Tag Archives: Brighton

Elderflower Scribbles

17 Jun

We stayed with friends just outside Brighton and got up early on Sunday morning to walk up to the cliff top and explore the green lanes for elderflowers. We make elderflower cordial every year but a couple of years ago had a problem getting one of the ingredients. In Boots the Chemist, Husb asked an assistant (who looked like she had just left school) for some citric acid,

Assistant “What are you going to do with it?”
Husb “Make elderflower cordial.”
Assistant “What’s that?”
Husb “Cordial made with elderflowers. Why are you asking?”
Assistant “Because drug dealers use it.”
Husb “Well, I want to make elderflower cordial so can I have some citric acid please?”
Assistant “Sorry, we don’t sell it anymore.”

Luckily, our local Asian grocer sold it in large bags on the spice rack.

I had to scribble very quickly, focussing only on the most important lines to capture the movement in my pink recycled sari sketchbook (size A5) using a Faber Castell Pitt pen, size F.

Early Bird

16 Jun

16 pigeon

Just got back from our visit to the seaside near Brighton, a six hour drive, and time for a quick blog. This is a pigeon that was snaffling wild bird seed from the feeder in my friends’ garden this morning. It was too big to stand on the pegs on the feeder, which is meant to be for tiny birds, so it clung onto the wire attached to some outdoor lights.

It was one of those pigeons with a white patch around their shoulders. I was up very early and the garden was buzzing with wildlife, loads of different birds, a squirrel and Mango the cat. Drawn with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F, into my A5 pink silk recycled sari sketchbook.

The Duke’s Legs Akimbo in Brighton

22 Aug

Ink sketch: The Duke's Legs.


Taking a break for a few days in Brighton, we went to see The Guard, hilariously funny film, at The Duke of York’s Picturehouse. It’s an independent cinema built in 1910 in a rather over-the-top Victorian style; one of those buildings that looks like a wedding cake, all white and stuccoed and covered with curly bits. The most distinctive thing about The Duke’s though is an enormous pair of shapely lady’s legs clad in black stilettos and black and white stripy stockings sticking out of the roof. It’s the sort of sight that makes you think someone’s spiked your drink with something nefarious.


I don’t know when they arrived, or why, but they turn a conventional municipal building into something rather groovy. There’s also a lovely mature passion fruit plant scrambling over the stonework. I stood more or less directly underneath the legs, so there’s some acute foreshortening going on. I’m not that keen on drawing architecture and those Victorians were way too fond of decoration for my liking and it made my job much harder – all that frippery took ages to sketch. The drawing is done in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens in sizes S, F and B into my folded sketchbook, which is why there is a colour cast over some of the drawing.


Earlier, we walked past the Royal Pavilion built for George the 4th, which is way over the top like a cross between St. Basil’s in Moscow and a giant exotic mosque, a fantastical building, but it’s a pity that Brighton and Hove Borough Council has decided to paint the entire thing in magnolia. Of all the boring colours on the planet, magnolia has to be the MOST boring.

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