Tag Archives: pubs

A Bit Stiff

20 Mar

Carreg Llafar

Husb and I paid a rare visit to a pub yesterday evening to see a live band, Carreg Llafar,  who play contemporary folk in the Welsh language. Being a rock chick, I’m not a big fan of folk music but I make an exception for Carreg Llafar who bring authenticity and atmosphere to traditional music. And it’s also a rare chance to hear a pibgorn, an archaic horn pipe. And to hear singing in Welsh.


I drew onto a sheet of recycled cyanotype in my leather steampunk sketchbook. I used up all the paper a few months ago so I replaced it with leftover pieces from print and drawing projects. I used two Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, size F and B and also a white Derwent pencil to scribble highlights onto the deeper blue. I find it very hard to sketch musicians because they move about, their instruments are unfamiliar to me, they hold their hands at odd angles. Factor in that there’s a stage full of them and they have to be drawn in proportion to each other and that’s a very difficult piece of drawing to do. It took a lot of effort but even so, or maybe because of it, the end result is quite stiff. Never mind, it’s good practice.

Check out Carreg Llafar’s lovely music on YouTube below.

Menace And Monotype

4 Jan


I’ve been working away at Swansea Print Workshop since I finished two evenings of sketching with the Coppertown Mari Lwyd last week. I decided to develop my drawings into print and chose a fairly simple reduction monotype technique, with chine collé, as my starting point. This is the first. There is usually a period of experimentation when you start a new series of prints, matching the ink and paper, getting the ink mix just right, getting the paper dampened to the correct degree – not too dry or too sloppy. I’m reasonably happy with it. I’m a bit obsessed with getting very solid blacks and this is much more grey than I would have planned, but I quite like it. The technique lends an air of menace to the image which I also like.

From left to right: Starting to draw from my original sketch onto an inked perspex plate: using various implements for mark-making – wood skewers, cotton buds, rags: adding chine collé – hand made recycled sari papers. I used a Somerset paper and Intaglio Printmaker’s Litho / Relief ink mixed about 60:40 with Extender.



I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

The Mari And The Libbers

3 Jan


This is the last of my recent sketchbook drawings made over two evenings following the Mari Lwyd around pubs in North Gower. The last pub we went to (I won’t identify it) I hadn’t been into since way back in the 1970’s. It was one of the few pubs remaining in the area with a men-only bar and it wouldn’t serve women with pints so some of us from Swansea Women’s Liberation Group went up there, marched into the men-only bar, put our money on the bar and ordered a round of pints. The landlord was furious and threw us out, threatening to call the police. So we scarpered! But that was a long time ago and we had a lovely welcome on Friday night.

So now ……. what shall I do with these sketches? How should I develop them? I’ve been spending some time down at the fabulous Swansea Print Workshop, trying out a few things ……. but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I’m doing.


I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Watching The Match

12 Oct

rugby wales oz

The rugby World Cup has been thrilling so far and after Saturday’s epic woodcut session at Swansea Print Workshop, a few of us decamped to local hostelry, The Brunswick, to watch the match between Wales and Australia. It was a tough game, we lost but we’re still going through to the next round. Exciting stuff. Here are some of the other rugby fans watching at the old pub, which is renowned for it’s excellent selection of real ales. I used a ballpoint pen into my new little ‘Cat’s Meow Journal’ by Peter Pauper Press, a lovely present last Xmas. It was nice to get back to a bit of spontaneous sketching, I hadn’t done any for ages.

Some Days You Can’t

4 Apr

brunswick heads

I try to blog every day but now and again, not often, I’m just too shattered to do a drawing and write up a blog. Yesterday was one of those days. I’m a bit gutted because I haven’t had a day off blogging since the middle of December, but last night I just couldn’t get it together at all. I had a couple of spare drawings as well, but I just had to crawl off to bed, too tired to think. Maybe it’s the clocks going forward!

Never mind, back on form today. Husb and I went to see a new show of painting at The Artswing at Swansea’s Grand Theatre and then nipped to our excellent local pub, The Brunswick, for a swift apple juice and a scribble. Pubs and cafes are great places for sketching faces, these three are very distinctive. I used a dark grey graphite stick into my A5 hardbacked sketchbook.

Bloke In Pub

3 Jan


Had a quick scribble up the pub tonight. For someone who hardly ever drinks, I’ve been to the same pub twice in 3 days. Tonight we were celebrating the birthday of a dear friend. I didn’t feel like drawing but I force myself to do it, because that’s my job. This bloke was sitting nearby and I thought he had an interesting face 🙂

The Match!

6 Jul

06 the matchHusb and I went to a local pub to watch today’s rugby international, Australia vs The British and Irish Lions. It was a terrific atmosphere and we had lunch there too, pie and mash. They make their own pies so I indulged myself with a lamb and mint pie with shortcrust pastry and cheesy mash. mmmmmmmmm :). Top notch pub grub.

The rugby was excellent; we won by 41 points to 16. The commentary was in Italian but it didn’t matter. For readers outside rugby-playing countries, it’s a bit like American Football but without the protective clothing and probably more violent. Great stuff.

I spent a while scanning the pub to find the focal point for my drawing and settled on the elderly guy with the rather strange haircut. Once I sketched him, the rest fell into place. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens in sepia, sizes S, F and M into my A5 clothbound sketchbook that I’d prepared with some ripped brown wrapping paper. I picked up on some highlights with a white conte crayon.

Havin’ A Fag

4 Jun

04 full moon

Today I did these scribbles opposite the infamous ‘Full Moon’ pub in High Street, Swansea, just around the corner from where I lived until I was 6. Then all the houses were knocked down as part of a massive slum clearance programme and we went to live in a council house. But they left the pub and a few shops. It was about 11.30 and the pub was pretty full with a steady stream of punters coming out to have a fag. I did 3 hasty sketches then went for a delightful lunch in the Continental Caff in Castle Street.

Readers from outside Britain please note that havin’ a fag means to smoke a cigarette 🙂

Partied Out Part 2

25 Mar

25 Neath

Back on Saturday night, after seeing the fabulous Bourgeois and Maurice in Neath, we decamped to a pub I hadn’t been in since the mid-’70’s. It’s one of those old heavy metal rock pubs, really dark and grimy with ripped seats, and walls and floors stained by the abuses of many generations of rock fans. There was a metal band at their headbanging best when we arrived but they soon finished and after some classic rock from the DJ at earsplitting volume, a really mediocre band came on so we left. When I was young I’d have been lubricated with plenty of beer and the bands would have sounded a lot better.  Funny that.

The pub was very gloomy and old, quite Gothic and it was interesting to draw a dark place in the dark, so a lot of it is sort of feeling my way round the paper rather than looking at it. It’s also the very last page in my blue silk recycled paper sketchbook, size A6 that I’ve really enjoyed filling. Drawn with a Pentel V5 pen, size 0.5mm.

Husb and I are such lightweights these days; we were home and cwtched in bed by 11pm 🙂

In Old London Town

9 Mar

20130309_215514Husb has a brand new smart phone so I’m trying to blog from a South London pub where we’re celebrating a friend’s 60th birthday.  I did some scribbling on the tube on the way over and  another in the old pub in Southwark.  This phone is a bit of a pig to use so  that’s all from me.  Goodnight.

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