Through the Patio Door


From a sketch of an idea to the finished drawing...

Click on the thumbnail of an image if you are interested in to see a larger version open up in your browser....

Looking though our conservatory doors into our garden reminded me of a Ronnie Wood painting where he captured his dog asleep on a sofa beneath a window.

The eye was drawn to the view out of the lattice window.

I decided to see if I could simply sketch a view into the garden using the patio doors as a frame.

The potential took a hold with more and more detail becoming the way forward – not normally my style!

What was meant to be a 15 minute line drawing turned into a mission. Once I saw the garden detail emerging I knew I'd end up needing colour after starting to emphasise the detail using the finest of fibre pens.

Here's how it panned out....

Whilst inking in the detail with 0.05 fibre pen, I still wasn't convinced I wanted to go through the trauma of 'colouring in' - patience is not my strong point!

The ink lines were proving time consuming enough but I'd started and I now had to finish. I pressed on with line detail – still not totally convinced I'd want to add any colour.

A Facebook vote concluded I should add paint – notably watercolour.

However, the detail that was emerging demanded paint brushes of sorts I did not possess - so being a lazy artist I went for an easier option.

Stay with it....

The door frame was always going to be an integral part of the finished article but it should only seek to draw the eye into the garden beyond. More emphasis was drawn in to the detail of the door frame.

Someone asked when I first posted this drawing on Facebook how I managed to get the lines so straight.

Simple – I know of no rule in art that says you can't use a ruler. Let me put that another way – I don't follow any rules!

There are no heroes in art - only mad people.

You need a straight line?

You reach for a ruler – you don't want to spoil a nice picture with wonky lines!

The geometry of this drawing made it essential. After all, its going in a perfectly rectangular frame with geometrically straight sides.

At this point the addition of colour was starting to be viewed as necessary. A garden is naturally quite colourful, even in the dead of winter. So out came the coloured pencils. A new challenge here.

Blending the colours to make new colours is not straightforward – especially for me having forgotten over 50 years what colours you mix to make another!

So I bravely went for selecting the best pencil for the job. That is, from the three greens in the tin I selected the closest to grass colour I could see. The same for the other key components. The best brown for the fence and the best duck egg blue for the shed!

I also brought an ordinary 4B graphite pencil back into the front line to darken any areas for necessary contrast as well as give the correct shade of slab colour in the foreground

The ink lines are a great advantage when it comes to adding the finishing touch of colour. You simply treat the task as you did when colouring in areas in between lines in a colouring book - just like you did at school in geography when drawing maps, or on rainy days during the holidays with a colouring book!

If it's a shed frontage, you simply shade in the rectangle using the duck egg coloured pencil. If it's the grass – use the nearest green you have and stick to in between the lines!

There's no magic here – just colouring like we did as kids.

Incidentally, this picture was nearly easier to colour as snow still covered the lawn when I started the sketch.

I envisaged leaving the lawn and other areas white. By the time I reached the grass – the snow had melted !!!

The result is something a little different to the usual landscape art…


The number of sketches expanded into a considerable portfolio – the ones that copy well will be posted on here and create a history of our travel throughout the UK.

There was a gap in sketch output during my working years in the 1990s, but we will pick up on the late 2000s with a bunch of more recent caravan travels – a time when Gill and I were gifted National Trust membership by our kids.



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