A few quick sketches at Runnymede Sculpture Farm

Isn’t it amazing how you can live someplace for years and not know of incredible places right in your backyard? I discovered one of those a couple of weeks ago in Runnymede Sculpture Farm when Cathy McAuliffe  invited the local sketchers group to sketch.

I couldn’t stay long, but managed a few quick sketches while I was there. Runnymede is acre after acre of oak-covered rolling hills covered in outdoor sculptures by famous artists.

These are Celeste Roberge’s Rising Cairn and beyond it, Walking Cairn, both made from stone encased in wire.runnymede1

Charles Ginnever’s Kitsune, a large piece in steel set at the edge of a hill.runnymede2Kitsune again, with David Anderson’s Turbine in the foreground.
runnymede3And this is Hana and Jan Exnar’s – you guessed it- Horse, looking out towards my favorite sculpture from that daya majestic Mark di Suvero piece called Symbiosis.runnymede4

I had to sketch the Symbiosis next, it is really a majestic piece. I often get asked if I do line first or color, and until recently my answer was always “line first, then color” but I’ve been trying to vary my approach and go in with color first when I can. It helps me see masses before contours and gives me a chance to decide how much linework the final piece requires.

This was a pretty fast sketch- about 10 minutes- but I took some photographs while I did it, so here it is.
1: A photograph of the piece
2: I started by ‘building’ the piece in shades of orange: from deep orange red to egg yolk orange .
3: I did debate painting in a sky versus not, but I couldn’t resist playing the orange against the blue, so in went some sky: for contrast, and to carve out some of those inside spaces.
4: Line next to add dimension and depth to the beams on the structure.
5: Foliage to help define the horizon and unify the barn and the sculpture. And a wee bit of color on the sculpture itself to deepen the shadows on it.


I didn’t make it around even an acre of Runnymede and from looking at the map, I’m guessing the Farm is about a hundred acres. It would be wonderful to go back there again, to wander around and to sketch. Many thanks to Cathy and her friend Sam Perry, an artist and conservator at Runnymede, for making this trip possible.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, How to, Silicon Valley and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A few quick sketches at Runnymede Sculpture Farm

  1. Sculpture says:

    Thanks for showing your process.


  2. Anne says:

    Always enjoy and appreciate your postings. And, yes, thanks for showing the process of the last painting – I learned more looking at those photos and your commentary than I have in the past, oh, long time.


  3. Lynn Holbein says:

    Thanks so much for showing the step-by-step, starting with the photo. It was particularly helpful to see that you started with the paint, then added pen — I usually do the reverse, so it’s wonderful to think about approaching the process differently. I love your work!


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