Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A brief taste of Spring

Well, it was actually more like mid-summer for three days at the end of last week.  The boots, scarves and jumpers were discarded in favour of light and cool attire and we spent a beautiful day at Batsford Arboretum in Gloucestershire.  The swathes of daffodils were almost over, but were being replaced with snakehead fritillaries, primroses, wood anemones, magnolias and cherry blossom.

I made a basic plein air sketch of this quaint Japanese style building using pen and Inktense pencils, adding more line work and stronger watercolour washes later at home.



Note to self:  remember the old saying "Don't cast a clout till May be out".  We are now back to cold, wet and windy!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Drawing practice - faces

With a little time to spare, waiting for visitors to arrive, I did a couple of pencil sketches from images on the internet.  Quite a useful exercise - will try and keep this going.

I don't watch much television, but when I do get involved with a drama series, I keep a sketchbook handy and try to capture the facial features of one of the main characters.

Graphite on cartridge (drawing) paper

Sunday, 8 April 2018

April sketch group

Yesterday's meeting took place in Town Gardens - a Victorian style park in the old town area of Swindon.  Threatened showers cleared to give us a reasonably mild morning with some welcome glimpses of sun.  I had previously sketched the ornate bandstand here, so decided to try the Aviary which houses quite a variety of exotic small birds.

Town Gardens Aviary - fine liner pen, Pentel brush pen and watercolour crayons
on Hahnemuhle Grey Paper

I was trying out some newly acquired watercolour wax crayons and am not really happy with my efforts.  The background trees were far too bright, so I scribbled over some black crayon and was able to try out a scraffito effect to add a bit of texture.

I definitely need to practice with these a bit more to achieve better results.

I was impressed with the sketches by this artist pat.southernpearce and wanted to attempt something similar.



Test colours on tan paper (Paperchase sketchbook) -
water added on the righthand side
Colours tested on Arches wc paper - white crayon has been
added over the six colours at the bottom which has muted
 them slightly

Monday, 2 April 2018

A purple, circle book

Yet another of my circle books, made for a special birthday.  I chose two shades of purple card for this and, due to the thickness of the card, I opted for six pages instead of eight.    Gesso was used with my own linocuts for the decoration, with added highlights and handwritten message in silver and white gel pens.  The purchased gift bag was embellished with toning paper flowers fashioned from old book pages.

Each circular page was 5" in diameter

The folded card fitted into the smaller handmade gift bag



Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Hydrangea in Blue

Another experiment with one of my painted paper backgrounds.  Instead of drawing my subject on the paper, I decided to make some foam stamps of the hydrangea blooms and print these onto the background with white gesso.  It was then a case of using fluid acrylics, watercolour pencil and both negative and positive painting to bring the flowers out of the background.

Randomly painted background on Hahnemuhle bamboo paper

Handmade foam stamps, fluid acrylics and watercolour pencil


Hydrangea in Blue
Image size 5" x 13"

Saturday, 10 March 2018

March Sketch Outing

Our planned sketch outing for 3rd March was cancelled due to a reasonably heavy snowfall.  The venue - Swindon Museum and Art Gallery - is at the top of a steep hill, so even attempting the journey by foot would have been difficult.  In any event, the Gallery decided to close its doors for both the Friday and Saturday.  So, our meet-up was reorganised for today, with at least four new members turning up.

Two or three of the rooms were closed as exhibits were being changed, but there were still plenty of opportunities for sketching.  I ended up in the small Egyptian room on the top floor - the main exhibit being the coffin and mummy of a teenage boy, named Hatemiu. The coffin was discovered near the town of Akhmim, Upper Egypt, on the east bank of the Nile.  It was purchased by an English collector in 1886 who gave it to the Museum in Devizes, Wiltshire - they later sold it to the Swindon Museum.

I was fascinated by the intricately detailed decoration on the mummy and attempted to capture this in my sketch, as well as give an indication of the colours used.

Pen sketch on Hahnemuele Grey paper with Inktense pencils