Based on my recent sketches for “Townscapes”, I chose to draw a picture of Ossett marketplace, to include the Town Hall, which I like to look at, and the War Memorial that I’d sketched in the “Statues” exercise. That lead to selecting a market day for the picture, and I became particularly interested in a stall selling hats, so decided to make that a feature. After sketching and taking reference photos I quickly arrived at a composition by moving the hat stall to a different part of the marketplace, and by inventing a stall to the right of it. In the process I noticed that the signpost and a feature on the base of the war memorial formed a cross (just as I’d found a cross in window frame whilst sketching the war memorial statue), and I decided to make that a focal point.
I wanted a substantial support so I chose a watercolour board. I began by drawing in pencil until I was happy with the layout, then drew over that with a permanent black marker. I changed the format slightly by shortening the height and width. I then decided to get rid of the white areas by washing over the whole board with a mix of mainly yellow acrylic paint, before lifting out some areas that I intended to be paler.
I then worked mainly with hard and soft pastels, and some charcoal, to build up to the colour and tone.
I had hoped to work much quicker but it took me longer than expected to bring it to the point where I was satisfied with it, which was after almost 7 hours of total work, done in 2 sessions. I’m quite pleased with the overall result, which is pretty much as I’d imagined it at the start.