26 July 2007

Ardrishaig Harbour

This is the small lighthouse at the entrance to Ardrishaig harbour, which is at the eastern end of the Crinan Canal. This was done with a Rotring Art Pen in my small W&N sketchbook.

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25 July 2007

Sound of Jura

This is a very quick sketch, done at Castle Dounie, which overlooks the Sound of Jura. I didn't have long because my rather impatient family weren't keen on hanging around in the cold wind, despite the stunning views. You can see the entrance to the Gulf of Corryvreckan, which lies between the islands of Jura and Scarba. It is famous for its whirlpool (at the other end of the Gulf), which is created by strong tidal flows and rock pinnacles on the sea bed. George Orwell was once caught in it, and was lucky to survive.

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23 July 2007

Another holiday painting

Here's another painting from my recent holiday. This one is a bit larger, a 1/4 sheet. More practice with grey skies!

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22 July 2007

Loch Fyne

I'm just back from my trip to Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. We were staying in a small village called Ardrishaig, which is on the banks of Loch Fyne, a large sea loch on the eastern side of the Kintyre peninsula, famous for the quality of its seafood. It is a beautiful part of Scotland, with sea, mountains, islands, beaches...everything you could want, provided the weather stays fine! This is a watercolour sketch of part of Loch Fyne.

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21 July 2007


I've been away on holiday on Scotland for the past week, hence my lack of posting. Over the next few days I'll post some of the sketches I did while I was away. In the meantime, here's a photograph to wet your appetite.

05 July 2007

EDM #126 -- Draw a sponge

I haven't done the EDM weekly challenge for a few weeks, partly because I've been busy. Also, I think maybe it's one of those things that if you can just get out of the habit of doing. But since I have several sponges lying around, I don't really have an excuse not to do this one. So, here it is. I hope this means I'm back in the habit again! This is done with Copic multiliners and Inktense pencils.

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More lavender

Another attempt at wet and loose lavender.

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04 July 2007


This month's topic on Making a Mark is flowers in art. There are some wonderful links in this post; anyone with even the slightest interest in flower painting should take a look. I've been continuing to experiment with loose approaches to flowers, using lots of water, and as part of this have produced a few studies of lavender. Here are a couple. They're not really loose and watery enough, now I come to look at them again. Still, that gives me an excuse to have another go!

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03 July 2007


When the rain drove me inside yesterday, I did a quick sketch of this chandelier inside the spookily now almost deserted old Radcliffe Infirmary (mentioned in the previous post). I couldn't take long because, ironically, the lights weren't working! It's not particularly accurate, but then it was a pretty complicated thing to draw in the gathering gloom! Plus, it's pretty wonky IRL, so who's going to know? The little tower in the corner is on the roof of the hospital's chapel.

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02 July 2007

Radcliffe Infirmary

Tonight I had the chance to spend about half an hour making a sketch of the fountain at the front of the old Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford. It's an historic site: the hospital opened in 1770, but it closed in January this year, with all its functions moving to a new site in Oxford. The original building is very interesting, but behind it is an ugly sprawl of buildings that have been put up over the years. The site has been taken over by Oxford University, who are going to turn it into teaching and research facilities. They'll have to preserve the original building, but I expect the rest will go.

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01 July 2007


Time for a return to graphite. I like to use lots of different media -- watercolour, pen and ink, coloured pencil -- but I still find it hard to beat graphite. The control and subtlety of tone that one can get are unrivalled (at least, I can't rival it!). This is a bit of hawthorn, very common around here.

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