“A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.”
― Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
I haven’t had much time for art this week. I was determined yesterday to grab some, were it a mere 15 minutes, to try out my 12-set Derwent’s Inktense watercolour pencils. I’d bought these about five years ago and hadn’t used them.
So here is my 15 minutes of art: my house with the round tower of my local church beyond. There’s some acrylic paint in there too. And tea. I accidentally dipped my paintbrush in my cup of tea. But it was just the shade I needed for the church tower. As I couldn’t then drink the tea, I made myself a fresh cup and continued to use the other on the painting. I think, anyway. It’s entirely possible I ended up using both cups of tea as brush cleaners, as well as drinking he second one. I’m still alive 24 hours later.
Even in just those 15 minutes I’ve picked up on some formal relationships worth pursuing: the vertical tubes and almost-tubes of the (birch) tree in the foregrounde, chimney stack and church tower – Norman in character and with twin narrow romanesque windows. Even the paint runs are tube-ish. Then there’s the triangle in a triangle at the top of the side-of-house facade. The small triangle is an attic window. That roofline is a problem. Getting the angle right might mean a trip up a high ladder with a very big protractor. I’ve tried several times to draw this and haven’t managed to get it right and it’s crucial to the positioning of everything else around it.
Inktense watercolour pencils (you can get pans and sticks as well, by the way) are different to some other watercolour pencils as they dry permanently on the paper which allows for a layering of colours. To be honest, I didn’t know that. I thought they were inks in pencil form when I bought them. My set of 12 colours is a bit limiting, but you can make up your own tins – selections of pencils – at the Derwent site.
I sound like an ad for Derwent. No, Derwent is not paying me for this blog. But I’m going to experiment further with these pencils; and compare them with other watercolour pencils I have. I’ll report back.