Sunday, 19 November 2017

Circle book in progress

I have been busy on my Christmas card design - it will be a simple lino print image again this year - but more about that nearer the festive season.

Meanwhile, I have  a couple of special birthdays to make booklets for, so for the first another circle book is in production.  I have used this peony design before, but needed to make a larger foam stamp, allowing enough room for the computer printed text on the 5" diameter pages.  The cover will probably be decorated with the peony bud image.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Life Drawing

My local art society held a 2 hour life drawing workshop this weekend.  The first half was with the model clothed, the second half unclothed.  Despite quite a short time span, those attending managed to produce quite a few very good sketches.  It's definitely something I could do with more practice at.

We started off each session with a couple of 5 minute warm-ups, followed by two longer poses of 20/25 minutes.

Three of my 5 minute warm-ups:

Charcoal pencil

Charcoal pencil

Conte pencil

A couple of the longer poses:

Charcoal and pastel pencil

Charcoal and pastel pencil over
acrylic sponged background

Sunday, 5 November 2017

November sketch outing

Despite early rain, we had a good turnout for our November urban sketchers meeting, with three or four new people joining us.

The venue was the town's first municipal cemetery (dating from 1881), but now closed to new burials. The area is a quiet green space and designated nature reserve surrounded by streets of Victorian terraced houses originally built for the expanding workforce of Brunel's railway workshops.  The chapel is now only used on special occasions, but the caretakers kindly agreed to open the building up so that we would have somewhere to shelter should the weather deteriorate.

All comforts provided!

The Gothic Revivalist style chapel

I used the Hahnemuhle Grey sketchbook, which I had already prepared using soft gel medium to add a piece of randomly painted tissue paper to one of the pages.  The resulting surface proved to be rather slick for the watercolour I tried to add to my pen sketch - perhaps acrylic or ink would have been a better choice, but I enjoy experimenting with different approaches.
The Chapel, Radnor Street Cemetery 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Miniatures Gallery

Some images of my miniatures have been posted earlier in this blog, but I have now started a gallery page (here) to show them in one place.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Flower sketch

A couple of years ago I acquired a packet of nasturtium seeds (a free gift with some magazine, I think).  This spring I decided it was time to use them to fill in a few bare spots in the garden.  In a couple of areas they grew and flowered as expected, but in the third patch they've spread like some monstrous triffid overtaking the lawn and existing plants.  Naturally, they have been the subject of a few sketches.  This one is pen and wash - the colours are nowhere near as vibrant as they should be, but in this instance I was more concerned with capturing their fantastic shapes.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Collage Gallery

I have just added a few of my collage images to the Pages section of this blog.  In due course, I intend to add more categories.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Holiday sketches

A few more drawings from my recent holiday.  These pen and wash sketches are quite tiny as my current watercolour travel journey is only 6" x 4" and I like to use about half the page to write up the day's events.

Petworth House (run by the National Trust) has been home to descendants of the same family for 900 years and contains an impressive collection of art, including works by Gainsborough, Titian, William Blake, Joshua Reynolds, van Dyck and JMW Turner who painted several views of the grounds and the house interior for his patron the 3rd Earl of Egremont.  The house sits in 700 acres of landscaped deer park with a couple of lakes.

Winkworth Arboretum
 The Arboretum is set in a steeply wooded valley leading down to a lake with its boathouse.

Pendean Farmhouse,  originally built in 1609 -
Weald and Downland Museum
This is an open air museum of some 70 acres where over 50 historic local buildings, threatened with demolition, have been painstakingly reconstructed in either a village or rural setting within the site.  A really interesting visit and well worth the full day it took to explore.

Our self-catering accommodation
We stayed in a converted oak-beamed barn on a farm near a small village.