A few weeks ago I was privileged to be invited to an evening “sketching picnic” by members of the Porongurup Art Group.

Porongurup is a small “village” about 20km from my home and is nestled at the base of the Porongurup Range. This small, ancient mountain range is just 15km long and consists of domed granite peaks and tall karri forest.

andy dolphin sketch australian landscape

(Angwin Peak, Porongurup, 2010. © Andy Dolphin)

I arrived early, around 5pm, and did a “quick” sketch of Angwin Peak (above). I don’t do a lot of sketching for sketching’s sake. Mostly I sketch as a preliminary step to painting, using sketches for colour notes and to assist in fixing an image in my mind. This was an exception as I concentrated on the highlight and shadows on the main rock structures but paid no attention to colour or lots of other surrounding information. It is just 20cm wide.

When everyone else arrived we walked part-way up the steep granite slope toward the peak – we weren’t crazy enough to drag our art and picnic gear to the boulders at top of the 400m high peak. The picnic was set up on a patch of level ground and everyone set about eating, drinking and sketching, mostly in that order.

It was a beautiful summer’s evening with clear skies and a gentle breeze. A great time was had by all.

“Eat first, then sketch. It’s all about priorities!”

Our view to the “nearby” Stirling Range.