Tag Archives: The Lake District

My Geographic Palette #4 – Graphite

24 Jul

graphite 4

The next one out of my geographic palette is graphite, a slightly greasy, slightly soluble solid black pigment and mineral found in The Lake District near Keswick, which is where I bought some nice chunky sticks of it and a whole load of top-quality graphite pencils. Not far from Keswick, at Seathwaite, is an old graphite mine which has been around since the late 16th century until it was abandoned in the late 19th century because cheaper graphite, although of inferior quality, could be imported, mainly from China.

tracing 5

Historically, this very pure graphite was used to mark sheep, still an important local industry. But it was used mostly for moulds to cast coins and cannonballs; it is said that it made such good cannonballs that it gave the British the edge over the French. When warfare moved on, someone had the bright idea of stuffing a thin wooden tube of wood with graphite and this kickstarted the famous pencil industry in Keswick which still has the Derwent factory and Pencil Museum. It’s a fabulous little gem of a museum, so informative and a great place for graphite geeks to hang out. Graphite pencils are a relatively late invention; back in the day, artists drew with charcoal, red lead, silverpoint and chalk.

 

Using a 6B block of graphite, I drew into my A5 spiral bound Bockingford sketchbook, using both the flat side and pointed tip of the graphite to get different textures. Then I took a watercolour brush dipped in water and rubbed areas of the graphite to create soft washes directly onto the paper. Then, while the paper was still wet, I drew into the damp areas which gave me more lines and textures.

This is based on a sketch I did en plein air on a field trip with colleagues from The FIRE Lab, near the source of the River Tawe. It’s a culvert – I’m falling in love with culverts, who’d have thought it? Please check out the FIRE Lab blog here – it’s a good read.

 

 

The Druid’s Circle

8 Sep
SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Here’s another drawing I did last month during my flying visit to The Lake District. It was glorious weather and I was staying just a few minutes walk from the Birkrigg Common which has a rare example of a double circle of Neolithic stones, there are only about 30 double circles in Britain. I’ve put this drawing onto my gallery at Artfinder, please click here if you’d like to see more.

 

Tea with me at The Workers Gallery – a chance to see my new solo show with lashings of tea and homemade cakes – bara brith, elderflower and lemon sponge, orange polenta gluten free cake, Victoria Sandwich, parmesan biscuits – and art in the gorgeous Cynon Valley.

Invitation

 

Back To The Boomers

25 Aug

Marsden S

After yesterday’s drawing detour to The Druids’ Temple in The Lake District, I’m back with the Boomers that I drew last week. I’ve done over 50 of the planned 100, but I’ll still have to get my skates on to complete them by the end of the year. It’s a big age group, from 1946  to 1964 and this Boomer is one of the youngest. I’ve been drawing with a graphite stick into my A4 ringbound sketchbook and each sketch takes no more than 30 minutes, many take a fair bit less time.

 

the-hunt-rose-davies-poster

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.

 

The Druid’s Temple

24 Aug

Druid's circle 4b

I spent a few days in glorious sunshine in The Lake District in Cumbria last week and I just happened to be staying a few minutes walk from Birkrigg Common where there is a lovely Neolithic double stone circle, The Druid’s Temple. Double stone circles are rare so it was a treat to be able to sit and draw at one in such wonderful conditions. It makes a change to sketch in sunshine instead of battling gales, rain and sleet! Summer finally arrived in Britain!

Druid's circle 4

I worked with conté crayons in black, white and sanguine and also Daler Rowney artist soft pastels The paper is Fabriano that I had prepared with several layers of gesso and then drizzled it with my own home-made walnut ink.

“The Druid’s Circle” is now available for sale in my Artfinder gallery, please click here to take a look.

 

 

the-hunt-rose-davies-poster

Solo show: Yr Helfa / The Hunt

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.

 

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