Archive | November, 2014

A Vast Behind

30 Nov



Back at Folly Farm yesterday, I was in the right place at the right time, standing under a fodder bucket in the Giraffe enclosure during feeding time. Rhian the giraffe was eating her scran just a couple of feet above my head! Well, I had to scribble her, didn’t I? Then she turned her attention to acacia branches hanging from the roof, so I sketched her from behind, rather a vast behind. Giraffe are HUGE! Her eye was about the size of my hand. What a magnificent animal. Drawn with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

29 Nov

Especially if they’re lions!



Husb and I spent a happy day at Folly Farm near Tenby celebrating a little relative’s birthday. I have mixed feelings about zoos, but this is a nice one with lots of space for the animals and they run a number of conservation programmes. With our species standing at over 6 billion and rising, it’s a sad fact that breeding rare species in captivity might be the only way to save them for the foreseeable future until we can reduce our own demands on the planet and learn to share it without endangering other species. I stopped for a couple of scribbles in my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook, using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens.



The lion was fast asleep, my favourite kind of model. Typical kitty behaviour. The beautiful lioness was pacing around keeping an eye on their 4 cubs. Harder to draw and my first attempt made her look a bit like a teddy bear. They are magnificent animals. Their size shocked me, I had never been up close to a lion/ess before. Their power and physique are incredible. It is horrifying that our species hunts them for fun or fur. Appalling!

Drawing Black

28 Nov


It’s hard, drawing black. Very hard. Sparta Puss is tortoiseshell so there are a few lighter bits on her. It was even harder to draw my late, great kitteh, Bola, who was as black as a panther. It’s all down to the marks you make, varying them to delineate the different areas of the subject.

I used a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook. The model is my small cat, Sparta.

New male nude

27 Nov

alan nov


Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop where I did some experimenting with my new natural media, walnut sepia ink (I made this a few weeks ago) and Bideford Black, kindly sent to me by artists in North Devon. I was focussed on trying out these media to see what they can do. It was a nice surprise to find out that the Bideford Black is semi-soluble in water but more soluble in the walnut ink, possibly because the ink contains 20% alcohol (surgical spirit) so maybe it’s acting as a solvent? I used Fabriano Accademica paper and applied the ink with a sable brush.

Get In Quick

26 Nov


Husb and I are off to the cinema now in a minute so I did a really quick sketch for my drawing blog tonight. I used my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with the free Markers app. We’re going to see the James Brown film. The music should be fab!

Scratching An Itch

25 Nov


Husb and I spent the evening at a very useful ‘Make And Market’ event at the new Galerie Simpson on Swansea’s High Street. We had 4 very interesting speakers, two visual artists and two creative IT people, and networking over fabulous nibbles afterwards.

The gallery has only been open a couple of months but has already brought new artists, ideas and events into the artscene. Of course, I had to scribble. It’s like scratching an itch, I can’t help myself!

It’s not easy drawing people who are moving and talking. All I can do is get an approximation of a likeness, just a general type, but it’s good practice and makes a change from working with professional models who hold a pose for as long as you like.

Drawn into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size F.


24 Nov


I snuck up on Husb tonight and scribbled him as he watched TV. Sometimes I think I might be a stalker! Drawn with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes S and F into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

The Priestland Debate – a Hitler parody!

24 Nov

Hilarious short film about the state of Welsh rugby!!!

The Priestland Debate.

Cwtch And Pajamas

23 Nov


It’s cold, it’s been a long week and I’m cwtched in my pajamas on my comfy chair with Sparta Puss at my feet. I’m not going anywhere so I did a scribble of the cat. She’s looking like a bit of a bruiser at the moment, with her thick winter coat and winter weight gain. Quite chubby. She’s sleeping with her paws all cwtched together. She’s very cute when she’s asleep.

I drew with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes S and F into my A6 Tate sketchbook.

High Tea on High Street

22 Nov

gallerie simpson

Husb and I popped into the new Galerie Simpson on the High Street earlier today, to partake of High Tea in the one-day-only Tweeting Bird cafe organised by Iris, who also did a lot of the baking. We took tea from a golden tea pot, munched on salmon and cucumber sandwiches and nibbled a variety of delicious home-made cakes including bara brith, scones with jam and cream, iced chocolate cake and a classic Victoria Sandwich.

Never one to miss the opportunity for a quick scribble, I sketched a few of the people in the lovingly restored interior of this old building which was for many years a bespoke corsetry shop called Madame Foners. One of the girls I drew had her arms grasped firmly behind her back in a way that only the young can manage, my ageing bones would snap if I tried to manouver them into that position.

I used some graphite sticks I bought at The Secession in Vienna earlier this year (ooh get me!) in black, grey and gold into my A6 Tate gallery sketchbook.

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