Tuesday, March 12, 2013
An attempt at drawing Richard III from the facial reconstruction but with a few changes, allowing for how I think the stresses in his life (and probable pain from scoliosis) might affect his face. I'm a little fed up with my scanner making all my drawings look ghostly grey so I've gone to work on Photoshop with this one to make it more like the original.
It's been so interesting reading around the life of Richard III and trying to get a better idea of who he was and the times he lived in. It's very frustrating trying to piece it all together from wildly subjective reports, rumour and sketchy, misleading information though. At first it seemed there was very little available but slowly, digging away, small and very surprising details emerge. All I know for sure is that they were brutal times, but that only makes the positive things Richard did all the more surprising and admirable. Sadly, it seems his sense of fairness led to his downfall. It was kill or be killed back then.
I came across some examples of his signature and I really liked this one. It was his last, as it turns out, dated 1485.
2H, H, 2B Faber Castell pencils on Winsor & Newton paper.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Sketching from a hugely enjoyable show called The Great British Bake Off. I came across this 8"x8" sketchbook in London recently (made by 'Seawhite of Brighton') and it's exactly the same as the little 6"x6" ones I've been trying to fill with random sketches and doodles so straight away it doesn't have a 'precious' feel to it. The smaller size was feeling a bit cramped so it's nice to have that bit of extra space to get more faces in or play with composition.
H, HB and B pencil.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
I'm not even going to think about why inspiration suddenly strikes or suddenly dries up because it seems to make no sense at all! Months of having no urge to draw abruptly ended when I saw the woman with the receding chin (middle) and had to draw her. I drew the man on the left, sitting in Geneva airport before we got on the plane to Stockholm last week, still not really feeling it. I'm sure that was the trigger but maybe the seed was sown when I was in the Royal Palace and saw the most beautiful crowns and jewels and noticed a sign that said 'no photography and no sketching allowed'? What? I wasn't even thinking of sketching until I saw that!
The last drawing in the little sketchbook was this one, drawn on a flight from Dublin in April. Profiles are so fascinating and this man (the two on the left) had a very flat face. I think I managed to capture him well but I couldn't get a decent likeness at all with the man behind. Luck of the draw!
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Remember this drawing of my brother Paul? He's a sculptor working in wood with an amazing eye for detail. He has combined his love of wood with his interest in motorbike racing and makes beautiful and unique pieces, some of which are in the collections of some of the top teams and riders. He's finally been persauded to put his work online so do check out his new blog, Carved Curves, I know he'd be delighted if you paid him a visit!
Saturday, February 25, 2012
January was bitterly cold in Geneva, with some record low temperatures, so there was no way I was going to go out walking and collect things for the postcard! I don't think I have ever felt so cold and just going out to get food when I couldn't put it off any longer was a bit of an ordeal! So for this card, sent to Cathy Gatland in South Africa, I raided my little box of treasures collected on walks from previous months. It's lovely that these oak leaves have retained some their green colour so I felt including the acorn was a nod to the past and the future.
I wish I had something more exciting to show but I'm still suffering with 'artist's block'. After I finished the postcard I decided the best thing to do was to just give the watercolours a complete break. I've been putting together some unfinished quilt tops and was surprised to find I have 4 nearly completed single quilts! I do love the piecing but I lose interest once I've put the tops together and it takes years before I quilt and bind them! Next winter... they will definitely be finished and on the beds by next winter!
Saturday, January 21, 2012
If there is one word that sums up December for me, it must be 'clutter'. Television cluttered with Christmas ads, the shops are cluttered with more naff things to clutter your house with and everywhere just cluttered with people! I try to ignore it as best I can but the end of the year always ends up cluttering my head too!
Having to do a postcard each month makes you realise how fast months can whizz by if you're not paying attention. December came and went before I could gather my thoughts to make a card. Anyway, my January card has just been sent so I'm now back on track again and able to offload some of the guilt!
Once again, I'm happier with the back than the front! I drew the oak leaf and snail in coloured pencil. On the front, on the left, is a Linden seed (I've become quite fascinated with these seeds and they have featured a few times on the postcards), on the right a gingko biloba leaf, and I have no idea what the leaf in the middle is but I picked it for it's fabulous colour.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I completely forgot to show my November postcard on the blog. Inspiration was very low at the time so I decided to stick to a very simple design and just paint one colourful Virginia Creeper leaf. I used two of my favourite Schminke colours for this, May Green and Translucent Orange but I've forgetten which red - possibly a Sennelier Carmine and then Schminke's Magenta to deepen the edges.
I masked off the borders and sprayed a rectangle background using May Green and splattered over green, red, orange and purple for a speckled effect.
For the back I decorated it with two tiny Maple leaves, drawn life size, from a plant in the garden.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Time for a little update on this poor, neglected blog! This is the postcard I sent Martin in Germany, for the month of September. As it was quite hot at the time, I wasn't doing a lot of walking so it seemed more fitting to paint some things from the garden. We had some fabulous little bugs at the time and they were obviously enjoying our delicious leaves so I wanted to include those too.
This is the October card for Vivien in England and I kept it very simple partly because I wasn't feeling very inspired at the time - it seemed to be a lull between all the summer colours disappearing and the autumn colours taking over but the maples were looking lovely.
I haven't been all that happy with the postcards I've produced but I always enjoy adding little sketches to the back and envelope. I'm always late sending my cards off so the snail has become my trademark! I've just finished reading a lovely and fascinating book called The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey. Basically a book about illness (the author is bedridden and given a pot of violets with a snail by one of her visitors!) and snails but it makes you thankful for all the basic things we take for granted every single day and a respect for the tiny little things, like snails, we share the world with. Definitely a book to read to keep things in perspective.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
This months postcard went to Liz Steel in Australia. I wanted to do something a little different to the usual watercolours so drew these Linden/Lime tree seeds in pencil and the spritzed them with green and blue watercolours. I really wanted it to be more colourful than this but I should have made the image darker because it looked like it was going to be lost if I did any more. It's a technique I'd like to experiment more with though.
My usual snail on the envelope, but this month he is having to hurry as I was sending it off quite late! A hot chocolate on the back of the card because Liz loves tea rooms and cream teas. The hot chocolate had so much cream it has toppled over - it wasn't just a wonky drawing! That was done with coloured pencils because the surface on the back of the paper (Saunders Waterford HP) doesn't take watercolours very well.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This month's postcard went to Robyn, of Have Dogs Will Travel, in Tuscany. The aim of the postcard exchange is to get the postcards out around the end of the month for the next. I had no inspiration at all until the month has nearly gone and I spotted these berries. Then I couldn't wait to get started - funny how inspiration comes and goes so dramatically sometimes.
Most of it is painted with watercolours (Sennelier) on 640gsm Saunders Waterford paper and finished off with some touches of coloured pencil. I used coloured pencil for the border and then gave it a splattered background with the green and purple watercolours.
Now, I think, is the right time to take a little break from blogging and the computer and re-charge the batteries. Thanks very much for visiting!
Monday, July 18, 2011
I was totally taken with the colours in this amazing shoe! Now that I've painted it I realise why because when I got out the watercolours to match they were all my favourites. I used all Schmincke's Transparent Yellow, Transparent Orange, Magenta, Brilliant Purple, May Green and Cobalt Turqouise, except for Winsor & Newton Opera Rose. I don't think it's possible to do justice to this shoe to show how it sparkles - maybe the metallic Daniel Smith colours would work? I put down a wash with all the colours first and then drew circles over it with a Luminance Black pencil.
Painted on 640gsm Saunders Waterford HP paper.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Oh, how I wish I could say this was mine, but alas, it's only drawn from a photo I took! There is a Christian Louboutin shop in town and I never really took much notice until a couple of weeks ago. It's right across the road from a supermarket I go to and I went over to peer in the window and a couple of them just knocked me out - they are like little works of art!
I had a feeling I should have attempted this in watercolour and now I'm finished I might never pick up a coloured pencil again! It was so frustrating. It's mostly one colour, Polychromos Burnt Carmine with a light layer of Vermilion at one stage - there were a lot of layers! Maybe it was just the way that Burnt Carmine handles but it was like drawing with a wax candle that handled like a piece of chalk. It didn't seem to layer very well and it smudged like mad. To make matters worse, I didn't get the drawing of the studs down properly before I started and worked around them thinking I would tighten them up as I progressed. But then I added a Lyra Rembrandt Black at the stage where it usually makes the details 'pop' but instead they looked wonky and I found that black is impossible to erase, even with my battery powered eraser! I also lost a lot of my white highlights I'd been careful to preserve! I have to say, this shoe was not nearly as much fun to draw as it is to look at!
Polychromos and Lyra colour pencils on Winsor & Newton cartridge paper.
Friday, June 17, 2011
This month's postcard was posted to Katherine Tyrrell of Making a Mark. Strangely, I didn't find anything on my walks that I liked more than this dried maple twig. I loved the shape and the subtle colours found in it's leaves.
Most of it was completed with watercolours and then touches of coloured pencil were added to emphasis the greens and yellows and add a little definition to the edges of the background. Then the whole thing was lightly splattered with the various colours (purples and greens) to give it a little more interest. In retrospect, I think I should not have copied one of the leaves so closely and changed it's shape but sometimes you don't see things until they are pointed out so I won't point them out here! I tried removing some of the shapes but the colour was staining so I added a couple instead.
I was actually happier with this quick pencil sketch (of the Jet d'Eau) I put on the envelope. It was fun to do something with just a suggestion of detail and although it was from a photo of mine, I thought this quick technique could be applied to sketching en plein air.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
A whole month has gone by since my last post so I think it's time to replace that Easter bunny now! This is the postcard I made for this month for the Postcard from my Walk exchange. I'm still not producing work for my cards that I'm entirely happy with. For some reason the nerves keep getting the better of me so I'm trying to keep the designs fairly simple.