Tuesday, February 28, 2012

out of the corner of my eye i think i see you standing outside

The chutney, above, is one of the delicacies I took to our Mad Hatter's Tea and Sketching Party back in January. Inspired by, my drawing buddy, Lynne Chapman's work it was created with colour pencil alone. I'm amazed by the way she uses this medium, from the depth of colour to textures she achieves. Now I often use colour pencil but it's always with other media, whether that be ink pens or ballpoints. But, here, I thought I'd challenge myself to make a drawing purely with colour pencil. As the great Judge Judy says everyday should be a learning experience. I'm quite happy with it but I'm not sure colour pencil (alone) is for me. I just love the impact and intensity you get with inks. So, I guess that's what I learnt; I love ink!

And, as promised, below is the recipe for Eyeball Chutney. I'm kind of kicking myself because I intended to add a spoon to the jar in the drawing. I felt that would have completed the composition. Who knows I might try to worm one in there yet.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

a stranger to my eyes

This is a little taster. A little trailer, if you will, for a new project I've been desperate to get up and running for some time. Actually, it's not necessarily new; it's been simmering for a year or so now. I like a bit of simmering. Time for all those flavours to really come out. I hope you'll return for the opening of the envelope.

Plus, a big thanks for all the comments. adds, likes and favourites in response to yesterday's post. Touched is not the word.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

might take the car up to the hills

Well, guys, I seem to be passing these milestones at great speed at the moment. Here's another; 2000 followers of my little ol'sketchblog! Thanks to each and everyone of you. You make me very very happy.

I should have come up with a giveaway to mark this occasion. I will. Just give me a few days to come up with something.

For now, here's some little sketches I made while in Tideswell yesterday. I love this village for drawing (and eating). I love the houses. Each one is different from the next. Many are ancient. I went a little wrong with the composition of this so, as I said in the last post, the best way of dealing with that is to throw everything you've got at it. That way, nobody'll ever notice a slip up.

And, one more thing; can you spot the three cats chilling out around Tideswell? Click on the drawing to find them.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Roll up! Roll up! Come and see the amazing bearded lady (oops no, that was my last post)

This drawing had been sat, unfinished, in my travel Moleskine sketchbook for about 3 years. I'd committed to it by drawing in the tin and the outline of those little Seaworld sweets, but I had no idea where to go with it. Whenever I was working in the sketchbook I'd see it and it would depress me.

The unfinished drawing followed the page below, in which I am having a little rant about how upsetting I find seeing animals performing for humans. Of course, I'm not talking about our pets here. I regularly get my cat to juggle knives, and in a way I feel that's how she earns her keep. No, I'm being selective with my disgust.

Anyway, the other day I was flicking through this sketchbook again when it suddenly came to me. I knew exactly how I should complete the page. Rather than being concerned about my state of mind my first instinct was to draw it, and that's how I came up with a circus of performing (drawn) animals that are actually souvenirs from my travels. It all made perfect sense.

Actually, I do think that this is a way of dealing with those pages that sit unfinished, the ones that you feel are spoiling your sketchbook; just throw as much at it as possible. Give it all you've got.

Just one more page to go in this sketchbook! One more page and my first carnet de voyage, volume 1 (because there will be another) will be finished. How will I pluck up the courage to start that final page? What will I put on it? Hmmm, the possibilities are endless, if a circus of performing souvenirs are anything to go by.

I have two mini travel sketchbooks on offer HERE. Pop them into your the pocket of your Moleskine sketchbook for when you need a little bit of inspiration. Cheers, my dears!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

nothing without a woman or a girl

Last night saw the second Dr Sketchy Sheffield event and, again, we were treated to some fabulous models and performances. For those not in the know Dr. Sketchy is an alternative life drawing class using Burlesque lovelies as models.

After rushing to get there I was thrown straight into a few poses before I had time to get my breath back. I always find it takes time to get settled in so I start with some warm up sketches and lots of blind contour drawings, like the ones below.

These are great events and I do hope that the Sheffield one will flourish. I'd recommend it to anyone in the city who loves drawing. Come along! Not only to you get to draw these gorgeous girlies whilst listening to scratchy old vintage 1920s gramophone classics, but there are prizes to be won too.

I won one for my drawing of the divine Fanny Divine at the top of this post. Bonus!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

all the way home

Saturday saw our sketch crawl group's monthly meet up and we ended up at Lynne's house again (well, it's still very cold in these parts). This time we gathered there for a curry. Us Brits LOVE our curries.

Now, it might look like all we do on these meet-ups is eat, but we do actually get some drawing done too. No, really we do.

I've recently started using this little mini Moleskine, in fact I've dedicated it to our sketchcrawls. I'd never used one of these pocket Moleskines before. This one has been on my bookcase for a couple of years. I'm sure I won it as a prize back then, but I never fancied drawing in such a small book (A6). While it will never take the place of my larger Moleskine sketchbook, I'm enjoying using it. It's a really cute size and, of course, the paper is as beautiful as ever. Plus, it's always good to have the choice, isn't it?

Anyway, back to our curry sketching day. A couple of the members of the group did us proud with five different homemade curries. One of my drawing buddies, Matthew Midgely, not only made three curries but also drew up the recipes for each. This (below) was one of the stars of the show. It was amazing and I, for one, will be giving this recipe a go.

Check out Matthew's blog for the other recipes HERE, and while you are there have a look through his gallery. There's some lovely work on show.

More drawings from this sketch crawl to come. Cheers!

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

just like starting over

Ah well, I just could not resist it. When I finished my last sketchy sketchbook I fully intended to choose something different to work in for Volume 2; perhaps a book that has a different type, colour or size of paper. But when it came down to it I couldn't choose anything but Moleskine. I just love these books. Can't wait to see what this one brings.

Oh, plus this is my 600th post. Imagine that?!

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Monday, February 13, 2012

what am i doing here?

Finally, finally I have finished this sketchbook. Finished it and uploaded it all to Flickr. This was a new way of drawing for me. It was quicker, more spontaneous than the kind of drawing I normally do. I guess it's what journalling is all about. And, I really enjoyed it.

This sketchbook took around six and a half months to finish and I used sixteen pens and various coloured pencils to complete it.

I though I'd try out a different brand of sketchbook for my next journal but now it's come down to it I don't think I can. I just love Moleskine. I'm suddenly feeling rather nervous about not having a new Moleskine lined up, to draw in. I need to do something about that.

The whole of this book can be viewed HERE.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

i'll tie us together

So, here's another thing I just love about the artistic process. A while back I came up with the idea of making these little limited edition compliment slips to accompany all sales of zines, prints etc. Just a little way of saying thank you. Amazingly, I am running low on compliment slip no.1 ('wolf at my door') so I got to work on no.2.

Now, THIS is the bit I love; if I had not had the beret that I wore when I dressed as Penny Crayon, for my friend's children's tv character themed birthday party, I would never have thought of going to our sketchcrawl's Mad Hatter's Tea and Sketching Party dressed as a French artist and then I would never have come up with THIS drawing which in turn would never have developed into this idea for the next compliment slip. With me?

I really LOVE that about the artistic process.

I think these two look so cute side by side. I, in my mind, am seeing a poster of nine of them. So get buying so that I can work on he next seven! Only joking. A big thanks to each and everyone who has purchased my wares. You really do keep the wolf from my door. And my cat in fish.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

you know that we belong in the presidential suite

I'm so close to finishing this travel Moleskine sketchbook I can almost touch the finishing line. There's just two pages left to finish. It was started almost three years ago and I dread to think how much time has gone into it. Not that I mind though. 'Cos I just love drawing.

The pencil case, above, was a Christmas pressie from my best mate. It came filled with all sorts of bits and bobs. From sugar sachets, badges and labels, all of which had designs that were right up my street and that could have only been collected by somebody that knows me so well, to old notes, letters and things from way back in our past; from times, places and people I'd forgotten all about.

I think this is such a fabulous idea for a gift. Why not do something like it for somebody you know? I think I will. Because what could possibly be better than receiving a Colman's mustard pencil case full of inspiration and love?


You can see the whole of the travel moleskine sketchbook HERE. And, buy the little travel Molezine HERE.

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

when we got to the top of the hill

A quickie post. Here's a little drawing I made at the beginning of the year for a local project. I wanted to show something of the Derbyshire landscape in the drawing, and had the idea of making the procession of children resemble a dry stone wall as it fades, over the hills, in the distance. Not sure if that was successful but I tried!

Click on drawing for a better view.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

hidden in the back seat of my head

I've been given a couple of these lovely Moleskine Volant diaries as gifts in the past. They are things of beauty, but I've never really known what to do with them as I found them quite impractical as diaries. Plus I was always losing the individual months.


I came across this one the other day when I was searching the house for old receipts for my tax returns (which I got in on time, by the way). I found it behind the magazine rack. I haven't seen it since back in January 2010.


I think it shows that I wasn't sure what to do with them. It was filled with bits of this and bits of that. Back then, it seems, I even tried drawing outdoors. Well, I say outdoors but I actually mean in the car. I remember this day well...


We'd had a lot of snow that January. I'd made a trip to the bank and parked here where I almost always park. But this day was the first time I'd ever noticed the bulls head on the wall of this building. I felt the need to draw it, and did so in the ca rwith the heater and radio on. Yeah, you've guessed it I went to drive off after making this drawing and the car wouldn't start.

Anyway, since then I have come up with a for my Volant's, and I'll share that with you shortly. Cheers!

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