Saturday, June 30, 2012

you gotta roll with it

 These are the final couple of drawings from the rock n roll day last weekend. Actually, there's also a motorbike but that might take some time to finish. I must say that I'm pretty pleased that in just one day I produced so much stuff.

 I'l let you into a secret about the car below; it most definitely wasn't that shape. I started off at the front of the car, which was going okay. Not great but okay. Then I realised that there was absolutely no bloody way I was going to fit the whole thing onto the page. It was, after all, a big long Zodiac! So, I had a decision to make and, yes, I did. I squashed the whole thing into the space I had. Ah well, as long as we keep it to ourselves nobody else ever needs to know.

 Throughout this drawing I was thinking of my friend France Belleville and her 'ladies'.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

put on your red dress baby

 When I went to the 1950s event last weekend I fully intended to spend the day drawing cars. It's one of those subjects I really want to tackle. I've always been too intimdated to draw them but, these days, I love the challenge of drawing the things that previously scared me off. Anyway, despite that, I ended up getting distracted by all the dancing - as you can see in my last two posts. I did draw a couple of cars and a motorbike though. This was the most successful. It's the car that belongs to the dancing pair in the previous post's drawings.

 I made the sketch at the event and coloured it in at home. I never know whether putting the colour in will be a good thing so I scanned it before I went ahead with the red pencils. I actually like both versions. So, here's the before and after. Which do you prefer?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

jive talking

So, here's the last few drawings, I'll post, of the jiving (thanks, Elaine!) from the day I spent at the1950s event at Crich Tramway Village. This was a really great excercise in drawing people. You have to work quick - especially when the music was as fast and furious as this. Emmercing yourself in the whole atmosphere and getting caught up in the pace, and the beat, comes through in the drawing. I hope. I couldn't get enough of this whole scene; from them rockin on the dance floor to them watching from the sideline, waiting to be asked to dance.

Monday, June 25, 2012

whole lot of shakin' goin' on

Yesterday I went to a 1950s weekend at Crich Tramway Museum. It was great. I went there with all intentions of drawing those stunning big ol' 50s cars (cars, and vehicles in general, have always been one of those subjects that scares me so I've decided to tackle them just because they scare me). However, I came across the marquee where all the dancing was taking place and lost about three or four hours in there. What is this dance style called? Can anybody tell me?

If anyone had told me I'd be out in public drawing people dancing a year a go I'd have thought they were nuts. But once I'd sat down and got over my initial self consciousness I couldn't stop. I came home with over 30 drawings. Most of which are little sketches, like the ones below, but also a few more 'finished' pieces. A lot of them seemed to feature the couple above, Elaine and Paul, who not only looked really great but also danced for the entire afternoon.

And, AND, I did manage to draw some cars. In fact, unebeknownst to me at the time, I drew the car that belonged to the couple above. Who I really wasn't stalking. Honestly!

Anyway, those drawings of cars to come soon.

feelin' devilish

Another from Dr. Sketchy Sheffield. No a cat did not walk into the pub during the pose. The drawing just told me to add a cat. I have no idea why but I always listen to the drawing when it speaks to me.

Friday, June 22, 2012

under the bridges of Paris

A couple more from this week's Dr. Sketchy event. In fact, I think I might just dedicate this whole week to lovely ladies and Dr. Sketchy.
Life drawing is all new to me so I have to ease myself into these drawing sessions. I start by sketching each new pose in my 'warm up' note book (the blue lined paper). If I like the pose, and the composition it makes on the page, I'll then re sketch it into my Moleskine sketchbook. I often then play around with the Moleskine sketches at home. Pimp them up, if you like.

So, that's what you have here; two versions of the same pose by the lovely Miss Pixie Parfait. The bottom is the warm up and at the top of this post the worked up version.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

c'est si bon

I love Dr. Sketchy. I really do. Last night was another great session at The Greystones in Sheffield. We got to draw some stunning models to an Eartha Kitt soundtrack. What could be better than that? I was right in the zone too and produced a load of sketches. Sketches I'm pretty chuffed with. Here's one. It's my (ahem) prize winning drawing of the fabulous Miss Hells Belle. I'll post the rest soon. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

you laid it down for all to see

I'm off to another Dr. Sketchy Sheffield tonight, to draw some Burlesque lovelies. Gathering all my pens and sketchbooks together for that made me realise that, as yet, I haven't even posted the drawings from the last Dr.Sketchy evening here on my blog. The last event was a little different as, instead of the Burlesque girls, we had the Sheffield Steel Rollergirls posing for us. And they were great.

It seemed like they'd put a whole lot of thought into those poses too. How they stayed in the one above for fifteen minutes I don't know. Especially the girls at the bottom of the pile. But they are no wimps.

I'm still not as confident in my life drawing as I am in other areas so I always start off with some blind contour sketches as below. Life drawing is still so new to me. I love that though; I love having so much to learn.

Monday, June 18, 2012

up the shambles

Here's another from a recent sketchcrawl in Chesterfield. It did not take place at night. It was just that the sketch was looking a bit bland, a bit empty, so I kept playing with it. I started with the idea of a dark sky and then decided on some colour. I'm not sure that it works - but you'll never know if you don't try. The green light looks like some ghostly apparition. And, as I found out, when doing the research on the Royal Oak (Chesterfield's oldest pub), there are actually ghost walks held around the The Shambles' ancient narrow streets. So, it seems, it's quite appropriate.

Friday, June 15, 2012

you are a look in your eye

Above is a drawing that I made at an exhibition at Buxton Museum recently. Well, I made part of it there and part at home.

Below is a drawing of me, making the above drawing at the exhibition, by my friend Lynne McPeake. Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

side-streets that you slip down

I've finally finished the drawings for the production of James and the Giant Peach at Buxton Festival.

These two drawings depict the two stages of completing a deadline.
Above; panic = trying to get all the work in on time.
Below; bliss = all work in on time (ish).

There are three performances of the James production, in early July,so, if you are close to Buxton then bring your kids along. I can't wait for it, myself. It'll be a new experience to see my work as backdrops. How exciting. I hope to post some photos from the event.

You can get your tickets HERE.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

what did you feel there?

Another from our day sketching in Chesterfield. This was the 'shot' that I wanted to get; the crooked spire poking up (for want of a better phrase - it's very late) above the town's rooftops. It was such a hot day, so I took my Scottish colouring out of the sun and went into the air conditioned library where I got this view. I drew whilst a lovely old girl told me every last thing that she'd bought with her Marks and Spencer's gift vouchers. And every programme she enjoyed watching on tv. And what she thought of this government. Bless her. That could be me one day. It could be all of us, I suppose.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

above the clouds

And now for something completely different. Different from all the sketch crawl stuff that I've been posting of late anyway. Here's a couple more from the James and Giant Peach project. These drawings will become the backdrops to the play. I find it quite difficult to not get sucked into all the details. After all, that's what I love to do.

The scene below is what goes on inside the peach on an average evening. As I was finishing it I was reminded of one of my favourite Spike Milligan poems which goes like this;

'Today I saw a little worm wriggling on his belly,
perhaps he'd like to come inside and see what's on the telly.'

I bloody love that.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

come a little bit closer

My poor little blog has been rather neglected of late. I do have a good excuse though; I have been very busy. Last weekend I was exhibiting my work, along with some other local artists, as a part of the Derbyshire Open Arts weekend. It was a great weekend.

We turned Catriona's little barn into a lovely exhibition space, sent out the invitations and waited to see if anyone would turn up.

I was amazed by how many did. A huge thanks to everyone who went off the beaten track to find us. They came from far and wide (hey Louisa!) to see the arty loveliness our little barn had to offer. I'll post some photos when I get them back from Snappy Snaps.

Before the event I assumed I'd have three days to do lots of sketching. But, no chance. We were busy throughout which was great because there's nothing that makes me happier than sharing my sketchbooks with people.
You know up until quite recently the only artistic community I've been involved in is an online one. Being a part of that community has been amazing, and life changing, for me. It has enabled me to set up a blog, encouraged me to keep drawing, supported me in becoming a professional illustrator and always been there for advice on all sorts of things.

I had not, however, been involved in a local community of artists. In fact, for a long time, nobody even knew I was drawing like a maniac at home. It was my exhibition in Buxton, last summer, that brought me to the attention of a local audience and then everyone knew. Joining Sketchcrawl North a little while later made me realise the great things that come from being part of a group.

Exhibiting with this group of talented and generous artists over the weekend was a joy. I'm so happy that I've connected with a local arty community because you get good things from being with people. People who share your passion. So reach out because we are, after all, just chubby babies floating in a sea of tissue paper.

Check out the amazing work by my exhibtion mates; Catriona Hall, Sandra Orme and Rob Wilson. And a big big thanks to the photographer, and my friend, Lynne McPeake for everything she does.