Tag Archives: Pembrokeshire

Saint Elvis And The Scratch

2 Jan

0201 scratch

Husb and I visited some friends in Pembrokeshire today and went walking in the beautiful Presceli countryside. It was chilly but the sunshine was glorious. We passed some fat fluffy horses and I was worried that one of them had caught its tail in a fence. But my country friends explained that it was just scratching its backside on the wire. I’m such a Townie!

The Presceli Mountains are reckoned to be the origin of Elvis Presley’s family name and there is a church dedicated to Saint Elvis in the area. Saint Elvis is believed to have baptised Saint David, the patron saint of Wales.

I drew this with graphite then inked in with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size M. I drew into my little Khadi handmade paper sketchbook that I had precoloured with a wet teabag.

126 Portraits For The Telly

11 Aug


These are the 8 portrait drawings I did for an event in St. David’s a few days ago. BBC1’s ‘The One Show’ filmed over two days and will eventually edit all that footage into a couple of 4 minute items. I worked with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S, F, M and B into my A5 Steampunk sketchbook. I was based inside the Goat Street Gallery while other artists (11 of us in all) worked outside in the glorious garden below, with the backdrop of the cathedral.



Between us we managed to do a hundred and twenty six paintings and drawings of the people who queued around the block. It was a fascinating but intense experience. None of the people I drew had posed before and it’s difficult to get a decent drawing and credible likeness the first time you draw someone, well it is for me anyway. I found that I put a lot of pressure on myself to do a good quality sketch that the model would like, pressure that isn’t there when I work with professional models. And it was very public, with people milling around and looking over my shoulder as well as a film crew. But it was also excellent practice and really pushed me forward. I feel far more confident about tackling portraits now. I’ll make sure to get the word out when The One Show decides to broadcast the two short films.

Long Day In The Tiny City

7 Aug


Another late one, just got back from a day in the tiny historic city of St. David’s where I was one of a group of figurative artists being filmed by BBC1s “The One Show”. We were based in the Goat Street Gallery and we worked from 11.30 to 5.00pm, drawing or painting the general public who were queueing up the street. I’ll tell you more in tomorrow’s blog because I really want to get off to bed. I am shattered.


Here’s Ann who sat for me for about half an hour. I drew her with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes S and F into my leather Steampunk sketchbook.

Preseli Rain

5 May

05 presceli

Husb and I set out from Swansea this morning to visit friends living in the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire. It was a glorious warm, sunny day when we left but within a couple of hours of reaching the Preselis, we were hit by severe gales and torrential rain. We managed a quick walk before the deluge but cut our visit short to get back before nightfall. I drew this into my little Khadi sketchbook, using Daler Rowney soft pastels (artist quality). This is quite an accurate drawing; the wall of water reduced the visibility to a blur of greys and greens.

Filling In The Spaces

30 Dec


Here’s another digital drawing I did yesterday when I was visiting friends in Pembrokeshire. It was blowing a gale and I only had time for very speedy scribbles using the Magic Marker app on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet. I did more work on it today. It became much more abstract; I was not interested in making something representational, but in exploring the lines. It was like those drawings you do as a child, where you scribble over a piece of paper and then fill in the spaces between the lines to see what you get.

High Winds And Fast Scribbles

29 Dec


Carrying on with the Xmas socialising today, Husb and I visited some friends who live way out in the countryside in the wilds of the Preseli Mountains. We went for a walk and because it was so blustery, I used my Samsung Galaxy Tablet for sketching,rather than my sketchbook which would have been unmanageable in the high winds.

Scribbling on the hoof means that I have to be quicker than usual, so I did some very speedy sketches and carried on working into them when I got back inside. Here’s the first of them. I just added some scribbly colours and gave a bit more emphasis to the tree and the fencing in the foreground. I used a free Magic Marker app.

The Awesome Henge

18 Jun

18 Henge

Driving back from Brighton at the weekend in the sunshine, we travelled cross-country to avoid the hell of the motorway and to appreciate our glorious countryside. We took the A303 past Stonehenge and stopped to do a drawing and some photos. Husb had been before but it was my first visit and it is truly awesome. I’m not using that word frivolously. I was overcome with awe. How on earth did our ancient ancestors move those huge bluestones from the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire in West Wales to the middle of England?

Here’s a bit of trivia. There’s a small parish in Pembrokeshire called Saint Elvis and the anglicised version of Preseli is Presley.

Drawn into my A5 pink silk recycled sari sketchbook – I’ve nearly finished it – using a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F in sepia.

A Comb-over In Tenby.

11 Mar

Ink sketch: A combover in Tenby.

Had a busy day today visiting Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire with an old friend. It was a glorious day and after stopping off in Pontyates, Carmarthen and Narbeth, we ended up in Tenby, walking along the lovely beaches and strolling through the old town, which is partly Medaeval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian. We stopped for a nice pot of tea in a little cafe and I immediately started scribbling in my usual antisocial way. There was a family sitting by the window, father and son both had spiky hair and some of the old buildings were visible through the open door. The chap at the front of the drawing had a radical comb-over, fair do’s. It takes dedication to keep hair so firmly in place. I’ve never managed it. He was lost in thought as his wife chatted to him.

Carew, an Ancient Place of Celts, Castle, Carvings and an Amazing Tidal Mill

10 Sep

Ink drawing: The Tidal Mill at Carew.


I don’t often draw landscapes, I prefer people or occasionally cityscapes as my subject but as we live in such a beautiful part of the world we often stop for a long walk while we’re out driving and find new places to explore and draw.  We found Carew on one of our impromptu drives to West Wales. It’s in Pembrokeshire and the ruined Medieval castle and tidal mill are on the site of an ancient Iron Age fort. An eleventh century intricately carved Celtic Cross stands outside the castle entrance.


The tidal mill is opposite the castle ruins, across a substantial mill pond and one has been on this site since the 1500’s, although the current one dates from the early 19th century.  It’s a very quiet and atmospheric place. The day we visited had some very dramatic weather conditions with huge clouds and eerie early evening Autumnal sunlight which made it all seem very spooky.


Part of the Celtic Cross.


The drawing is done in Faber Castell Pitt pens into a Cotman Watercolour sketchbook and the photograph has been digitally altered in Adobe Photoshop. I had to lean over the top of a rickety bridge to scribble and it was challenging drawing moving water with pens. The water flowed quickly as it’s tidal and so the subject was constantly changing.

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