30 April 2007

Drapery study, WIP

At tonight's art class, the teacher set up a drapery study for us to do. The extra challenge was that the drapery was translucent! I do enjoy this sort of challenge, once in a while, anyway! It will take quite a long time to complete -- this is two hours work so far -- and I may not have the patience or time, but perhaps posting it here as a WIP will give me an incentive!

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27 April 2007

EDM # 56 -- Self-portrait

I've always enjoyed doing blind contour drawings. There is something liberating about not having to worry about what the end product is going to look like. Also the works that really inspired me to try my own hand at drawing were line drawings. I've always loved line drawings; there is something especially magical about producing pictures out of simple lines. Of course, there is nothing at all magical about my blind contour drawings, but they are fun. This is a self-portrait. You'll have to decide for yourself if I really look like this!

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26 April 2007

EDM #53 -- Mouth

I haven't done much portrait drawing or painting, but doing studies of bits of faces seems like good practice. When I do try to draw or paint faces, I generally find the mouth the hardest part, so I decided to do some studies of a mouth. It also happens to be the subject of Everyday Matters challenge number 53, so that's another one crossed off the list!

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25 April 2007

EDM #116 -- Something Green

This is a sketch of something green -- Green College, Oxford. This is the Radcliffe Observatory, an 18th century building in the grounds of the college.

It was a very quick sketch that I did while I was waiting for a bus; that's why it's a bit wonky! Anyway, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!

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23 April 2007


Irises are my favourite flowers, but I find them very difficult to draw or paint. But I figure there is only one way to get better! So here are a couple of studies, one in pencil and one in watercolour. Anyway, I needed a change from the country cottage drawing before I go back to finish it off.

22 April 2007

Country cottage, WIP part III

Spent another few hours on this today. Apart from the lawn in front of the house, I think this is getting close to being done. It's a while since I attempted anything like this, and I'm beginning to remember why! It takes a very long time! On the other hand, there is something very satisfying about doing a very detailed piece of work in pen and ink.

I'm using Rotring Rapidograph pens on 140lb NOT watercolour paper, by the way. My favourite is the .25, though I sometimes use the .1 and the .35. I've got a .5 as well, but when you've been using those very fine nibs, the .5 feels like a stick of charcoal! They are normally extremely reliable, though there are three big spots where ink blotted out of one of them. It was my fault, I hadn't put a new cartridge in properly. I think these blots stick out like a sore thumb (three thumbs, in fact). I also think the roof is a mess, and the front door is too wide. Apart from that, I'm quite pleased with it!

21 April 2007


I've been a bit too busy to do too much painting or drawing for the past day or two, but I did manage to do this quick ink sketch of our cat, Pandora. She's a British Blue, very placid...indeed, you could say fat and lazy! She also has the slightly annoying habit of walking over my computer keyboard while I'm working! This was done with a Rotring Art Pen, washed over with a Pentel water brush.

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18 April 2007

Garden sketches

Tonight I put the dinner on and thought it was such a lovely evening that I would go out and do a bit of sketching in the garden while it was cooking. Unfortunately, I got engrossed in it and...well, let's just say that the local Chinese takeaway got some extra business tonight!

I've admired several other artists' use of Inktense pencils lately, so I thought I'd give them a go. I don't really have much success with coloured pencils, but these colours seemed so vibrant that I couldn't resist. These aren't entirely successful (the best one is the graphite!), but I think it will be worth persevering.

17 April 2007

Country cottage, WIP part 2

Here's an update on the country cottage picture. I didn't manage to get very much done tonight; mainly the roof and the wall on the right. The detail on the front of the house is the scary part that I'm putting off doing!

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While in Scotland, my nephew was keen to try his hand at trout and salmon fishing, so we went along to the River Deveron for a morning. It's not as well known as some other Scottish fishing rivers, like the Tweed and the Dee, but it is in a lovely location. However, fishing isn't really for me; the guide told us that 99% of fly fishing trips end up with no fish, especially in the spring. So, I figured you have about the same chance of catching a fish if you are sketching on the bank as those that are actually fishing! Here is a quick sketch of my daughter. Oh, and no fish were harmed in the making of this sketch!

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16 April 2007

Country cottage, WIP

I'm working on a pen and ink drawing of a country cottage. I've done one or two detailed pen and ink drawings before, but this is the largest I've attempted so far. It's taking a long time, probably five hours so far, but I'm not really keeping track because I'm enjoying doing it. I thought I would share the progress so far.

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Another Matterhorn

Here's another sketch of the Matterhorn, this time in pen and ink.

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I'm back from my trips to Switzerland and Scotland. I've a few sketches to share, though not as many as I'd hoped. This is partly because my poor wife tore a knee ligament on her first day skiing, and so was unable to take to the slopes herself. As a result, I had to spend most of the week making sure nothing similar happened to my daughter and two nephews! As I don't ski myself, that was a bit of a challenge!! The other reason is that various people begged me to give them the best sketches that I did manage to do, so I only have a few left. Does this happen to other people? It's hard to say no, especially to the kids, even though a selfish part of me didn't really want to part with them. (Of course, I couldn't really expect to keep the sketch of Pads the PDSA beanie baby puppy with a bandaged paw...). Anyway, here is a sketch I managed to do on the first day in Switzerland, from a place called Riffelberg, not far up the mountain from Zermatt.

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