A typical November day, drizzling rain, moist air and a colossal grey sky with slowly moving clouds. I tried hard to capture those thin clouds that smoked from the wooded hill named “Burgberg” in the background. I have been there on top to meet the “Schreckstein” which translates to “the stone that scares you”. And indeed the name is justified. It is a big black massive landmark that suddenly appears in front of you while you walk on a narrow path through dense woods like a ghost from the nowhere. It is said that some wimpy lap dogs (not laptops) passed away by heart attack when meeting the “Schreckstein”, at least some pale bones lying around there suggest something like that, if nothing worse yet.
As usual the thing is done down from the sky and from back to foreground. The grass around me and the thicket, that constantly whispered in my back, had been spaded by hordes of wild boar. Only recently a whopping number of seventy of them had been laid down on a single hunting afternoon. Unfortunately the sketch does not show these circumstances at all, instead it pretends a peaceful loveliness that seems to scorn the creator being a scared cat.
My latest entry in the old style landscape drawing book consists of only two types of elements: circular and linear marks, vertical or horizontal.I started in the upper right corner and made my way to the left and downwards from there.
I did a bit of an investment and bought the 48 color neopastel set by Caran d’Ache, after I had tried the smaller one. An altered art book, overpainted with thinned oil color will suit me as support for a series of oil pastel sketches I want to do this year.
Drawing with oil pastels on a colored underground is great fun. The textures the brush strokes with oil colors created help to create interesting sketches. The random patches of color can be a great inspiration to try unusual color combinations. I apply the color with a very soft touch first to avoid that structures and other effects by the underpainting are not lost. I can always get the surface fully covered with oil pastel later by putting more pressure on the color sticks if wanted.
This is the scenery that I used for this sketch, picking some of the many elements seen .
After half an hours walk in the woods I noticed that I had forgotten to fill my water bottle (500 ml). So I had to take a little detour through the thicket to reach an artificial fish breeding pond. from there I made my way to the edge of the forest to take place on a path through the fields in sun with a look back to the forest.
The sky was great with many moving clouds so I could play with those sky colors a bit. I had some troubles with the “air perspective”, in fact I hate it a bit to go the standard way and to make everything blueish that is in the background even though that is very efficient. Instead I cooled the near greens, the foliage of the bigger trees at the forest border.
I had made a mental note of this place on one of my recent excursions through the thickets. A remote place away from the walkers highway. Only the farmers are around on the fields with their spraying machines, but I got this one done before I had to retreat into the bushes.
Finally spring is coming. First only the larch trees showed some fresh green, but in the last couple of days the grass is growing greener and the leaves of hornbeam become visible. The birds concert gets more and more polyphonic. A new spring season is at the doorstep, I look forward to see the wonder happen again. I visited the place on three different days to do this gouache sketch.