Tag Archives: Bockingford paper

The Artist’s Feet

14 Dec

14 feet

Not mine this time. I often scribble my feet when I’ve reached the end of the day and I haven’t done a daily drawing, but today I drew the feet of my chum and fellow artist, Melanie Ezra. Poor Mel tripped earlier in the week and fractured her foot. Today, she kindly offered me her feet to draw. The unfractured one is very slim and pale pinky-white but the broken one is swollen, misshapen and livid colours. It’s far more interesting to draw someone else’s feet.

I used a piece of Bockinford 250gsm paper, pre-coloured with yellow System 3 acrylic paint mixed with a little acrylic medium. I drew with black conte crayon and Winsor & Newton oilbars in white, cobalt blue, crimson and hookers green rubbed with a rag dipped in linseed oil.

Taking It Further….

5 Oct

A while back, I did some sketchbook scribbles of performance artists in the street at an event called Disruption II in Swansea. I’ve been developing new work from some of the sketches and a couple of months ago, I did a massive drawing installation based on one of the tiny scribbles. Here it is.

05 weird 2

I’ve developed it further, into a small, approximately A5, drawing on Bockingford paper.

05 weird 1

It started life as a ‘transfer’ print created from a digitally altered photograph, which gives me a random, coloured background to build the drawing upon. The line work is done in Indian ink and an ink wash using traditional dip pens and I’ve used a hint of Winsor and Newton watercolour to highlight a couple of areas in the building. This isn’t the end for this image…….next, I’m developing it into a small drypoint etching.

More Kitteh Scribbles And Food Porn

30 Jun

30 kitteh

Got almost to the end of the day without doing ANY art. So I grabbed the piece of kitty scribbling I started the other night and carried on with it. Sparta was mooching around on MY chair so I did a few scribbles of her and then just played with my old-fashioned dip pen and Indian ink, enjoying the scratchiness of the flexible nib across the heavily textured Bockingford paper. It’s so unpredicatable, unlike the Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens I normally use which are smooth and consistent.

30 shortbread

And here’s the food porn – freshly baked elderflower shortbread made with our home-made elderflower cordial. I used 4 ounces of plain flour, 2 ounces of white Spelt flour, 4 ounces of softened butter, 2 ounces of castor sugar and three teaspoons of elderflower cordial, all squished together and rolled into 16 little balls and squidged onto a baking tray and baked at Gas mark 3 for about 12 minutes.

The Columbian

12 Jun

12 colombian

I spend the afternoon at Swansea Print Workshop but didn’t have any plates or blocks ready for inking so I did a spot of drawing instead. This is our lovely old Columbian Press, dating from 1855, with one of our artist/printmakers inking up a collagraph in the foreground.

It’s drawn onto a sheet of stretched Bockingford, sized with rabbit skin glue and coloured randomly with acrylic washes in red, blue and yellow. I used willow charcoal for initial sketching and carbon, white oil pastel and white chalk with a smidgen of yellow oilbar to work it up. It’s A2 size (23.5 x 16.5 inches; 60 x 40 cms).

I was well out of my comfort zone, drawing interiors and machines, although I managed to get a human being in. It’s hard to draw a machine without making it look like a technical illustration so I’ll keep grappling with it.

Recycled Head

29 May


I’ve been rummaging through the drawers in my studio and finding loads of prints, cyanotypes and drawings that didn’t make the grade, so I’m reusing them. It’s a pity to waste the paper because it’s good quality. This is a piece of Bockingford, around A3 size, with a cyanotype that didn’t work out. I did a quick scribble of Husb as he was working on his laptop, using black and white conte crayons and a carbon stick. I don’t like working on a pristine white surface, it’s too intimidating; working on top of old art is much easier.

Recycled Head

18 Apr

18 alan head

At the print workshop we work with some beautiful papers and always use the best quality for the courses we run. It’s surprising how many people never collect their work afterwards. Even if they don’t like the image, there’s a lovely – and expensive – piece of paper that can be used again. I’m always trawling the paper recycling bin for anything that can be re-used. I found some pieces of Bockingford 250gsm that had been prepared for cyanotype but then thrown away without exposing an image onto them, leaving a gorgeous expanse of blue. I went to life drawing group this evening and after a dodgy start, settled into drawing a portrait of our model in black and white conte crayon, which worked very well with the heavy texture of Bockingford.


Back To Life

3 Jan

03 life

Back to the first life drawing session of the New Year at Swansea Print Workshop this evening. I’m definitely rusty after a fortnight’s break. Our model managed to hold this post for an hour – marvellous. I used a Pentel V5 pen into an A5 spiral-bound Bockingford watercolour pad, with a Derwent watercolour pencil to do the shading behind the figure.

Self Portrait? I Don’t Think So!

5 Sep

Ink drawing: self portrait.


I admire professional artists’ models because they put up with a level of scrutiny that would terrify most people and that includes me. I rarely do a self-portrait because when I look into a mirror I see what I want to see, someone younger and thinner! Subjecting myself to the same level of objective scrutiny that I inflict on models is hard going. You can’t avoid seeing the wrinkles and flab and you have to confront all the bits you’ve always avoided looking at too closely.

In my case it’s the lopsided mouth that reminds me of my Mam; the huge nostrils that got me the nickname ‘Mersey Tunnels’ in school; the big fat apple cheeks that old people used to pinch when I was tiny – what is it with old people and cheeks? I’ve started doing it to kids now! And my pointy eyebrows. I hate them. They’d get me into a Star Trek film as a Vulcan.

Here’s one I did a few months ago in Faber Castell Pitt pen onto Bockingford paper. I left most of my wrinkles off. Artistic licence see  😉

Watercolour Sketches – Real Artgeek Stuff!

12 Aug

Watercolour sketch of a skull.


I don’t always sketch in pen; now and again I use watercolour. It’s good discipline to break out of my comfort zone and it forces me to observe and record colour. I almost always draw from life and I enjoy doing anatomical studies. I have a borrowed skeleton, called Felicity, in my studio [I didn’t name her and she’s plastic] and here’s a detailed watercolour sketch, on Bockingford paper, of Felicity’s skull, set against a background of screenprinted vertebrae on hand coloured Zercoll paper, using System 3 acrylics and screenprinting medium.


Watercolour sketch: my left hand.


I did this study of my hand in watercolour on Bockingford. I spent two days studying and recording it and the more I looked, the more I saw. It’s amazing how colourful skin is when you look really hard. I use Windsor and Newton artist quality watercolours and I prefer Bockingford as it’s very white and gives excellent luminosity. I started by working both up as very light pencil sketches and then added the watercolour, wetting the paper as I went.

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