Tag Archives: Winsor & Newton

Tonto The Dog And A Pochoir Design

15 Aug

Jack 2

I don’t often take on design work but I need to put together an adult education instruction pamphlet, cutting stencils and building up layers of acrylic paint for a finished “pochoir“. It’s a word that’s hardly ever used now, it’s a multi layered stencil print. It was very popular in the first half of the 20th century and Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Miro are some of the artists who used the technique.

Jack 1

I started with a simple sketch of a Jack Russell, then I worked out how many colours I am going to print, which will give me the amount of stencils I need to cut. Then I had a practice doing some bones for the background, in gouache. I haven’t used gouache for yonks – years and years – but I had some in a box. They’re a good make, Winsor & Newton, so they’re still in excellent condition. I’d forgotten how much fun gouache is to play with.

That’s the guts of the design worked out, I’ll refine it as I’m cutting the stencils and decide on the final composition when I’m ready to print.

I love Jack Russells. My favourite is Tonto, who appeared on UK television in adverts for John Smith’s bitter. He was a great little dog. Here he is on video.

The Stand Of Trees

25 Jun

7 Oystermouth

Another quick sketch in willow charcoal on Khadi paper caught as we left the allotment this evening. I’m getting used to being very sparing with it now, not doing too much detail. I find it helps to squint to see the blocks of light and dark more clearly. This stand of trees caught my eye, I liked the strong diagonal they formed on the slope of the hill.

 

Just Five Minutes

24 Jun

6 Oystermouth

If you’ve only got five minutes, draw. Even when you’re so short of time, draw. It only takes a few minutes every day to keep up that regular practice and it all adds up over a year, decade, lifetime. I only had five minutes this evening after we left the allotment with our first summer berries.

berries

Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi sketchbook at Oystermouth Castle. Gooseberries, raspberries, Alpine strawberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

The Sausage Fingered Stick Of Doom

23 Jun

5 Oystermouth

For most of my life I haven’t been keen on charcoal, I thought it was a bit clumsy. Husb calls it “the sausage fingered stick of doom”. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it isn’t much good if you want to do fine detail on small paper. My Khadi sketchbook isn’t big so I’m limited in what I can put into a drawing, which is challenging but in a good way. Here’s a sketch I did with Winsor & Newton willow charcoal after Husb and I did some work on the allotment earlier this evening. There’s a group of copper beech trees in a row alongside the path leading up to Oystermouth Castle and I made them the focus of the drawing. It was a chance to play around with strong diagonal scribbles.

Baps, Blocks And Book

20 Jun

grow group

Had a bit of a spurt with block cutting today, I carved until my shoulder started hurting. As I age I am more and more aware of the physicality of making art and the need to keep healthy and exercise, especially my arms, hands, shoulders, neck and back. Well that’s most of me I guess 😀

baps

I did some more baking, bread dough, and made half a dozen baps and a pizza, which was a damn fine pizza even if I say so myself. It’s not really practical to go to the shop every day for bread and I’m getting right into making my own from scratch – whoever invented instant yeast deserves a medal.

Colour

And I read and made notes from one of my favourite books by Victoria Finlay, “Colour, Travels Through The Paintbox”. Husb and I are going to start a podcast, an arty one, but also one that’s not highbrow and this is what I’m hoping to base the first few on. We’re planning to go live with it sometime in the next week …. I’ll let you know 😀

 

 

Clean, Green And Safe

16 Jun

Khadi Cwmdonkin

Husb and I have gone out for a walk most days since the pandemic lockdown started. We’re not at risk so we can have a government sanctioned hour a day. It’s really made me appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful city. Swansea is so green with loads of parks, wilded areas and the beach. There was a report a few weeks ago that 1 in 8 British people don’t have access to safe, clean outdoor spaces and of course, they’re the poorest people in society.  This is something that has to be changed once the pandemic is over. Cities can be greened and made safe, there’s no excuse.

I stopped to draw earlier in Cwmdonkin Park, where the poet Dylan Thomas played as a child. There are some wonderful trees; this one might have been a sapling when Dylan played here. I used Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi handmade paper sketchbook.

Carving Blocks And Charcoal At The Castle

15 Jun

Lockcook 1

Today was pretty productive. I inked, traced and transferred seven texts onto little lino blocks and cut two of them. These are part of my series of words and phrases I’ve written down through the course of the Covid19 pandemic, from the first day of lockdown. Eventually, I’ll be printing them onto home-made cotton masks.

Lockcook 2

It was really hot and dry so Husb and I waited until early evening before we went down to our allotment. I did a quick sketch before we left the site, of Oystermouth Castle and it’s grounds using Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi sketchbook.

4 oystermouth

I like working across two pages, especially with square sketchbooks. I take a can of fixative with me when I draw with charcoal, it’s manky and the drawing would smudge badly without being fixed.

 

 

A Cityscape, A Lush Loaf And A Spider Man

4 Jun

Khadi 5

Earlier, before the rain started, we went to visit an elderly friend who lives high on the hill, observing social distance of course. I did a scribble into my Khadi sketchbook with some willow charcoal. It’s hard drawing a cityscape – it’s so packed with detail and charcoal is quite a blunt instrument, so I had to select the stuff I wanted to put in, rather than slavishly try to fit everything into the compostion. I’m happy with it, it flows and I like the mark-making. It was fun dashing and dotting in windows and scribbling trees.

When we got back I made a Focaccia-style bread for the first time. That turned out lovely, lush. I’m enjoying lockdown cooking.

focaccia

And Husb did a painting to put into our street-facing window to entertain the neighbours, alongside the one I did the other week. Here they are, Spider Man and Sparta Puss.

Charcoal And Baps

2 Jun

3 oystermouth

I took my Khadi sketchbook and willow charcoal to the allotment this evening and drew from inside the allotment site, which is tucked away in a corner of the Castle park. It’s on a fairly steep hill dropping away to the coast and we’re near the top. It’s surrounded by woodland, which can be a bit of a challenge for growers, but it’s an idyllic place to hang out, especially in these pandemic times – we’ve been sanctioned to travel to allotments since day 1 of lockdown. I concentrated on mark-making again as there is such a lot of different textures crowding together in the view. I suppose I took about 10 minutes.

baps

I also made some sesame seed baps. We gave our bread making machine away to a relative, so I’ve been trying out making bread from scratch and it’s surprisingly easy with fast acting yeast. Lush.

Mucky, Messy and Mumbles

31 May

2 oystermouth

Yesterday evening after Husb and I watered the allotment, I did a charcoal sketch facing Oystermouth Castle. Today, we walked around the castle park and I sat on a bench with my back to the Castle, looking towards the beach. My view was mostly trees and the park in the foreground, with a glimpse of Mumbles Lighthouse and Swansea Bay in the background.  I’m using a thin stick of Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi handmade sketchbook. Charcoal is mucky so I carry a tin of fixative around as well. There’s a decision to be made how much you include in a drawing, if you try and cram everything in, it can look really messy, especially with charcoal, so I decided to keep a lot of white in the composition.

 

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