Monday, 10 October 2022

my books

A run of my books in order of publication:

Just add Watercolour
Drawn from Life
Just Draw Botanicals

New Ideas in Botanical Painting 
- a collaboration with botanical artist Carolyn Jenkins

I've had a lot on - a photo essay - self published  

UK versions - covers vary in other languages

all paintings by Carolyn Jenkins

(available as ebook)

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

using photos: gouache chairs

I deliver art sessions at Sketchbook Skool - drawing mostly, with a little painting and collage too.
It's always good to see what the other tutors are up to, so I often dip in to the various classes.

Janis McCarty does a regular gouache session there.
She posted a photo of an old family chair - a memory of her childhood, as the starting point for a gouache study.

The combination of image and media sparked the beginning of an idea.
Plus, gouache has always been one of my favourite paints.  

We all take a myriad photographs don't we? Where do yours end up? How often do you look at them or possibly use them in a project?

Luckily I've been in the habit of saving and tagging my digital pics for quite a while - so they're easy to locate for potential later use.  

Now was the moment - "chair" threw up a lot of images.

Just like Janis'image had meaning for her, I followed suit with my selection.

  • Chairs from a hospice
  • A chair from the family home
  • An armchair in a hotel

My aim was to 're-upholster' the chairs that imbued most sadness (with fabric swatches provided by Janis), and turn them in to something happier and more positive. 

Monday, 11 July 2022

busy drawings

I delivered a sketchbook skool art session a while back - on 'busy drawings'.

How do you get lots of ideas in to your composition quickly? - in this case an urban scene.

Make a list of objects for your chosen scene - I suggest 50 - cut them up - place them in a hat - choose them randomly - draw whatever comes out of the hat until they're all used up.

See the list I used below

Try to make your drawing make pictoral sense. Play with scale and placement.

Complete your drawing in 20-30 minutes.
Felt tips / marker pens work well for this exercise.
Ps Kids love this drawing game.

House / building Telephone pole/wires Park bench Pond Mountain / hill Giraffe Clouds Peacock Sun Open window Bicycle Road Clocktower Birds Statue Graffiti Stairs Flowers - tulips Trumpet Grass / lawn Flag Wheeled vehicle A person Umbrella Dog Busy composition Monkey Child River Trees / greenery Boat Cafe chairs Street performer Lamp post / street lighting People Car Shop signage Aeroplane towing a message Top hat A distant view Bridge Bus Many windowed building Fence Rubbish / garbage Traffic signage Crane / building work or machinery Hot air balloon Zebra crossing / street crossing

calligraphy fountain pen drawings

More Sailor ink pen drawings whilst having a quick coffee in a favourite cafe

I purchased this great bit of drawing kit after watching one of Koosje Koene's Draw Tip Tuesday videos. The pen really is great to work with. Ink flows  smoothly; thick and thin lines transition nicely. It's exciting to draw with. 

I've used the pen in a life drawing session too


Saturday, 9 July 2022

life drawing - a new Sailor pen

I had a spare Tuesday morning a few weeks ago so popped in to my friend's early morning art class. It was half term so her daughter had a week long holiday from school. She sat as the model.

I'd just purchased a Sailor ink pen and was keen to try it out.
The paper is cheap rolled paper from Ikea - hence the creases in the surface in my efforts to flatten it out.

The drawings are shown in reverse. 
The top one (my 3rd) is more confident. Perhaps I was emboldened by that cup of coffee you can just see on the paper's lower edge :-)

I do tend to like to depict a model's environment and the other participants. A little more of the room is shown in the middle drawing.

The warm-up charcoal drawings were very few minutes or even seconds in the making. I've left these 'bad' drawings in to show the process of loosening up. That said, I quite like the sitting pose.

Friday, 8 July 2022

ink drawings: size and scale

An exercise in looking at size and scale - an old, battered Converse hi-top the subject matter.

  • Black fine liner on cigarette paper
  • Some enlarged with a projector, re-drawn using dip pens, Indian ink
  • Various freehand black ink drawings on various sizes of newspaper. Rotring ink soaked in to the surface producing a grey halo; Indian ink lines widened as they soaked in, but stayed true black.
What I hadn't considered is how random text on the newspaper influenced how the drawing might be 'read'.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

street art - Phlegm

I recently went out for a quiet coffee in West Didsbury, Manchester, UK 
I wasn't expect a 'whoa' moment. The style and scale of these black and white paintings on 2 red brick house ends did the trick.

Turns out they're by Phlegm.

'...a Welsh-born Sheffield-based muralist and artist who first developed his illustrations in self-published comicsThe name 'Phlegm' came from one of the four temperaments in ancient Greek medicine: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Phlegm was believed to be responsible for an apathetic and unemotional temperament.' source: Wikipedia