Wednesday, 30 August 2017

A concertina book

I saw an image of a circular concertina book on Pinterest and decided to try my hand at making one (unfortunately I have lost the link to the post that inspired me*).  I had made a similar structure in the past using square pages, but this looked even more interesting.

To ensure I cut my eight pages all the same size, I printed just the outline on 100 gsm cream printer paper.   I made a circular foam stamp to add a bit of colour, folded and assembled the book using double-sided tape.  The edges of the pages were washed with pink then gold acrylic.  Rather than attach hard covers, I made a small quadrant shaped box to contain the folded book and a ribbon eases it from its resting place.  The diameter of each page is 5".

I am now trying to think of a suitable theme to incorporate different images on each page.

Foam stamp, print sample, quadrant box and finished book

Finished book

Alternative display method

*  I have now found the link to the work of Helen Malone

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Castle Combe sketch outing

Earlier this week, our summer sketching group met up in Castle Combe.  This Wiltshire village, with architecture little changed since the 15th century, is frequently voted the prettiest village in England and is another location in our area which is a favourite with film makers.  Recently it has provided the backdrop for scenes in "The War Horse" and "Stardust".

At any time of the year the village is popular with tourists, but especially so during the summer months so it was very busy.  However, there are no shops, souvenir or gift boutiques so, apart from motor traffic, it really does feel as if you are stepping back in time.

We started off with coffee at The Castle Inn and later stopped for a delicious lunch at The White Hart pub.

Waterside Cottages, Castle Combe
Pen, watercolour, gouache in Hahnemuhle Grey Book

Water Street, Castle Combe (buzzards flying overhead)
Pen, watercolour, gouache in Hahnemuhle Grey Book

The stone structure in the middle of the road was originally used for tethering and mounting horses.

Sketching by Town Bridge
The Old Court House

Friday, 25 August 2017

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Loose watercolour

In July our local art society hosted a demonstration by popular watercolourist Jake Winkle who produced a couple of very vibrant paintings of animals.  Thus our theme for this month's evening workshop was to emulate his style with birds or animals as our subject.

Images copyright Jake Winkle

In the interests of speed (and acknowledging that my bird drawing skills are not good), I traced my subjects from my own reference photos and concentrated on trying to achieve flowing, colourful washes.

Approx. 9" x 12" watercolour and Graphik line painte
 on Hahnemuhle hot pressed Britannia paper

Approx. 9" x 12" watercolour and Graphik line painter
 on Hahnemuhle hot pressed Britannia paper

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Sketch Outing to Kelmscott Manor

At last, a promising weather forecast for our sketch outing yesterday.  Eight of us met up for coffee and then set off down narrow country lanes to find Kelmscott Manor, a 17th century house situated in The Cotswolds near the upper reaches of the Thames.  Purchased in 1871, this was the summer home for the Arts and Crafts Movement textile designer, artist and writer, William Morris, and his family.

We made the most of the sun and spent all our time outside, but the interior is well worth a visit as it is decorated with William Morris wallpapers, furnishing fabrics and embroideries (by his wife and daughters), together with examples of the paintings and drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti who shared the house with them for some years.

Both images in the grey Hahnemuhle sketchbook - pen
watercolour and gouache

Saturday, 12 August 2017

A visit to Bowood

After a very wet start to the week, we were lucky to have good weather for our visit to the Bowood estate on Thursday.  This is a National Trust property with the spectacular grounds and lake, covering some 100 acres, designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown in the late 1700's.

We were enjoying the sun so much, we didn't have enough time to take a tour of the house, so I missed out on the opportunity to view a famed collection of early English watercolours.

My journal sketch of the boathouse on the lake was done later at home from one of my photos.

Pen and wash (approx 3" x 3")

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Station sketch outing

One of our urban sketching members organised a morning at Swindon Railway Station. We were limited to ten members, given visitor passes and made very welcome by all staff.

The building on the north platform was particularly interesting, despite the fact that it was partially obscured by scaffolding, and a few of us chose to draw this.  I have since found out that the exterior has remained more or less intact since it was built to Brunel's design in the early 1800s, with the original decorative cast-iron columns still supporting an old-style wooden canopy.  Now designated a Grade II listed building, I suppose the scaffolding was evidence that some much needed restoration work was being undertaken.

Swindon Station - platform building - pen and wash
over mixed media background in Hahnemuhle Grey Book
 I chose to ignore the scaffolding and building paraphernalia - too confusing!

Train guard - pen and wash

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Rainy day sketch outing

With the forecast of heavy rain for most of the day, our Wednesday group met up in the cafe of a local garden centre. We enjoyed a morning of arty chat over coffee, sharing past sketchbook drawings and, rather than all of us obviously turning our attention to the customers around us, we sketched each other.  Good practice.