Thursday, 28 July 2016

Sketches - Newark Park

Last week we visited Newark Park, originally built as a hunting lodge in the mid-1500s. The estate is high up in the Cotswolds with impressive views over the surrounding countryside, steeply sloping gardens and several way-marked woodland walks. 

The strong sun soon moved round to our lakeside picnic spot, but I did manage to get a quick sketch of the 18th Century summer house. My photo provided the reference for the small drawing of the east front of the main house.

Pen and watercolour marker in Sepia

Newark Park - pen and watercolour

Monday, 25 July 2016

Indian ink and gouache resist

Another couple of examples of paintings done using the Indian ink and gouache resist technique (see an explanation here).

This blue house was so striking I just had to capture it in my sketch book. I stood across the street and did a very quick pen drawing, adding watercolour later, using my photo for back-up reference.

Blue House sketch

Blue House, Alresford - Gouache, Indian ink and watercolour

Standing on the towpath opposite, the Canal House was also recorded in pen, with a rough indication of colours added on the spot.

Canal House sketch

Canal House - Gouache, Indian ink and watercolour

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


A couple of pictures recently exhibited at the Summer Exhibition of The Guild of Wiltshire Artists.

Royal Flush - Mixed Media Collage 7.5" x 22"
The one above is a combination of pen, ink, acrylic, hand-printed tissue, stencilled texture paste and a couple of small paper cast elements.

On the image below, the grafitti wall was achieved with a combination of handmade foam stamps and  lino prints on mulberry paper, using acrylics and gesso; I utilised some oddments of hand-printed tissue for the figure and pavement.

Urban Scrawl - Mixed Media Collage 7" x 12.5"

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Lacock sketches

A few days ago, we visited Lacock, a charming, historical Wiltshire village.

Lacock Abbey – In the 1800's this was the home of W. H. Fox Talbot, renowned for his contribution to the invention of photography, producing the first photographic negative. The abbey cloisters were the setting for some of the scenes in one of the Harry Potter films.

The village itself is a much sought after location for films and period TV dramas, including Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Cranford and many more.

A very quick plein air sketch of part of the abbey using pencil and a watercolour marker – later I added a bit more detail with a fine liner pen.

Lacock Abbey window, pen and wash

This unusual window alcove was added to my journal at home, using one of my photos as reference.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Coloured pencil on black

Following on from my post of 10th June.... Despite my oriental poppies producing about 30 buds, I only managed to save one other specimen for another quick study – the rest were decimated by heavy showers almost as soon as they opened.

Oriental Poppy

Having seen some YouTube videos about coloured pencil on black paper, I decided to give it a try. I don't have an extensive collection of pencils, just an odd assortment of freebies acquired over the years, but I was intrigued by this artist's use of white pencil as a base layer for most of the subsequent bright colours.

I found it difficult to get a true colour scan with the black background, if anything the scans make the colours look brighter than they actually are. I don't have any Prismacolor pencils and I could not get a dense enough white layer with the Luminance one I used. (An excuse for a trip to the art shop!) I had the same problem with the dogwood, but here I used dry watercolour pencils for the leaves which I think produced a richer finish.

Chinese Dogwood

Monday, 4 July 2016

Painted papers booklet

Here is my attempt at the glued spine book mentioned in my previous post.  I had several off-cuts of hand-printed and painted paper, which were roughly the same size, so used these for the pages, utilising smaller oddments for pockets or collaged decoration.  My effort is nowhere near as neat as Pat's, but once I had managed to get my head round the sequence of folds and gluing, it proved fairly easy to complete.  I strengthened the back and front pages by using a double thickness of paper.  It produces quite a sturdy little book which opens flat, as well as allowing for the addition of collaged items.

Size approximately 4" x 5"

Pocket with cast paper addition
A foam stamped background with collaged linocut flower

A paste grain scrap becomes a tiny envelope