Oxford Museums #1

During a Summer trip to Oxford we spent an afternoon at the best museum in the world. First there’s a Haida ‘Raven Transformation’ mask from British Columbia; the mask is designed for storytelling dances, and opens when the wearer pulls a string… surprise! Instead of arranging objects by region or time period, the museum groups them by type, so you end up with cases full of variations on a theme. My childhood fascination with World War Two led me to a cabinet full of guns, and it was odd to see so many of them, familiar from comics and films, just sat there in the case. (Below them there’s a couple of heavier guns I saw in a small airforce museum.)

august1520Lexington grey in fountain pen and water-brush, watercolour, A5 – 30 mins

august1521srh01Edding 30 marker pen, Lexington grey in water brush, water-colour, A4 and A5 – about 5 mins per gun

Posted in collections, museum, objects, sculpture, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

End of the line?

I love a good memento mori, and this is the most striking one I’ve sketched so far. It’s a decommissioned crematorium oven (!) in the museum at Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol, found while on a sketchcrawl there with the Bristol/South West Urban Sketchers group last weekend. I also sketched a couple of graveyard statues (below), but the oven was the grimly fascinating highlight. It’s large, rusty, very old, and has obviously seen a lot of use; I started to see it as a gateway to the void, or a final destination, and some other visitors saw it as a face with an open mouth… I’d like to sketch it again, taking more time to do justice to the pipework and rusty textures; maybe I could enter it into James Gurney’s current painting challenge?

Arnos vale1 Arnos vale3Lexington grey in fountain pen and ink brush, watercolour, A5 – 15 mins each for the statues, 30 mins on site for the oven’s line-work and main shading, with another 30 mins at home for the extra shading and colour

Posted in Bristol, brush pen, cemetery, death, figures, Lexington grey, monochrome, museum, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Analogue selfies

Um, here goes… thirty self-portraits done over the last few years, usually late evening when I can’t find anything else to sketch to keep up the daily habit… I’m really quite a cheery soul, but the combination of staring into a mirror, and doing these late at night makes me look both dour and wrecked! But self-portraits are a good discipline, and you’re sketching the one life model who shouldn’t be too offended by the results. In some of these I can see traces of family members, in others a slight inaccuracy of line angle or distance has completely altered the likeness. My weight apparently waxes and wanes between sketches, my age seems to wander from twenty to eighty, and my nose grows and shrinks. But the glasses, eye-bags and lack of hair are always the same…

kjghdfbh21kjghdfbh1galloway etc16
chimmm1 juney04 juney03 frome08 frome07 fgfg08 fgfg07 tree1fgfg06 easter334weedier09  camden07tree2shoes5camden21 camden09  cloud19 cloud18 1 2 153 teeth13  hand_0004 sherry sherry_0012

Posted in body, clothing, comparisons, faces, figures, self-portrait, sketching, watercolour sketch | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Harbour life #2

More sketches from Tenby harbour. First the view from the quayside looking down and across beached boats at low tide, then a similar view from last year for comparison (stronger lines, lower angle, more pigeons…). Then a mix; a guided tour, two teenagers texting while stood in the water, people paddling, and one of the boats from the first picture afloat when the tide’s in. And finally some attempts at drawing the befuddling reflections of boats, briefly interrupted by an air/sea rescue helicopter and boat that suddenly appeared!

tenby 158beach1411tenby 159tenby 156 tenby 1512Lexington grey in water-brush and fountain pen, water-colour, A5 – an hour for the first one, and various times for the others

Posted in beach, boats, collections, drawing buildings, holiday, Lexington grey, line drawing, nautical, sea, Tenby, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Harbour life #1

Four sketches of low tide at Tenby Harbour Beach this Summer. First some boats moored to the harbour wall (white Gelly Roll pen invaluable for the ropes), then small dinghies being taken out for a day’s sailing. The third one is from Castle Hill at dusk, light was fading fast and I could barely see the page by the end; and below it the same view at dusk last year. Finally a collection of all the boat names I could see when wandering around the beached craft, full of terrible puns, tribal allegiances, nautical dreams and yearnings for freedom; spot the name of the only working boat!

tenby 155tenby 151 tenby 154beach14125tenby 152Lexington grey in fountain pen and water-brush, water-colour, white Gelly Roll pen, A5 – various times

Posted in beach, boats, brush pen, buildings, comparisons, holiday, ink brush, nautical, urban, urban sketching, Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

54 people, mostly seated, and 2 dogs

During the Summer holidays I binged on sketching the general public in Bath, my default approach to ‘urban sketching’. I enjoy the seasonal differences: sunglasses, shady hats and bare arms in Summer; compared to high collars, long coats and wooly hats in Winter! The ink-brush works well for this, faster than pen as it produces both line and tone, and the softness of the marks suits figure drawing.

(The Urban Sketchers Bristol/South West group will be visiting Bath for a sketch-crawl next month, Saturday 17th October. Details of time/location soon. Hope to see/meet you then..)

august1508august1510august1509august1506august1518Lexington grey in water-brush, water-colour, A5 – 1 to 2 minutes per figure

Posted in Bath, brush pen, clothing, comparisons, figures, ink brush, Lexington grey, monochrome, people watching, seasonal, sketchcrawl, technique, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mothly drawing

A quick sketch of a dead moth for my three-hundredth post. Followed by some older sketches of other insects found in our garden for your further enjoyment…

august1505Lexington grey in fountain pen and water-brush, water-colour, tiny – about 10 minutes

tiger moth sc026e0038 The Beetles1

Posted in fauna, from life, garden, insects, Lexington grey | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments