Day out at the Woolpit Steam Fair

My brother dragged me along to the annual Woolpit Steam Fair with the family. Not usually my thing but it was a gorgeous sunny day and I had a great time snapping photos and observing people and machines. I did some sketches from photos later. The thing I kept noticing was the intense concentration and dedication to these extraordinary machines. It’s a very serious business keeping those great heaps of metal going.

old boys steam engineThese two old boys were completely engrossed in their steam engine and I wanted to capture how focused they were and the togetherness of it. I wasn’t totally displeased with this sketch (pencil, drawing pen and charcoal pencils) but looking at it critically I’d say that the man at the back is a bit wooden. Also, they were in close communication with each other and if I’d tilted their faces so that they were very slightly facing each other I would have captured the sense of comradeship better. I did enjoy using the charcoal pencils and the subtlety of the colours.

two-menIn my second picture (pen, pencil, conte crayons, ink) I was aiming to reproduce the relaxed poses and the slouchy clothes. I’m not happy with this picture.  It is poorly drawn and I think I’ve tried to cover the defects by splashing on colour. I would  have done better to do a series of simple sketches, working towards expressing the message I was after. This talks to me about the good sense in doing preparatory drawings. I did discover, however, that ink over conte crayons is quite effective and gives additional definition. Lessons learned!

cogs and wheels


I took a lot of photos of cogs and wheels and steam  which may come in useful if I ever decide to explore the industrial revolution in art!cogs-wheels


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