Friday, 20 July 2018

Clothed model sketches

We were lucky enough to have some family members volunteer for this Monday evening's art group sketching session.  These were quick, timed poses (10 or 15 minutes) and it proved to be a very enjoyable and productive evening.

I opted to work small in an A5 sketchpad, with just graphite pencil.




Thursday, 12 July 2018

Negative painting experiment

Looking for inspiration in my pile of painted paper oddments, I found a Bockingford watercolour paper sample which I had at some time randomly coloured with fluid acrylics and then glazed with white pearlescent acrylic ink.  I used a simple poppy image from a previous project; this was on tracing paper so I was able to position the flower heads as close as possible over magenta areas of the background.

I started by negatively painting with white acrylic, but this wasn't the effect I was after.

6" x 8"

Next step was to outline the image
with a black Posca pen
I then tried out a black gesso background -
(the tracing image is shown on the right)


Finished image 4" x 6"
Washes of fluid acrylic have been used to add some detail


It needs another coat of black gesso to smooth out the background; without the Posca pen I doubt I would have been able to achieve a very clean outline to the image.  It is difficult to show the effect of the pearlescent glaze, but it certainly stands out against the black.  I will have to try this out on a slightly larger, more complicated image.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

USk Swindon - 7 July

This is the group's second visit to this old cemetery in the town.  Last time was in November - a bit of a change in the weather since then as we have been experiencing several days of very high temperatures.  Luckily the area is well shaded with mature trees.

Radnor Street Chapel -
Pen, watercolour, gouache, wax pastel, white gel pen

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Ashdown House 2007

Following on from yesterday's post,  I have since searched my old sketchbooks and found this view of the house from March 11 years ago!  On that occasion we only saw the building as we walked over Weathercock Hill across the valley.  I guess I must have scribbled the pen sketch and added watercolour washes later at home.

Ashdown House, March 2007  (view from the drive)
- pen and watercolour

Monday, 2 July 2018

Ashdown House, Oxfordshire

A visit to Ashdown House (a National Trust property) on Wednesday.  The house is tenanted so visiting is only on two afternoons each week during part of the year and access is limited to the central 100 step staircase, which takes you to the viewing platform on the roof of the house.  The 1st Earl of Craven was romatically linked to Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, and intended this Dutch-style, chalk stone building as a hunting lodge for when she visited.  Work commenced in 1661, but sadly the Queen died in 1662 before it was completed.

I only took a 4" x 6" sketchbook and pen with me and managed to complete about two-thirds of this drawing before seeking shade in the surrounding woodland.  It was finalised and painted when I got home.


View from the Knot Garden - Pen, watercolour and gouache
The small buildings either side originally housed
 the stables and the kitchens 

Viewed from the side

A view from the roof

Monday, 25 June 2018

Crop Circle

On Sunday we visited Hackpen Hill, on the Ridgeway long distance path, not 6 or 7 miles from where we live.  It is well-known as the site of one of Wiltshire's white horses (carved out of the chalk hillside) and for the appearance of crop circles during the summer months.  We had heard rumours of a newly formed circle so took the opportunity to try and get photographs.  After clambering down to the vicinity of the chalk horse, we were able to get some distant shots.  However, for a much better view you need to be filming from the air and I found a link to this video on one of the crop circle sites.

I was primarily interested in taking photos, but I did attempt a very quick and crude pen sketch.



One of the legs of the chalk horse can be seen in the foreground
and the camper van at the bottom of the hill is the
"ticket office" for entry to the farmer's field -
£3 per person donated to charity

Friday, 22 June 2018

Sketch outing - 20th June

I joined a Wednesday sketch group outing which was planned for either Avebury or Devizes.  As it was the day before the Summer Solstice and the historic stone circle at Avebury was likely to be clogged with Druids, revellers, police and parking restrictions, we aimed for the Kennet and Avon Canal at Devizes.

We based ourselves next to the impressive Caen Hill Flight (a stairway of 16 closely built locks) which was the last stretch of the canal to be completed in 1810.  This forms part of the Devizes Flight which comprises a total of 29 locks.

With the advent of steam locomotives and motor vehicles, the transport of goods on the canals declined, the locks here fell into disrepair and were closed to boat traffic in 1951.  It was saved from complete closure by interested local groups and restored over four decades with the help of volunteers and considerable donations and grants.

(1) A glimpse of the locks disappearing down the hill - it's
difficult to capture the full flight on camera

(2 ) View towards the top lock before the canal descends the hill

(3) The Tea Room from the other side of the top lock


 My attempt at view (2) above -
Pen, watercolour, oil pastel, Inktense pencils, acrylic marker etc.
Still trying to get used to this dark toned paper!

Pen and watercolour - more my style (from view 3 above)