Archive | May, 2013

A New Model

23 May

23 karen 1

I like drawing a new model because I haven’t had a chance to lapse into visual shorthand so I take more risks. So this evening, in the life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop, I got out my dip pen and white ink, a piece of thick Bockingford prepared with a black ink wash and scribbled away. The pen did NOT like the white ink, which is much claggier than black ink and kept blotting. So I watered it down a bit and then it was too translucent, so I had to keep going over the lines. Never mind, I enjoyed drawing the pose a few times over half an hour, but switched to black ink onto a creamy Somerset for the one-hour pose. The dip pen liked it much more.

23 karen 2

The Golden Badger of Wrexham

23 May

The Golden Badger of Wrexham.

Bonkers bloggage from the crazy pen of Notsogreatdictator Smith……

Quick And Smelly

22 May

22 windsor

Husb took me for lunch today – at our local chip shop cafe. Last of the big spenders! Anyway, we were just about the youngest people in there (and we’re middle aged) and I scribbled this eldely man while I waited for my battered fish and chips, with a diet coke- must watch the calories. I did the sketch in about a minute; that sort of timescale forces you to focus on what’s crucial.

It was a lovely evening so we went down the allotment for a spot of digging. I love digging. I get into the zone and meditate. I’ve been making comfrey tea liquid fertiliser and I doused my little leeks with it. It stinks and now I smell horrible. Luckily Husb has a cold.

Self Experiment

21 May

21 me

After the manic amount of work I did during my residency in Boise, Idaho earlier in the month, I’ve hit a bit of a slump, probably not helped by jetlag, so I gritted my teeth and sat in front of a mirror this afternoon and scribbled what I saw. I don’t usually do self-portraits but I wanted to experiment with some portrait drawings using black and white media – conte crayons, compressed charcoal, carbon, oil pastels. I also wanted to get away from the usual detailed, fine pen work I use for portraits and develop a much more scribbly style.

I’m very influenced by Kathe Kollwitz, a brilliant scribbler and printmaker, and she did lots of self-portraits. makes sense, I don’t have to pay myself. But it’s not a comfortable thing to do. I noticed every single wrinkle, every bit of flab, every blemish eeewwwwww. I haven’t got the likeness right yet, but I’ll keep practising. This is on a piece of A3 Bockingford, 250gsm, prepared with an ink wash and drawn in black and white conte crayon, carbon and white oil pastel.

Summertime and the living is…hard work!

20 May

A lovely blog from my fellow Swansea artist and chum, Kara Seaman and her lovely collagraph of a Fox with a Pie 🙂

Three in Bath…..

19 May

19 FAB1

Today I was up in Bath with two other artists, filmaker Notsogreatdictator Smith and collagist Melanie Ezra, delivering some of our work to the Twelve:34 exhibition that will be a part of the Fringe Arts Bath event, opening this coming Friday evening. Here are two of my large ‘maniere noire’ drawings. If you’re in Bath on Friday, please call in for the opening from 6.30 pm 🙂

19 FAB2

Veg Under The Castle

18 May

Husb and I spent most of the afternoon and evening down at the allotment, because it’s dry and sunny and we are making the most of it. Our allotment is below a Norman Castle, which is really quite a spectacular setting for growing some fruit and veg. Here’s a drawing I did of it a while back, during an evening outdoor performance of Shakespeare.

oystermouth castle


17 May

17 tonya

Here’s another study from Thursday night’s life drawing group. Our model was huddled in a cool hoodie dressing gown between poses and we all liked the pose she struck casually. Drawn in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S and B with black and white conte crayon, onto heavyweight handmade paper prepared with gesso and ink wash.

A Stiff One

16 May

16 tonya

Back to normal and life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop this evening. I made a pear and chocolate sponge cake for our tea break. I often find that the drawings I do during the ‘long’ pose, usually about an hour, end up rather stiff, formal and academic. I suppose that isn’t a bad thing, but I wish I could get the freedom that I achieve in the short, 2 or 3 minute warm-up drawings. Ho hum.

Drawn in Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes S and B and white and black conte crayons onto a piece of A4 mounting (matte) board, prepared with 2 coats of acrylic gesso and a black ink wash applied at random.

Heads In Transit 1

15 May

15 head plane 1

I spent long hours at airports on my way to and from my recent artist residency in Boise, Idaho and I scribbled the time away. It’s a good place for studying heads. Here are two of them.

15 head 2

They are drawn into my tiny, leather-bound steampunky sketchbook, using a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size SX.

This artist residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.


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