31 January 2014

Kerry Hill duo

First linocut of 2014, hurray! I decided to keep it simple. This is based on a pic I took last year at the local agricultural show, of two rather smart Kerry Hill Sheep.

Kerry Hill sheep linocut
Printed area is 6 by 8 inches. Might print this in another colour as well, blue maybe. We'll see!

26 January 2014

Three's a charm

I enjoyed my hour doing the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch yesterday morning. My highlight was a flock of 11 goldfinches, up in the top of the tree at the bottom of the garden. Inspiration to get the brushes wet...

 Ink and watercolour, 5 by 7"

24 January 2014

Goldfinches in biro

A couple of pages from the sketchbook, goldfinches sketched from some photos I took a good while back, done in biro

Biro sketch bird goldfinch

Biro sketch bird goldfinch

19 January 2014

Long-tailed tit

Here's the next page in my 'natural world' journal, a long-tailed tit in graphite.

Long-tailed tit drawing in pencil

Long-tailed tit drawing in pencil
Usually long-tailed tits are busy little birds travelling in small flocks; I'd noticed this one early in the day, sitting near the bird feeders, on its own and all hunched up, looking rather ill. I wasn't surprised, then, when I went out a few hours later and found it dead, poor little thing. An opportunity nonetheless for a drawing, and a chance to get a good look at one of these charming little birds close up...

16 January 2014

The giraffe

Was watching an episode from the BBC's 'Africa' series the other day, and decided I just HAD to draw a giraffe (you know how it is!) This one's from a photo I took at Twycross Zoo...

Giraffe painting
Watercolour and ink on Bristol board, A4.

There's an amazing sequence with giraffes; if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, here's a link - you'll never look at a giraffe in the same way again!

07 January 2014

A new project to keep me busy...

Back in October I enjoyed an art workshop at my local nature reserve, drawing and painting things from nature. I love drawing and sketching, and the natural world is my favourite subject, so I decided that it might be a Good Idea to try a 'nature journal'.

Armed with this Good Idea I treated myself a Stillman and Birn zeta sketchbook and pondered upon some kind of direction. I've decided to try to find things that catch my eye, maybe from the hedgerows and fields, or from the veg patch, greenhouse or garden. I'm anticipating a lot of foliage! In case I'm incapacitated, or the weather is too awful to contemplate venturing outside, I have a collection of bits and pieces to fall back on - feathers, pine cones, seashells etc. Maybe when the weather improves I'll take the journal outside. We'll see!

The point of this exercise is to take my time with these studies. My usual modus operandi is fairly rapid pen and wash sketching, which I love doing and feels very fresh and lively. On the workshop I found I also enjoyed the discipline of really looking at the subject very closely, so this is about making time to do more of that. And maybe it'll improve my general sketching and drawing too...

So, the first couple of pages. I started off with a small collection of empty snail shells that I found on a very wet and muddy walk around the fields...

And the next page was the last few chilli peppers from the greenhouse...

Of course there are loads of other things I'm aiming to do, such as more linocuts (a series perhaps, with an actual theme to it), lots of sketching and drawing generally, and maybe this year I'll actually get outside and do some plein air painting...

04 January 2014

Nice weather for ducks...

Well, it's been a wet, wild and windy start to 2014 in the UK. If it's cold and wet, or snowy and icy where you are, I hope you're keeping cosy!
Ducks painting ink and watercolour
Watercolour and ink, 5 by 7"

01 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Here's to 2014 bringing all that you wish for. For now: a biro sketch of the cat, starting off the year as she surely means to continue!

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