24 May

I’ve been travelling around South West Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen and film maker Melvyn Williams, searching out ancient standing stones linked with the ancient Welsh legends in the book of the Mabinogion.

stage 3

When I started I just took along a sketchbook and some pieces of paper without much idea of how to approach drawing these stones, but I soon realised that I needed to have a more complex background to draw on, drawing on white just wasn’t working for me. I tried out some paper I had marbled and that worked better but things didn’t really spark until I cut up a large drawing I’d done in walnut ink onto Fabriano paper. Then things clicked into place and I have been inspired not only by the subject matter but also by the materials I’m using, it’s a synthesis of both.

I’ve done so many drawings now over 11 day trips out across South Wales, that I soon ran out of the original recycled paper so I’ve been preparing more and I did some at the weekend. I started with a large sheet of paper that I had covered with compressed charcoal on a previous outing and then painted all over with white acrylic, watered down a fair bit. Once that dried, it didn’t take long, I started working into it with my home-made walnut ink, drawing a loaded brush across horizontally, enjoying the drippage.


When it dried, I put it on the floor and ripped it up into 15 pieces, which will keep me going for a few more drawing trips.

Dewi is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments. His previous book on the stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Melvyn is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

13 Responses to “Prepping”

  1. anna warren portfolio May 30, 2016 at 11:02 #

    These backgrounds are wonderful, they work for me just as they are, but I will be looking forward to see what you put on them. Thanks for showing your steps, I wouldn’t have thought of painting the white acrylic over the charcoal, but it is a great result!

    • Rosie Scribblah May 31, 2016 at 04:58 #

      Thanks Anna. I’m off up the mountains again on Thursday to draw some more. The white acrylic sealed the charcoal and the charcoal mixed with the white and toned the brightness down quite a bit.

  2. Michael Richards (certainline) May 25, 2016 at 07:58 #


    • Rosie Scribblah May 25, 2016 at 08:40 #

      Thanks Michael. I’m spending more time on the background preparation than on the drawings, which have to be done quickly because I’m standing in a filed with hail hitting my face and up to my calves in cow slurry ….. nice …..

      • Michael Richards (certainline) May 25, 2016 at 11:30 #

        You suffer for your art, Rosie. I might be able to put up with the hail but the slurry would be – er, a step too far for me!

    • Rosie Scribblah May 25, 2016 at 13:29 #

      hahaha I’m well kitted out, but my walking boots and waterproof trousers weren’t happy 😀

  3. allesistgut May 25, 2016 at 07:34 #

    The backgrounds look amazing. What a great technique you used to prepare them. Have a lovely day! 😀

  4. paperstew May 25, 2016 at 00:37 #

    Oh, looking forward to the new drawings! Such lovely backgrounds you’ve prepared!

    • Rosie Scribblah May 25, 2016 at 06:54 #

      Thanks Gale. They’re quite different to the others so I am interested to see how / if they affect my drawing


  1. Close Up | scribblah - June 18, 2016

    […] Accademica paper prepared with charcoal, white acrylic paint and my own home-made walnut ink. When I was preparing the paper, I was allowing myself to be influenced by impressions and memories of the landscapes I had been […]

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    […] paper prepared with charcoal, white acrylic and home-made walnut ink – see how I prepared it here. I used Daler Rowney soft pastels (artist quality) to draw lines representing the contours of the […]

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    […] drew onto a piece of Fabriano paper I had previously prepared with charcoal, acrylic paint and my own home-made walnut ink. I drew with Daler Rowney […]

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