Tag Archives: animals

The Penlan Cavalry rides again….

3 Jun

Some wonderful drawings en plein air from Swansea artist Patti McJones.


via The Penlan Cavalry rides again….

Smiley Face

16 Sep


I’ve now drawn two thirds of my 100 Baby Boomers and one thing I’ve noticed is that most people’s ‘resting’ face is quite serious but a couple of people have had really smiley resting faces, keeping their smiles effortlessly for a half hour without their expressions becoming fixed and false. Genuine smiley faces.




Ponies And A Monstrous Cat

6 Mar

Graig Fawr

Out again today exploring ancient neolithic monuments in South West Wales, quite near to home this time. Our first stop was a fair hike up Graig Fawr (Big Rock) mountain near Pentrebach (Little Village) not far from Pontarddulais near Garreg Llwyd (Grey Rocks) farm in the County of Swansea. We walked in the freezing weather up to two small chambered tombs considered the most westerly of the Cotswold / Severn type tomb in Britain. The stones are not named so I’m going to call them Carreg Palug (Palug’s Stones) after a monstrous cat in Welsh mythology that terrorised warriors in Anglesey. Why not, eh?

We also met some gorgeous ponies up on the mountain. They were very curious, especially when they spotted my lunchbox!

I’m travelling around with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book. His previous book on the standing stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about the process. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. If you want to see some more of my artworks, please click here.


Big John

16 Apr

big john 1

Went up to the farm a few days ago to collect a load of manure for the allotment. I stopped to have a look at the pigs, feeding in a big field. Most were quite dainty sows but there was one boar, Big John, with enormous tusks, a Mohican hairdo and a massive personality. Out came the A5 hardbacked sketchbook and Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens and Big John got scribbled.

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It was really hard at first because I’m not that familiar with piggy anatomy and like many animals, he moved constantly. But after some tentative speedy scribbles, I got into my stride and did a few, just as fast, but with more confidence and certainty. Don’t worry vegetarians, he’s a much loved piggy living a happy life; he’s not destined for the table.

Is It A Hen?

8 Apr

hen 1


Husb and I visited a friend at her farm today and cut some bamboo canes for our allotment. It was gorgeous, sunny and warm; thirsty work. I grabbed the chance to get some sneaky digital shots of the fidgety chickens and had a bit of a scribble into my A5 hardbacked sketchbook with a grey graphite stick. I’ve had a bit of practice recently with our parrot visitor, Richard the Bird, so I was more familiar with the chicken – the round eye set in a faintly dinosaur-like head. I think it’s a hen but I’m not really sure how to tell.

Sleepy Pigs And Wonky Ducks

5 Jul


Husb and I spent a happy few hours at Swansea Community Farm today. There was a hog roast, demonstrations of spinning and felt making, live bands, and animals. The critters live pretty free lives and many were wandering around. These sweet spotty piglets were dozing in a shady spot out of the dazzling sunshine. They piled up on top of each other on a comfy bed of hay.

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They were nice and still while I drew them on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with a free Markers app. The ducks, however, would not stay still. I did my best but they’re all wonky.



24 Jan

24 badgers

I’ve had enough of hares and I’ve moved onto badgers. I very rarely draw animals, except cats, so it takes a while to get used to alien anatomy. Here are the first two sketches, trying to get to grips with the proportions and where different bits go. They have blocky little legs.

24 badger

By the third sketch, I was relaxing and getting used to the little beasties and had a bit more fun with the mark making. Drawing from photographs isn’t satisfactory because it’s surprising how much detail simply isn’t there. “The camera doesn’t lie”, they used to say. No, but it misses out an awful lot. I shall have to search out some taxidermy at the local museum. Drawn into my little A6 spotty sketchbook with Derwent pencils in B and 3B.

Attilla The Hunny

15 Sep


Went to visit relatives today and did a scribble of the family dog, Attilla the Hunny. She’s very large and boisterous, which is where the Attilla bit comes from and Hunny because she’s a real sweetie. She did not like being drawn because I had to stare hard at her. My kitties LOVE posing while I draw them, the more I stare at them, the more they love being the centre of attention. But poor Hunny was very uncomfortable with it and kept fidgeting.

Drawn on a Samsung Note with a Magic Marker app.

A Creep Of Tortoises

28 Aug

28 jimmies

Here’s a small edition of 6 drypoint intaglio prints I did today, based on a sketch I did recently of Jimmy the tortoise. Apparently the collective noun for tortoises is a ‘creep’. I think it refers to their way of walking; not a slur on their character 🙂

I used a paper drypoint plate, printed with drypoint etching ink  in shop black onto handmade paper with a beige handmade fibre paper for the chine colle.

Little Orange Kitty

7 Mar

Lino print: orange cat.


Mostly I work with human figures but now and again, for a bit of light relief I use animals as my subjects, usually cats because they have enslaved me and I get plenty of practice drawing them. This is a small lino block print I did of Sparta. It’s a reduction block print, a technique that printmaker’s often call the suicide method because you cut all the colours from the same block which destroys the block in the process. If something goes wrong, you can’t go back and redo it. I’ve used three oil colours on this on top of a creamy coloured Zercoll 145 gsm paper.

Sparta is a small tortoiseshell [calico] cat who specialises in doing high fives, being cute and wholesale murder. She also likes to dump dead [and sometimes not dead] animals on top of me when I’m asleep in bed in the early hours of the morning and sitting on the stairs and smacking people in the head when they walk past.  And biting my toes. And sneaking into bed on cold nights and sticking her icy paws in the middle of my back. And persuading local pensioners to spend their pittances on her. Maybe it’s my fault for calling her Sparta. Perhaps I should have called her Tiddles. Or Fluffy. Whoever heard of a serial killer called Fluffy?


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