Tag Archives: speed sketching

Three x Two

7 Dec

three Melvyns

Getting back to basics with some quick scribbles in my sketchbook. I nobbled Husb as he was watching TV this evening and did three sketches, each about 2 minutes, with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S, into my little Peter Pauper Press notebook.

Cross And Purring

30 Nov

cross and purring

How can a cat look so cross and be purring at the same time? Husb and I went to see ‘Legend’, the new film about the Kray twins, this evening and when we got back, this is what greeted us. Sparta Puss looking furious but also purring like a train. I think she was really annoyed because we’d gone out for a couple of hours and weren’t there to pay her loads of attention but she was also glad to see us, well me as she seems quite hostile to all other life forms……

I had a quick scribble with my Faber Castell Pitt pen, size S, into my A5 “The Cat’s Meow Journal”. It took a couple of minutes. Sometimes the way cats sit, they look a bit like a Batman mask.

The film is excellent, gripping and so well acted. Tom Hardy, who played the twins, was absolutely brilliant. We saw it in our local independent cinema at the Taliesin Arts Centre. It’s a great venue, much nicer than the multiplex chains.

So Many Stories…….

20 Jul


A new head of an elder woman for my blog this evening. I’ve been stuck doing work on the computer all day so it’s nice to do some drawing. I’m enjoying looking through images of older women for this series of drawings in my A4 sketch book. So many fascinating faces; so many stories playing across the contours of the skin. I’ve been sticking ripped pieces of brown paper onto the pages to break up the tyrrany of the white and give me a toned background to build my sketch in black and white conte crayon with touches of carbon.

Eyes Full Of Life

7 Jul
eyes full of life

Sketchbook drawing of an older woman

I’m really enjoying the 10 minute head sketches from photos I’ve been doing recently. As well as helping me to practice accurate speed sketching, my chosen subject, elderly women, is fascinating. I look forward each evening to exploring the heads I find on Google, they are so full of character and experience. This elder woman has extraordinary eyes, so full of life. She is beautiful.

I drew her with graphite, white and black conté crayon into my hardbacked A4 sketchbook that I prepared with ripped brown parcel paper, stuck in with Pritt stick. I always use Pritt because it doesn’t buckle the paper and it stays stuck. Cheaper versions don’t. The brown paper gives me a mid-tone ground over which I apply highlights and lowlights which is quite dramatic. It also gives a good texture when I rub my conté over it.

Movement And Essence

5 Jul

rhys mwyn

We have a terrific art gallery in Swansea, Galerie Simpson, which not only shows fabulous art exhibitions but also hosts excellent events. Husb and I went to one today, a talk and Q&A session by Welsh punk musician and author, Rhys Mwyn. Fascinating stuff. I had a quick scribble, as I always do. It’s hard to draw a moving person and Rhys was very animated. I find that I have to get the first few critical lines down as quickly as possible, the forehead and nose and then wait until the person moves back into that position and sketch in a bit more. And again. And again. Eventually I end up with an approximation of the person. It isn’t exact but I think it captures essence and movement in a way that a formal pose never would.

Six Minute Head

28 Jun

An older woman

Today is Sunday and one of the problems with being self-employed is the temptation not to take any time off. Well, today I gave myself some down time and chilled out with family, went for a long walk on the beach, nattered with friends, watched Glastonbury on the telly (Lionel Richie was AWESOME)…… So I didn’t have anything to blog!!! I Googled some images of elderly ladies’ heads and did a strictly timed six minute sketch from one of the photos a few minutes ago. So I managed a daily piece of art and a blog. Result 😀

It’s drawn with a graphite stick into my A5 hardbacked sketchbook.

A Little Like Lowry

24 Jun

June beach

These long evenings are great for late walks and sketching. Husb and I strolled down to the beach an hour or so ago and I stopped for a quick scribble. I’ve done very little drawing en plein air recently as I’ve been so busy on other art projects but I have missed my daily sketch, I think it ‘s good practice, like a musician doing their scales or chords.

When I’m doing quick drawings in public, I’ve noticed that the people often end up looking a bit like figures by Lowry, the distant bodies, drawn at speed, easily resemble stick figures. When I’m working fast, there’s not enough time to focus on details, rather I concentrate on the mark making, to try and produce something that’s a bit different. I drew this with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen into my A5 black bound sketchbook.

A Speedy Head

4 May

Jones C

Here’s another of my 30 minute portrait sketches, done recently during the 15 Hundred Lives exhibition, “Process” at Swansea Museum.  It’s been a great experience and lovely to work with the people who volunteered to sit in a very public place and be stared at by me and scribbled while passers-by look on.

I’m aiming to do at least a hundred of these quick heads as part of a major project that I’m planning for next year – but more of that later. I’ve done 14 so far so I’ll have to get my skates on. I worked with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens into an A5 spiral bound sketchbook.


Heads At The Museum

3 May


I did a second day drawing 30 minute portraits at Swansea Museum today. I am working on a potentially large body of drawings of Baby Boomers that I hope to develop into a major work in a year or so. A lot of people are volunteering to sit for me, there’s been a terrific response and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. Thanks so much to everyone who has sat for me so far and I’m looking forward to drawing many more.

I drew this with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens into my A5 spiralbound hardback sketchbook. I drew 7 people today and I’m shattered, it takes so much concentration. Tomorrow I will have a lie-in.

Scribbles At The Pictures

22 Mar


Husb and I went to the pictures this morning to see the new Russell Crowe film, The Water Diviner. It’s a very good film, quite sad, a one-and-a-half-hanky film. I can cope with that much crying, but anything more than a three hanky film is one I won’t watch again. I had a quick scribble before the film began, drawing 6 heads in about 3 minutes, about 30 seconds each. Working at this speed really hones my observational skills and also the very physical dexterity in my right hand. My fingers, hand, wrist and shoulder have to be able to keep up with the speed of my eyes and brain. Art is a very physical occupation, well, the sort of art I do is. I drew with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen into my A5 clothbound sketchbook.

For people outside the UK, the ‘pictures’ is the cinema or the movies.


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