Our first outdoor drawing session this year was at the Gymnasium in Slany on Friday 17 March. It was the last of a week-long programme of lectures and events held at the school which was organised by the town’s Regional Museum. On the Thursday evening we went to the location to check the projector etc and I did some test drawings. The tarpaulin that had been put up to cover the windows of the central stairway was dark green and unfortunately this muted the colours of the drawing and made all white and light tones turn to grey. The weather all week had been quite spring-like and it was nice to be able to draw outside again but as rain was forecast for Friday evening we took our gazebo – which turned out to be a wise decision as the weather turned wet, cold and very windy. While we were setting up the equipment I thought that our gazebo might take off in the wind, so I drove our van alongside it on the pavement which gave both the gazebo, and me, some much-needed shelter from the elements! But despite the bad weather people started to gather early so I did this quick drawing before our programme was due to begin.The theme of the event was ‘Slany then and now’. From the photographic archives of the museum we had prepared three sequences of black and white images showing various aspects of the town’s history, and these we planned to project, in the intervals between my drawings, on to the central panel of the school building. I found this archive material extremely interesting – photos of the town’s historic buildings, people working in the fields, and festivals and parades from bygone days, but because of the dark colour of the tarpaulin, at a distance a lot of the photos were not easy to see and I don’t have any photos for the blog. To counter the effects of the tarpaulin and the many windows of the Gymnasium building I made my drawings quite big and bold, beginning by using only black and white.Then, after the second sequence of archive photos I started to draw in colour……and after the third sequence of black and white photos I did another coloured drawing, beginning with a background landscape and using the tarpaulin to ‘frame’ the figures. (As the photos below show, the strong wind blowing the tarpaulin back and forth against the building distorted everything – making it very difficult to draw!) By the time that I finished this drawing the rain had stopped and although it was very windy and cold quite a few people were still on the street waiting and watching so I did a quick ‘encore’ before we turned off the projector, packed up everything and drove home.
Drawing in Slany, Czech Republic
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