Saturday, 10 August 2019

Rainbow Trout

The weather here is not very good today and the constant rain and gusty winds are keeping me indoors, yet again. I've decided to have a 'lazy' day today and spend the time in my Den-cum-Study-cum-Office-cum-Studio and get some art done.

It's been quite a while since I last painted anything using watercolours so I decided to dust off my brushes for the latest Painting Project in my art forum. I confess to struggling somewhat with the colours and tried to add multiple layers of paint which seemed to be the perfect way to create lots of green muddy gunk. As it happens, though the painting isn't as 'fresh' as I would have liked, the finished article doesn't actually look as bad as I thought it would.

Monday, 22 July 2019

Midhope Castle

A long time ago I purchased a book by Clive Holmes called "Northamptonshire: A portrait in Pen & Ink". The book is Clive's 'view' of the buildings in Northamptonshire as seen through his Pen & Ink drawings. I was a little interested in the local architecture and history of the county but much more interested in Clive's drawings. As a keen Pen & Ink fan I wanted to examine his technique and skills at my leisure.

Though most of his technique seemed fairly standard I noticed he rarely used hatching, as I do, so I was particularly interested in how he achieved his tonal values. One of the things that jumped out at me was his occasional use of 'dots' to achieve some of the mid-tones, especially where there was little texture to be drawn. I decided this was something I'd like to try some time.

The latest Monthly Painting & Drawing Project in my art forum is of Midhope Castle, commonly called 'Lallybroch', which is used in the 'Outlander' series. This gave me the perfect opportunity to 'go dotty' and play with this new technique. I have to say it is a very time consuming method of shading but varying dot density to achieve different tones was relatively simple. I'm not convinced yet that this approach is something I'll try again, but if I do it will be restricted to certain small area's within a drawing rather than the whole study. I'd love to hear what you think. ;-)

Thursday, 16 May 2019


Some time ago I was looking at my Gorilla drawing and quite liking the close-cropped tight composition and I decided I'd like to try another one. As I said in my Gorilla post I very much liked the intense blacks achievable with charcoal (as opposed to the greys of graphite) so I also fancied working in charcoal again.

Looking for a suitable subject I came across this Tiger. I briefly contemplated doing a black & white study but decided it wouldn't be the same without colour. The end result of my deliberations was to tackle a close-cropped Tiger portrait using pastels (Faber Castell Pastel Pencils to be precise). It's taken much longer to produce than I'd expected but I know more about pastels now than I did. LOL.  ;-)

Friday, 29 March 2019

Radiating Fog

First of all, just a brief update on why I haven't posted for over 6 months..... we've moved home. After 18-months of braving the roadwork-ridden motorway to travel 120 miles each way to see our granddaughter, we decided to move into the area. So the last 6 months have been crazy as we first threw everything we possessed into a few hundred (so it seemed) cardboard boxes, moving to our new home just 1 week before Xmas, and then unpacking and getting ourselves settled into a new way of life. We now live on the edge of the Pennines just north of Sheffield and it is hugely different from where we've come from.

Now to the drawing. From time to time I see an image or scene that I just know I have to try and draw regardless of how difficult or unappealing (hang-ability) it may be. I feel almost compelled to tackle it no matter how doubtful I may feel about the outcome. It happened to me again a while ago when I saw some online footage of Radiating Fog swirling around a church. Initially I dismissed the notion to try and draw the scene and didn't really have the time, but recently time has been easier to find and the urge to do the drawing was still as strong. It was good to finally have my pencils out again.