Archive | June, 2014

Punjab Jamming 2

30 Jun


Did some more sketch jamming inspired by the pastel drawings I did during my artist residency at the Zaira Zaka studio in Pakistan in April. The originals were quick sketches I made during a journey between Lahore and Islamabad and were drawn into a white handmade Khadi sketchbook, around 15cms square and quite textured. I’ve tried to capture the impressions using the same pastels, Daler Rowney artist’s soft pastels, but onto a smooth black Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook. The images are a little larger, around 17 cms square.

scan0007I’m moving away from reality now and into abstraction, which is nice because I rarely do that. I’m enjoying making marks for the sake of it, rather than to represent something specific. It’s unusual for me not to work directly from life but I’m really getting into it. I always found it inhibiting in the past, but jamming is loosening me up.

Up The Mynydd

29 Jun


Husb and I went up Mynydd Betws (Betws Mountain) today to get our regular supply of farmyard manure for the allotment. We had young nephew with us so we stopped a while to look at the gorgeous view and the sheep and lambs. There are a lot of black faced sheep up there.

I had a quick scribble into my little A6 spotty sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S. The landscape is so enormous it’s hard to know where to start and how to approach it, but the main thing is to focus on making marks and not try to get in too much detail. I think of van Gogh’s landscape drawings when I’m doing them.

Action Again

28 Jun


Here’s a couple of pages from my tiny A6 spotty sketchbook. Husb and I were having a cool drink at the rather lovely cafe in Cwmdonkin Park. It’s right by the tennis courts so I did a bit of action scribbling. It’s good practice as I have to focus on what’s fundamental to the figures rather than trying to capture details. It was challenging to draw the racquets as they form a strange extension to the arms.

Drawn with a Faber Castell Pitt pen size S.

New Model (Female Nude )

27 Jun


I worked with a new model at life drawing this week. She is great and looks like she could have modelled for Egon Shiele a hundred years ago. It takes a while to get used to a new model. I usually have to try out different techniques.

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I drew this with the Markers app on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8, saving frequently to build up a slideshow of the development of the drawing.


26 Jun


Went to the beach earlier today to take part in the Fresh West ‘Make Your Mark ‘ public art event. I did some mark making stuff in the sand but unfortunately, after weeks of wonderful sunshine, the weather turned and it was cold and wet. Miserable.


But a scribbler must scribble so I did some action drawings of people working in the sand. There were lots of interesting shapes but they moved fast so I had to focus on the minimum amount of information to get onto the page. I used a Faber Castell Pitt pen into my little A6 sketchbook.

London Calling

25 Jun


Husb and I just got back from a day trip to London, taking in the opening of this year’s Society of Women Artists show at the Mall Gallery, some of the permanent collection at the National Gallery and a visit to Intaglio Printmakers in Southwark for printmaking supplies.


We met up with an old friend who has a still life exhibited at the Mall, chatted to an Englishman about cricket in the cafe at the National and had an intense conversation with a writer and graphic designer in a greasy spoon caff in Hounslow.


I managed some scribbles on the tube and Trafalgar Square. And now to bed!

Punjab Jamming 1

24 Jun


I’m trying something a bit different. Normally I draw from life, but today, instead of scribbling what’s in front of me, I’ve been using my recent pastel sketches from the Pakistani Punjab as a starting point. I’m not trying to copy them, but to use them as inspiration. Like a musician jamming, I suppose.


I’ve been drawing straight into my Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook using Daler Rowney artist’s soft pastels. The sketchbook is size A4, spiral bound, with black acid-free paper, 180 gsm, a tidy weight.

On The Hoof With A Teapot.

23 Jun


Husb and I went for a walk on the beach this evening and I did some sketching on the hoof. It results in wobbly drawings! I used my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with a free Markers app while I followed people. They suspected nothing.


The sun was setting behind us as we looked out to sea and cast these shadows of us on the sand; me taking the photo and Husb being a teapot.


The beach was reflected in the windows of the civic centre. It’s lush.

Weird Weobley

22 Jun


I was so blown away by last night’s Midsummer sunset that Husb and I drove out to Weobley Castle on the Gower Peninsula this evening to find another glorious view. It’s so easy to take our landscape and history for granted, I don’t think most of us realise what an exceptional part of the world we live in. We walked up to the castle and sat looking West over the salt marshes at three weird and distinct woods in the distance, just in front of the Loughor estuary.


The sun moved fast and I had to work very quickly as things were changing by the minute. It’s only possible to do a fleeting impression – well it is for me anyway. Maybe not for Monet. I used Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels into a Khadi handmade paper sketchbook, 6″ square with deckled edges.


There was a rave going on just below the castle and we listened to Trance as the sun went down and threw spectacular colours over weird cloud formations all around us.

Magical Midsummer

21 Jun


I wanted to draw the Midsummer sunset over Arthur’s Stone at Cefn Bryn, a Neolithic tomb 4,500 years old . It’s a spectacular place and the setting sun threw a dazzling pallette of colours across the Gower landscape. A lot of people were gathered to see it this evening. The sky was almost unbelievably colourful, fusing iridescent yellow, orange, pink, purple and blues behind the dark mass of the dolman. Generations of local schoolchildren get their first glimpse of Arthur’s Stone (Maen Ceti in Welsh) on school trips and I guess I was 7 or 8 when I saw it for the first time. I keep going back to visit; there’s something magical about the place.


I used Daler Rowney artist’s pastels into a Khadi handmade paper sketchbook, 6″ square. I had to work very quickly as the sun sets fast. Today, the Summer Solstice, was the longest day of the year and sunset was around 9.40 pm. The nights will be drawing in from now on. Before we know it, it’ll be Xmas.


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