      It’s taken me such a long time to get around to doing the arty thing — so now that I’m here, everything is new and exciting : )

  4. Interesting commentary on your drawing. I like this by the way. I have found working from photos a real risk, becoming too pernickety and obsessed wirh detail. Yet photos are so useful. I’ve been getting the sketch on site and using photos to help finish the work as one approach. I am impressed by your abstraction … Who needs a painted diect copy of a photo? The whole idea of challenging yourself – that’s what makes this worthwhile. I’ll kerp following.

    1. Thanks. I’m not keen on perfect copies of photographs either. Give me a Monet or a van Gogh over photorealism any day! Although I love sketching on site, I’m much happier drawing and painting in the comfort of my own home. I can get pretty obsessed with the details too — but that happens whether or not I’m sketching from a photo : ) Thanks for following.

  5. Good to get out your comfort zone – which is why I started painting again as I work on a computer every day. Just got to get looser now!
    Thanks for taking a look at my blog.

  6. Gorgeous pictures .Thank you for liking my post.Wishing you the best.jalal

  7. Thank you for liking my post and leading me here. Your experimentation is paying you dividends and is inspiring me to be more adventurous too. 🙂 Helen

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