Tag Archives: graphite

A Big Box Of Pencils

13 Jan


tracing 3

I did a bit more work on my next woodcut today, making a tracing from my original drawing to transfer the image onto the wood block. I used a thick charcoal pencil for the tracing because I have to turn the tracing paper over to reverse the image onto the wood. Once the reversed image was in place, I drew over the thick charcoal lines using a smaller 2H pencil which gave a fairly fine line. Finally I took the tracing paper off the MDF and went over the faint trace lines with a B pencil, which gives good definition without being too smudgy. I have a big box of pencils. It’s really nice.

tracing 5

I bought the box at a very reasonable price from the Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick in The Lake District. It’s a fabulous little gem of a museum, so informative and a great place for graphite geeks to hang out. Just outside Keswick is an old graphite mine, which is why the pencil industry took root there. And it has a factory shop, with cut-price pencils and boxes!

From left to right: tracing over the original drawing; the tracing reversed onto the block of MDF; going over the faint trace lines with a darker pencil.

Getting Started

22 Jun

sketch 1

Just started drawing an idea for a new woodcut, scribbled it out onto a piece of layout paper with a chunk of 6B graphite first then did a couple of more detailed studies.


Next stage – getting some hand-lettering worked out….

Gazing Darkly

17 Jun

Rose woodcut

Today I printed up the woodcut I carved out earlier in the week. I used Intaglio Printmaker’s Caligo Easy Wash Relief ink mixed 50:50 with Extender and took the print by hand on Hosho paper using a Japanese Baren. This self-portrait was inspired by the late, great Käthe Kollwitz, an artist who produced loads of self-portraits during her long career. That’s a very dark gaze I’ve got going on there!


process 2


bamboo baren

A Japanese bamboo baren


Sprogs In Sketchbooks

12 Jun

I’ve been flicking through some of my old sketchbooks again, finding things I’d forgotten about. There are quite a lot of drawings of sprogs.

23 sprogs 2


They’re weird little creatures to draw, looking simultaneously like aliens and cartoons.

A Wooden Selfie

10 Jun

process 1

I started a selfie today, a self portrait woodcut, using a piece of plywood. I transferred my drawing onto the wood and commenced hacking away with my Flexcut tools, they’re pretty good but plywood is quite tough and takes some effort.

I did a rubbing, with tracing paper and a graphite block, as I cut, to keep tabs on how it was progressing. Tomorrow I’ll do a first proof print to see exactly what’s going on and then finish the cutting, if necessary.



A Cluster Of Heads…

8 Jun

I’ve been flipping through old sketchbooks, reminding myself of work I’d forgotten about. I came across a cluster of heads in one that I’d bought from the Tate gallery in London. Nice sketchbook. I like drawing heads and faces, but children’s faces are so difficult. The younger they are, the more they look like an alien life form. There’s a mixture of media here, graphite, charcoal pencil, Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen and biro (ballpoint).

Soggy Scribbling

17 Jul

Scribblers 2

Here are a couple more of my soggy scribblings from the Troublemakers Festival over the weekend. It was a sopping Saturday and my fellow Plebeian Scribblers – Melvyn Williams, Patricia McKenna-Jones and Chris Harrendence – stood on Swansea’s High Street and drew for a couple of hours. We got wet. Very wet. So did the sketchbooks. Now I have to work out how to dry out an entire sketchbook without it crinkling or going mouldy.

Melvyn photographed all our drawings and put them into a short video …..




For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Like A Loaded Brush

16 Jul

Scribblers 1

Yesterday I drew in the rain with my fellow Plebeian Scribblers during the Troublemakers arts festival. It was challenging! The sketchbooks quickly got soaked and my drawing pens didn’t work so I changed to a graphite stick and that worked really well. The water on the paper turned the graphite into liquid and it flowed like a loaded brush. Nice.

logo 1



For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Townhill Boy

15 Jul

Townhill Boy

Today I drew for two hours in rain with the public drawing group, The Plebeian Scribblers, along with fellow artists Chris Harrendence, Melvyn Williams and Patricia McKenna-Jones, We were doing our street drawing as part of the Troublemaker’s Festival organised by Volcano on High Street in Swansea. Being Wales, we can’t rely on getting fine weather in the summer and so it rained. And it rained. And it rained some more. This was a challenge for our sketchbooks and drawing materials but graphite sticks won the day, they liked drawing on soaking wet paper. I was drawing a rather boring wig shop window when someone stood in front of me, a Townhill Boy, and it gave the drawing the focus it needed. I put the book onto the pavement to take the photo, you can see how wet it was.

logo 1

The Eyes Have It

29 Aug

Morgan M

When I draw someone, I concentrate so much, it’s very hard work and sometimes it’s only later when I look at the drawing that I get a clear idea of what I’ve done. When you’ve drawn people as much as I have, you realise just how different everyone is and that everyone is remarkable. But sometimes, something about someone stands out more than usual, is even more remarkable, and that’s what happened with this sitter, she has the most extraordinary eyes, so expressive, so poignant.

She sat for me as part of a drawing project I’m doing to sketch 100 Baby Boomers, each in a maximum of 30 minutes. I’ve set myself the target to finish by the end of the year and I’ve reached number 54. I’m drawing with a graphite stick into an A4 hardbacked, spiral bound sketchbook.



Over the last seven months, I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams in all weathers with my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials to draw our ancient heritage.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

I’ve done around 50 drawings now and these will be exhibited in my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. Please click here to find out more about it.


Please click here to visit my online Gallery in Artfinder. Thank you.


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