Today I took the opportunity to tackle my sketchbook fear with a trip to Wymondham, pronounced ‘Windum’ (try that in a Norfolk accent). Not far from Norwich, it’s a small town with a lot of history and beautiful scenery so the perfect place for me to practice putting pen to paper!
I hadn’t been before, so after a bit of research I found a couple of places to visit as well as a trail to explore. Armed with my pens, sketchbook and a fold up chair, I headed into the town centre:
I walked down Bridewell Street and my first thought was ‘beautiful’. The houses had so much character and I knew I wanted to draw it but I kept walking. I wasn’t sure about just pitching my chair in the middle of the street to sketch but I just thought ‘Who cares? Nobody knows me here’ and went back:
I did get a few funny looks (and someone asked me what I was protesting about!) but I also had a few lovely elderly ladies that were interested in what I was up to. It was lovely weather and it gave me a bit of confidence. For my first sketch in a while I think it’s not too bad – it’s not perfect but I think that’s the charm?
So with a tip from one of the ladies that spoke to me, I headed to The Green Dragon Tavern – the oldest building in Wymondham.
I imagined that the banner wasn’t there because I thought it ruined the beauty of the building – a 14th Century Tavern. I was taking up a lot of the pavement when drawing this so sorry to the people who had to squeeze around me!
It was around lunchtime now so I headed off on a trail along the River Tiffey to find somewhere to eat…
The water flow was really low at this bridge, causing an island to form in the centre of the river. Feeling adventurous, I hopped into the middle for a photo opportunity… and I didn’t get swept away! (Good job because I can’t swim ha)
Back on dry land I headed to the train station, not to catch a train though! I really like ‘traditional’ English train stations – makes me feel like I’m in Heartbeat or something with the cute tea room, flower baskets, ornate railings and quirky plaques…
The station was deserted as not many trains stop here but you can get to Cambridge and Norwich, so pretty handy for the locals. I took advantage of the peace and quiet:
After this it was starting to look a bit grey so I packed up. So, 3 sketches down… a lot more improving to do! They’re not perfect (practice makes perfect!) but I need to get used to angles, scale and my pen technique. I took a range of black fine liners, biros, sharpies and a grey felt tip. I like sketching in black because it’s less fussy and allows me to focus more on the drawing but I did kinda wish I had a colour today just to highlight the flowers. What do you think?
I’ve had some lovely comments since admitting my fear and it seems I’m not the only one that finds it hard to make the first mark. Has anyone else started a sketchbook challenge? I really enjoyed today and it’s given me a bit of confidence to unfold my chair anywhere. Where will I go next…?
21 miles to Thetford, 8 miles to Norwich and 101 miles to London!