Tag Archives: Swansea

Walnuts And Gesso

21 Apr

CB5

This is the third drawing I did at Maen Ceti / Arthur’s Stone at Cefn Bryn on the Gower Peninsula this week. I used a piece of Fabriano paper that I had prepared with two coats of textured acrylic gesso. When it was dry, I sponged some of my home-made walnut ink over it. The ink pooled at random, giving a spotty sort of texture. This seemed to reflect the texture on the massive capstone itself, covered with colonies of lichens. I drew with conté crayons in black, sanguine and white.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Stratification

20 Apr

CB4

 

I was at Cefn Bryn on the Gower Peninsula yesterday, drawing at Arthur’s Stone – Maen Ceti in Welsh. It’s a Neolithic burial chamber surrounded by cairns, truly an ancient landscape of the dead. It’s a very popular site and I’ve drawn it many times, so it’s hard to come up with a new approach, a different angle, which is what I tried to do yesterday.

I drew with Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels onto paper I’d prepared in advance with two layers of gesso and some of my home-made walnut ink, so there was already a great deal of abstract imagery on the surface. I kept the outline of the monument deliberately sparse, sketched lightly in white and then chose colours that matched those in the landscape to work with. The paper was already streaked horizontally with the brown walnut ink so I emphasised the horizontal stratification of the land and seascape by using the pastels in parallel with the walnut lines.

I did three drawings in all at the monument yesterday, the final one tomorrow!

 

Arthur’s Stone

19 Apr

CB2

 

Went hunting wild megaliths today, this time to Arthur’s Stone, Maen Ceti, a Bronze Age burial chamber on the Gower Peninsula. And now I’m tired ……….. Goodnight 😀

 

CB1

Pressure And Strokes

17 Apr

Swansea Bay 2

Another quick sketch from Swansea Bay yesterday with conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook. I concentrated on capturing a sense of the atmosphere, rather thanSwansea Bay 1 fine detail. I limit myself to three colours, white, sanguine and black, so different tones have to be achieved by varying the pressure on the conté sticks and overlaying one colour with strokes of another. The brown coloured paper gives me a ready-made mid-tone to work over, which makes life a bit easier. A lot easier really, as I don’t have to face the tyranny of a pristine white sheet.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

A Walk On The Beach

16 Apr

Swansea Bay Tower 2

Went for a walk on the beach, Swansea Bay, earlier today. Husb took off to do a run and I sat and scribbled into my A4 brown paper sketchbook from Seawhite’s of Brighton. I used black, sanguine and white conté crayons. Swansea Bay Tower

There isn’t a huge amount to draw on the beach and I’ve found that intimidating in the past, but many artists have made pictures from very little subject matter by concentrating on the atmosphere or their feelings for what’s in front of them, so that’s what I tried to do this evening.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Fierce Foreshortening

8 Apr

Steve 6

I try to get along to life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop as often as I can, usually manage every couple of weeks. This week I sat in a position that threw the model’s foot out at me, giving some fierce foreshortening. It’s really good practice; drawing underpins all the art I make, I need to keep my skills sharp so that I have the confidence to experiment and take risks when I want to.

I started out with white conté crayon onto brown wrapping paper, to block in some basic highlights, then added mid-tones with sanguine and finally the darkest tones and detailed line in black.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Big Stone, Little Stone

7 Apr

Llandrhydian

This is the final drawing I made on my megalith hunt on the north Gower Peninsula on Wednesday, travelling with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. The peaceful village green boasts two standing stones, two pubs and a Norman church, as well as spectacular views over the north Gower coast. The large conglomerate Upper Stone had been Christianised in the past into a wheel-shaped Celtic cross which was then broken. The Lower Stone was erected in its present spot in 1846 after it was found lying nearby.

I have put my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Prescelli Mountains. Elfys? Prescelli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Vikings, Lepers and Wild Flowers

6 Apr

Leper Stone

I went out drawing with a prehistorian and a filmmaker yesterday, down to the little church in the village of Llanrhidian on The Gower Peninsula. There’s an enormous carved stone in the church porch, The Leper Stone, fairly modern, only about twelve hundred years old. Of course, I had to scribble it. I drew with white, sanguine and black conté crayon onto a piece of paper prepared with my home-made walnut ink. The stone might be Viking, or it might be Irish.

flowers

The churchyard was awash with beautiful wild flowers, primrose (primula vulgaris), celandine (ficaria verna), daisy (bellis perennis), dandelion (taraxacum officinale) and lady’s smock (cardamine pratensis). It made a change from deep, thick mud.

 
I have put my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Prescelli Mountains. Elfys? Prescelli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Priapus And Placentas

5 Apr

Priapus

Back on the trail of ancient megaliths with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams, with my portable drawing board, a folder full of prepared papers and a satchel of drawing materials. We headed out to the Gower Peninsula and pitched up at this magnificent large stone near Weobley Castle. Called Samson’s Jack, or Mansel’s Jack, Dewi described it as “big and priapic” but pointed out that some of its priapic features are now hidden by a thick hedge and barbed wire fence. I found a vantage point to draw from and stepped back into something very squelchy. I’m used to squelchy because the Welsh countryside is covered in many and varied manures rendered squelchy by constant rain, but this was a new variety of squelchiness, it was sheep placenta. There was a lot of it around because the field was home to lots of heavily pregnant and birthing sheep and tiny newborn lambs. I carried on drawing. I’m not put off by squelch and did this drawing with conté crayons and Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels.

 

I have put my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Prescelli Mountains. Elfys? Prescelli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Proper Old School

4 Apr

transferring sketch

I dropped by the studio of fellow artist Carys Evans today and we talked about how we work from drawings and preparatory sketches of models – proper old school. I don’t often paint but I have a go now and again and here’s one I made a start on a while back. The original drawing was done in my sketchbook at a life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop and I’ve finished transferring the image using a thin black oil wash onto a canvas sheet that I’d tinted with a sepia-ish colour. I suppose I’d better finish it then.

 

I have put my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Prescelli Mountains. Elfys? Prescelli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

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