On the hottest day of the year to date, we embarked on a field trip to Raphael’s Park. We headed for The Bandstand, and the cool air and breeze from the lake was a welcome companion.

Once we had settled with our equipment, we used view finders to find our focal point. These are a vital tool when drawing outside: without one you see too much all at once and therefore lose focus, that is so easy to do, and then the scale of the work is effected by the urge to include more than the eye view can see.

A variety of mediums were used: graphite, coloured pencils, acrylics, aqua tone sticks, soluble pens and watercolours. The Bandstand itself is a great focal point, or part thereof. It could also act as a picture frame to look through at the willow trees, grasses, groups of people sitting, people walking, the lake, the ducks, the landscape, and much much more. The Bandstand also proved a great vantage point to sit in to paint and draw.

I used burnt umber to paint the scene above. The landscape is on a diagonal, sloping off towards the lake, and is peppered with a wonderful array of different types of trees.

All the artists present completed differing scenes, but with their own individual styles showing strongly in each composition.

We took photographs too: these are always a good back up plan. We also completed some thumb nail sketches, another excellent way to ensure a composition will make a good painting.

We then moved out of The Bandstand and found a shady area to sit beneath wonderfully cool trees and a bench that was in shade. This eye view was above the level of our first painting.

Painting and drawing in the open air is a true pleasure for any artist. We will be returning to the park next week for another sketching and painting afternoon.