Monday, 27 March 2017

Peony fold book

Another fold book recently made as a birthday card.  In my haste to get this ready for the next morning's post, I photographed the finished booklet under artificial light so the result was not very successful.  I will have to construct a small light box in order to get better pictures of 3D items.

Black paper printed using foam stamps, gesso and acrylic

The flowers over-painted with fluid acrylics

The final 4" x 6" booklet 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Hahnemuhle Bristol card

Another quick test on an off-cut of the Hahnemuhle Bristol card.  This is really nice to work on with pencil, ink, pens and the watercolour markers.  I also tried out a variety of coloured pencils - I don't think it is really intended for these as the paper is so smooth and it was difficult to get any depth of colour, but some of the softer makes could be used.

I also used a soft eraser to remove some of the graphite marks and this was achieved quite cleanly, with no visible adverse affect on the appearance or surface texture of the paper.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Mini collages

Included in my parcels from Hahnemuhle were several small 3" x 4" sample paper pads.  There is no indication of which type of paper, but it is not very thick - I imagine a drawing paper.  Having recently watched a Youtube video by Caterina Giglio I thought I would follow her example and play around with some my art scraps to make some tiny collages.

The materials used include gesso, texture paste, handpainted and printed papers, teabag paper, lino and foam stamp prints, crayon rubbings, book pages, acrylic paint and ink, watercolour pencil, postage stamps, sketched images and fabric scraps.

It is quite addictive - not sure what I am going to do with them, but they might end up in some form of book.

See also -

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Hahnemuhle Bristol card

Time to test out another of Hahnemuhle's products.  The Bristol A4 pad I have contains 20 sheets of 120 lbs card and indicates it is "Suitable for pencil, Indian ink, pen fineliner, airbrush and acrylic marker.  Bright white, smooth surface, high opacity.  Resistant to erasure, exceptional cutting and printing properties."  I believe its main function is intended for graphic design and illustration.

I decided to start by using some of my handmade stamps, printing with gesso tinted with fluid acrylics.  Once dry, I tried out a combination of dip pen with acrylic ink, a Pitt artist pen and a metallic gel pen for additional line work.  These all worked very well on the smooth surface.  My intention was to make a small fold book, but I hadn't made allowance for the thickness of the card which didn't lend itself to a multi-fold structure - however, it would be ideal for a single fold or concertina style card.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

March sketch outing

With the weather still unpredictable, the Swindon sketching group met last Saturday in the Brunel shopping centre which was very crowded.  We decided to try the upper floor, which was a bit quieter, but security banned us from any photography or sketching people, so we had to content ourselves with shop window displays or architecture.  In addition, seating was limited (and no sitting on the floor allowed!) so most of us had to work standing up.

I took the opportunity to practice my figure drawing using the mannequins in the window displays - at least they didn't move.

Luckily, we were able to end the morning with all ten of us seated together for a coffee/lunch break - a chance to exchange ideas and share our work.

Pitt Pen drawings in A5 sketchbook
A few more contributions from the rest of the group (photos taken by organiser Jo Beal):

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Urban Sketch Meeting in Swindon

This is a link to a video of our January meeting at the Dark Espresso coffe bar in Swindon.  Thanks to Stephen McGrath for producing this neat little 3 minute Vimeo film*, which was condensed from our morning's session.  Stephen had this up online very quickly - it has taken me much longer to get the link and work out how to post it!  Enjoy.

 Filmed and Edited by Stephen McGrath AKA MadDogGiraffe

*  Don’t have the Vimeo app? Get it from the App Store:

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Tyntesfield, Somerset

We have had a fair amount of cloud and rain recently, but as today promised several hours of sun we took a chance and set off for Tyntesfield, a National Trust property in Somerset - a Victorian Gothic Revival house, with gardens and parkland.

I attempted a pencil sketch of the Orangery, but got completely lost with proportions and detail, so resorted to finishing it off at home using my photo reference.

A good day out, but we didn't have time to take in all the areas of interest around the estate.  Definitely worth another visit later in the year when the gardens are filled with flowers.


The Orangery

The Orangery - Pitt artist pen and W&N watercolour marker sketch