Friday, 8 June 2018

Boat at Craster

A couple of years ago I was on holiday in Northumberland, a most magnificent part of the country. As well as visiting the more famous locations such as Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island, and the wealth of stunning castles in the area such as Bamburgh Castle, I searched out some of the small fishing villages on the coast. One of them was this jewel in the crown called Craster.

Craster has a very small harbour and I found only a handful of small boats, mostly beached on the overgrown pebble and shale beach. I spent the most wonderful couple of hours strolling out onto the harbour wall with my camera snapping shots of the boats and seagulls (I just have to take photo's of seagulls in flight - lol) and then sitting on an old wooden bench where my wife and I enjoyed a cold drink and a sandwich. This pen and ink drawing is of the view we had from that bench. I would add that drawing it now has brought it all back much more vividly than simply looking at the photo's again.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018


While doing this drawing of a Rhinoceros I had serious doubts about some really bad habits that I've allowed to creep into my technique. Not for the first time I've been very conscious of how much blending I do. I'd go as far as to say I draw more with my tortillions than I do with my pencils. I'm aware that over blending flattens the tooth in the paper and leads to more 'graphite shine' so it's not necessarily a good thing to do to excess. That said, it's become an essential part of how I draw so that raises other questions in my mind, mainly, if the end result is acceptable then how much does the process of how we get there matter? What are your thoughts on Technique versus Results?

I took a photo of this grazing Rhino at the West Midlands Safari Park a couple of years ago with the express purpose of capturing him in graphite, which just goes to show I get there in the end. LOL.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Paddle Steamer

Yet again I find myself posting here after a long absence. Though I am still very enthusiastic about my art, it seems I never actually sit down and do any. I find time to keep my Art Forum up-to-date, feeding it with posts, topics and projects, and I constantly tweak and maintain my Art website where I've recently spent a huge amount of time making it fully 'responsive', which is tech-speak for "suitable for mobile devices of all types and sizes", but when it comes to picking up pens, pencils or brushes it just doesn't happen. Is this what they call "artists block" .... the interest to draw or paint but lacking the 'drive' to actually do anything?

Anyway, recently I felt a sudden urge to do something art-wise and felt drawn (excuse the pun) to the idea of doing a pen drawing of an old fashioned, shallow draft, Mississippi-style Paddle Steamer. I found a suitable reference photo and dusted off my set of Micron pens. I really enjoyed the process and the drawing was completed much too quickly. Now I have the urge to draw an old Farm Tractor in a similar way .... but will I actually do it? LOL.