Looking across the Somerset Levels from the top of Cheddar Gorge, clouds back-lit by the sun. There were boats sailing on Cheddar’s circular reservoir on the right, too tiny to draw! Sketched using a water brush dipped into grey ink, wet into wet for the clouds, allowing me to tweak and fine-tune the tones/values. I love the patterns of hedges, trees, roads and buildings stitched out across a landscape, hazy patchwork calligraphy under huge soft clouds. Older examples of cloudy/hedgy views below, including more of the Levels…
Last week I accidentally wandered into cubism through blind-drawn continuous-line selfies… I recommend having a go, they only take a minute and the results are so strange that you can’t make any ‘mistakes’. Hold a pencil ready to draw on a page, look into the mirror and draw your face in one continuous line without looking down at the paper. Let your eyes move around the contours and features of your face and trace the same movement with the pencil. It becomes a magical mystery tour as you attempt to keep track of where you are on the page and try not to fall off the edges. Then enjoy the reveal when you look down! Some of them look like reflections in moving water, some like I’ve been badly beaten, and some are just odd. As I look at them I can recognise some of the lines/shapes I habitually use when drawing selfies, but it’s as if they’ve been drawn by someone else; most peculiar!
Posted in Bath, buskers, cafe, coloured paper, Duke Confucius, fude pen, monochrome, sketchbooks, urban, urban sketching
Tagged monochrome sketches, sitar busker, sketch in cafe, sketch of busker, sketching in Bath, the stranglers, urban sketching
Remembrance Sunday in beautiful autumn light at Bath Cenotaph this morning. The band playing, a vicar leading the service, wreaths being presented and the salute being taken; a distant dog barking and a toddler laughing during the two minutes silence. “Stay and remember those who died…” I managed to get a great spot to view the scene, with a policeman just below on the right.
Some previous Remembrance Sundays…
Four more experiments sketching on pre-stained paper, this time using a homemade sepia ink for the stain, leaving a white border. From the top there’s a quiet moment in The Waterstones cafe, two busy scenes near Kingsmead Square, and finally the Roman Baths steaming on a cold autumn afternoon, all drawn with the fabulously juicy and variable Confucius Fude pen. It’s fun using various ‘whiteners’ to adjust the tone, alongside the usual dilute grey ink brush. Each whitener has its own qualities:
- White gouache/titanium white watercolour is good for large areas and subtle changes, but always dries darker than it looks when painted (and looks a bit odd for skin-tones, see the zombies sat in the cafe in the second sketch).
- A white pencil adds a textured effect, but once it’s on the paper it can’t be shifted or painted/inked on… I used it for the fur collar in the middle sketch, highlights on the right side in the third sketch, and for the flames and mist in the last one. This is the best one I’ve found, the Staedtler Lumocolor Glascrom, rich in pigment.
- And for maximum opacity a correction pen is super-bright. I’ve used it to bring the white border of the paper into the pre-stained areas and for ultra-highlights, but it can unbalance the overall tonal balance as it’s so light. The best I’ve found is this one, the Uniball CLP-305, as it has a roller ball so is much smoother to use, but it’s harder to find (I’ve stopped using the popular white Gelly Rolls as they’re just not opaque enough).
Posted in Bath, brush pen, cafe, coloured paper, monochrome, street scene, urban, urban sketching, white pen
Tagged cafe sketches, monochrome sketches, sketching in Bath, The Kinks, urban sketching, white pens for sketching
The latest batch of quick late evening mirror selfies from my daily drawing habit. All done using the blackest and least smudgy pencil that I’ve found, the Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black. It’s high carbon and low (no?) graphite so the drawings don’t have a grey graphite sheen to them, but you can smudge the lines when you want some tone. Much more of this type of thing in this friendly Facebook group.
There are 200 more of my analogue selfies in this post…
Waiting at Bath Spa station (you can just see the ghost of a train I tried to draw that left too soon, its windows running across the centre of the sketch)…
..and en route to Shropshire. This fellow passenger was simultaneously (not) watching the rugby on his phone, reading a magazine and listening to music (helped by having two right hands) as the misty Welsh hills scrolled past outside.
Both drawn using a Confucius Fude pen dipped in grey and black ink.
Some other train sketches from the last few years…
Posted in Duke Confucius, fude pen, journeys, monochrome, trains, urban, urban sketching, Wales
Tagged duke confucius drawing, fude pen sketches, Sister Sledge, train sketching, urban sketching