Archive | September, 2014

Thunder And Rodents

30 Sep


Just back from an evening Open Access session at Swansea Print Workshop where I did the third in a series of impressionistic monotype landscapes based on the residency I did in Pakistan earlier this year. This is one of a sequence I drew in a thunderstorm.

Had a tough day. Sparta Puss the evil-kitty-from-hell, terrorised me by bringing a live rodent into the house. It was a relief to get away to do some printmaking. And now I’m tired.

What Am I Up To?

30 Sep

Here’s what I’ll be getting up to in October. As well as blogging, of course 😀

What Am I Up To?.

A lovely blog reposted ‘The Simple History of Mario’

30 Sep

This is a truly lovely blog, very inspiring

The Simple History of Mario.

Slate Cliffs And Bara Brith

29 Sep


Husb and I spent yesterday walking with friends along Newport beach on the North Pembrokeshire coast. Apart from the exceptional beauty of the place, it’s notable for the variety of wild birds along the estuary and the rugged vertical slate cliffs. I stood with my back to the slate cliff and quickly sketched the headland and the beach in front of me. I used Daler Rowney soft pastels into a small Khadi handmade paper sketchbook.

Afterwards, back at our friends’, we sipped tea, nibbled on home made bara brith and browsed through some books on Kyffin Williams’ landscape drawings. Inspirational.

The Dead Rabbit Mystery

28 Sep


Husb and I visited friends in north Pembrokeshire this afternoon and went for a long walk along the estuary and beach at Newport. I was surprised to find this broken corpse of a wild rabbit on the sand. It was a sad sight and I looked away at first but then decided to sketch it. The body wasn’t marked or torn in any way, although its eye sockets had been picked clean. We wondered how it had got there. A fox or dog maybe? But it hadn’t been gnawed or worried. Dropped by a bird of prey? It wasn’t a baby rabbit, but not fully grown either, so that’s a possibility. We’ll never know.


I drew into my leather-bound Steampunk sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S. It took about 3 or 4 minutes. It seems a bit gruesome drawing a rabbit corpse, but there’s a tradition of painting dead animals in Northern European art.

A Body In Space

27 Sep


Here’s another digital study of a female nude I did at this week’s life drawing group at Swansea Print Workshop. It is a quick sketch, about 10 minutes, where I concentrated on siting the body within the space. I used a Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with a free Markers app.

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A Late Head

26 Sep


Here’s another digital study of a head that I drew at life drawing last night at Swansea Print Workshop. I used my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with a free Markers app.

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I wanted to blog it yesterday but the Internet has been terrible for the last 24 hours and has just come back.

And Now, The Ghost

24 Sep

ghost final


Following on from yesterday’s post about my latest reduction monotype, this is the ‘ghost’ image that is formed by putting a second piece of paper through the press after the first image is taken off the perspex plate. This gives a paler, ethereal monotype, where the pigment has broken up into little grains, rather like an Impressionist painting. Some French Impressionist artists, notably Degas and Monet, were said to have used this technique and worked into their ghost monotypes with oil pastels. I’ve tried this and it works really well, but you need to use best quality artist’s soft pastels; cheaper, chalky ones don’t work and they fade. The original was an impressionistic landscape drawing I did during a visit to Pakistan earlier this year.


23 Sep

full colour

Spent a happy few hours at Swansea Print Workshop this evening, making another small monotype based on one of my pastel landscape drawings from the residency I did in Pakistan earlier this year. I did a series of 49 small drawings very quickly, so they are very impressionistic. This is based on one of the drawings done during a thunderstorm. This monotype technique is called stacking or reduction monotype and it produces a full-colour unique print. It’s where painting and printmaking cross over.

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Working from a black and white copy of the original drawing underneath a perspex plate, it’s first inked up in process yellow and drawn into with all sorts of equipment; cotton buds, scrim, cocktail sticks, kebab skewers, stiff paint brushes; then a print is taken. This is repeated with the plate inked up in process red and placed on top of the yellow print and put through the press. Finally, the same is done with the perspex inked up with process blue and the last print taken – the three are stacked on top of each other. You can read more about it in the technical section of my website here.

I’m moderately pleased with this one, but I need to practice my brush techniques because the colours are a bit too bright for my liking. I intend to carry on doing these for quite a while, so I’m hoping I’ll improve.

The Run And The Crowd

22 Sep


Husb ran the Swansea Bay 10k race yesterday and I sat on the promenade with my back to the runners, looking at the beach. It was a gorgeous day, we’re having a glorious Indian Summer and the sea was sparkling. I did some scribbles into my leatherbound Steampunk sketchbook, practicing drawing figures in a crowd.

beach 3

I usually work with solitary figures so it’s quite a challenge to get the proportions right when there’s so many of them. As I was drawing, I began to appreciate the effort and skill shown by artists who work with crowd scenes, like Seurat and his huge painting of La Grande Jatte. It’s not easy. I sat on the grass, concentrating hard and Husb ran the 10k in an hour. Result.

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