Sunday, December 29, 2013

Drawing in the Bush: The Challeges

  Drawing out in the wilderness is very different from in the studio. It has it's difficulties but is very enjoyable on the whole. I love being outside and I love drawing so it was a great holiday for me. Below, I am working on a watercolour of Mangamuka Hut in the Kaimai Range. Caleb had just come back from hunting and was inspecting the painting with a critical eye.

 The challenges of drawing huts abounded. In the first place it was difficult to find a good angle to draw the hut from. It wasn't just a question of which side the hut looked most interesting from, often finding one possible drawing angle was hard. Most huts were either closely surrounded by bush or long grass, so I had to find ways of getting around that. Getting far away from the hut to get a good view of it and get it all to fit on my paper was a challenge but I always found a way. At Te Totara Hut in the southern Ureweras I sat up on a slip over the river from the hut. The hut was surrounded with tall grass so that was the only place I could get a proper view of it.

   You can see me, a blue and red dot in the middle of the slip busy drawing away. One of the boys took the photo from the porch of the hut. Below is what I got from up there. I will have to get all of my drawings properly scanned as the camera doesn't do a very good job of it.

  When and before I began drawing the huts I was thinking of doing just sketches of the huts and working on larger more detailed drawings later as the main thing to show at an exhibition. But I am now thinking that what I draw out there is worth more that what I could do in my studio. They have more interest and character to them and the feel of the place, because I actually drew them on location from what I really saw before me. For an exhibition and a book, all I really need is the material I get out there. But I still intend to do a few paintings on canvass and for those I will work on my studio from sketches and photographs.

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