Drawing Blog

From Y Glog

Towards Llandinam hills from Y Glog

I heard about Y Glog from a witness statement during the ongoing wind farm enquiry at the Oak in Welshpool. Y glog is a beacon, a globe bulging away from the steep valley side; a site of bronze age tumulus, chosen no doubt for its commanding view over most of Mid Wales. Fields faceted together in infinite geometric receding in a pattern that belies the rolling soft geology of the foot hills and valleys right to the jagged horizon of South Snowdonia and more immediate the plateau of Llandinam’s hills which I have learnt to appreciate as a dominating character, an Ayres Rock or Sugar Loaf of a hill to me, alone yet dominant. Here I focus on the steep slope immediately facing Y Glog from the west, the trees are beginning to turn accentuating the hedges and gullies where they grow with an orange blaze against the green land. I draw in the contours with shadows leaving tree tops in highlight and the fields which I will overwash green. Such landscapes are a battle to keep alive, easy it is for the green washes to overwhelm, flatten and dull. I reach the make or break point after washing in the green (cb and aur very cold) which dulls the painting, so I decide a stronger definition of shadows is needed, I draw bolder as they now lengthen, cloaking and filling the folds of the land.

From Y Glog, dusk

Around five, the hillside in front of me is submerged in shadow as the sun drops low behind it; all but a sliver of gold on the hill top is in darkness. A dark wash of reticulating cadmium green is the ground in which to drop more shadows and only the minimal burst of colour. No time to dry, so everything is wet in wet which suits the hazy forms on the shadowy hillside, a hedge a road a farm. But in fact where the light catches the ridge silhouettes were crisp and clear, which would be a nice distinction to make – adding focal point I think.

Llanwyrtywaen

Llandinam hills from Llanwyrtywain on 9th (every feature has a name I am told, need to look up) for the same project. These are early attempts; what I aim for is the character individuality of a landscape illustrated precisely or minimally summed up, a portrait.
Chris Wallbank