Six left hands

All the lines were done in brush-pen, loaded with various water-proof inks; Noodlers Brown 41 (the first four), Noodlers Lexington grey (the fifth), and Carbon black (the last). The warm brown ink suits the subject best, merging with the colour wash at times, and the blue paper adds a deathly hue… I’m trying to use stronger water-colour washes, as they always dry weaker, and not just relying on grey for shadows.

fghsfgsr1fghsfgs05fghsfgs02fghsfgs04Kuretake ink-brushes with various inks, watercolour, A5 – about 20 mins each hand

Posted in body, brush pen, coloured paper, hands, ink brush, inks, Lexington grey, seasonal, self-portrait | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pencil landscapes

As a break from ink-brush propaganda here are some pencil landscapes from the Summer. The first is on a lane in Lancashire during a light rain shower, the second and third on the Galloway coast (clouds over the distant Isle of Man, and a peaceful dusk near Kirkudbright). Pencil’s lovely for feeling out the lines in a landscape, and great for blind drawing the clouds and foliage. The way it smudges for tone is also useful, but not the way this then spreads through the whole sketchbook… A water-colour wash seems to fix the graphite to the page, so I’ve tried using just gum arabic as a portable and non-stinky clear fixative – fail! Any ideas?

galloway etc12galloway etc11 galloway etc095B Grafwood pencil, water-colour, A5 – 20/30 mins each

Posted in blind drawing, clouds, Galloway, landscape, line drawing, pencil, sea, technique | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Daily sketch-kit updated

A simpler kit; less is more, and much lighter in the pocket! Details here…


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Ink-brush buildings #2

Another sketch of the rear windows of the Circus (older versions below), this time using the Kuretake #40 ink-brush. Ink-brushes are wonderfully suited to drawing soft, curved and organic subjects (people, clothing, foliage, landscapes etc) so I’m seeing how they work with subjects that are more linear and ‘technical’. I’ve darkened the ink (or rather, stopped diluting it) and this has helped to make the brush-strokes more definite than in the second earlier sketch. The soft brush-tip demands more control than a pen-nib to ensure lines have a consistent width when needed, but this is more than balanced by its speed, versatility and expression.

circus windows1

Lexington grey in #40 ink-brush and water-brush, water-colour, A5 – 30 mins

If you want to try ink-brush/brush-pen sketching I recommend the cheaper, but still excellent, Kuretake #8 which has a nylon brush-tip. (There’s a more expensive #13, but this has exactly the same tip as the #8 (and also a #50, which again has exactly the same sable brush-tip as the cheaper #40!)). And even cheaper is a ‘detailer’ water-brush filled with ink… Whichever you choose they all have much better ink flow and brush-tips than the popular Pentel brush-pen. There, no excuses for not having a go!august1502circus91

Posted in Bath, brush pen, buildings, comparisons, drawing buildings, ink brush, Lexington grey, sketching, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Apples and shelves

The evenings are drawing in, so there’ll be more interior sketches for a few months… Here are recently harvested apples and kitchen shelves, all done with my new preferred kit (Kuretake #40 brush-pen with Lexington grey for line, dilute LG ink in fine water-brush for shadow, and watercolour). “How do ya like dem apples?

octnov1507Kuretake #40 ink-brush with Lexington grey, water-brush with dilute Lexington grey, water-colour, A5 – 20-30 mins per sketch

Posted in domestic, food, fruit, glass, ink brush, kitchen, Lexington grey, watercolour sketch | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rising tide

From a visit to Aberporth a couple of years ago, trying out an inflatable canoe (it’s great!). I paddled around the headland to an inaccessible cove near the missile testing range, and sketched the beached canoe as the tide came in…

car152Lexington grey in Lamy Safari and water-brush, A5 – 20 mins lines and basic shadows on the beach, 20 mins boosting the shadows at home, resisting the urge to add colour!

Posted in beach, boats, holiday, Lexington grey, monochrome, nautical, sea, Wales, waves | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lots of buskers

Lots of buskers, mostly in Bath, and some of their audiences (ranging from the totally disinterested to the partially engaged). There’s a few more sketches of barefoot Ben Powell, a bottle-neck slide cigar-box guitar player, and a couple who were accompanying Morris Dancers looming like giants over a very fast sketch of Saturday crowds on Milsom Street. These sketches are all brush-pen, apart from one using the trusty Lamy Safari. If only I could combine the precise clarity of pen, with the loose liveliness and speed of an ink-brush. Darker, fuller (go-go dancers!) strength Lexington grey could be the answer…

Arnos vale2
august1511 august1503octnov1511people214august1516Mostly Lexington grey in brush pens, and water-colour, A5 – various times

Posted in Bath, brush pen, buskers, comparisons, figures, ink brush, Lexington grey, monochrome, people, street scene, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments