Sketches from last weekend’s USkBristol/South West sketchcrawl in Bath. Fourteen of us started inside the Abbey (it was too wet to go up the tower) where I sketched a memorial bust and inscription. We then moved to the Guildhall market where I drew a bored cafe customer alongside a busty statue, and finally another customer on a stool. As is often the case with sketching the last was the quickest to do and is the one that pleases me the most. I’m not sure why I’d never sketched in the market before as it’s full of life and interest; I shall return…. And we’re going to reschedule the Tower tour for finer weather, join us!

ksdah01ksdah02ksdah14The usual materials, especially Inktense pencils, all A5 – 30 mins, 30 mins, 10 mins

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Down and up the path

First a four panel sequential sketch, done in brush-pen while walking down The Shrubbery, a steep local path, last month. Then the same view as the last panel a couple of years ago, and finally the view looking back up The Shrubbery. Our neighbourhood was briefly in the news last week when an unexploded 500lb bomb from the ‘Bath Blitz’ was  found, just to the right of these views. We were evacuated for the night and got home just in time to have an attic window view of the bomb being lifted! (See photo below)



shrubbery 2


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Improving a brush-pen

kjhdgfn01My favourite media for urban sketching is brush-pen (Inktense pencils a close second), and my favourite brush-pen is the Kuretake #8. It’s the cheapest (direct from Japan here), has great ink-flow (the Pentel is very dry), the brush is springy (firmer than the expensive sable version) and very fine-tipped, and it lasts well. But it can be improved in three ways…

It’s a bit long for pockets, so I cut the end off the barrel and glue a piece of wooden dowel (left over from building flatpack furniture) in the end. ds1kjhdgfn07kjhdgfn09

It lacks a clip on the cap, so I take one off an old Pigma pen, slightly widen it with pliers, and glue that in place too.kjhdgfn04kjhdgfn05

And the ink it comes with isn’t waterproof (and isn’t grey!). So I empty the cartridge and reload it with Lexington grey.kjhdgfn08

Now it is near perfect! kjhdgfn11kjhdgfn12For more on brush-pens see this page on this blog, or this highly comprehensive one from JetPens.

Posted in brush pen, ink brush, kit, Kuretake, Lexington grey, Manchester Symposium, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Compare and contrast

Recent sketchbook pages of people (and horses) around Bath, drawn with either ink-brush/brush-pen or Inktense pencils; spot the difference! I’m tending to oscillate between these two media, still loving the speed and fluency of the brush for figures, but also the slightly crisper lines and softer/richer colours of the pencils, especially for faces and hands. Perhaps I’ll try a hybrid…


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Funchal neighbourhood

Yet more from Madeira… Fellow customers at our local bakery/cafe, a first floor view looking down the street we were staying in to the mountains beyond, and a much extended house on a steep street nearby (slightly Seuss-like with tower, external stairs, balconies etc). The first was drawn using a 5B Grafwood pencil, and the last two were sketched using Derwent Inktense pencils.





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Bath sketchcrawl, Saturday 21st May – Update

I’ve been watching the weather forecasts closely this week, and there’s been stubborn patch of heavy rain covering Saturday morning in every forecast. It still hasn’t shifted… As sketching in heavy rain is tricky, and sketching in heavy rain on top of a high roof is even trickier I’ve had to cancel the rooftop/Tower part of tomorrow’s sketchcrawl. Sorry! I’d even booked the local paper to come and photograph us in action.

BUT, we’ll still be meeting by the Abbey doors at 11am, for some shared sketching inside the Abbey (beautiful memorial tablets, lofty interior spaces, cosy private chapels, wandering tourists etc). So I hope to see you with your brollies tomorrow. (The Abbey are happy for us to rearrange the extended Tower tour for another time.)

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Funchal museum

Back to Madeira with some sketches from the Frederico de Freitas museum in Funchal. A small ivory carving (with a lamb on the shoulder and one on the knee, St Agnes?), figures on tiles, and a C19th engraving of Madeira printed in negative. I could have happily spent hours sketching the animated blue figures on their many Delft tiles, carefully following the economical and expressive brush-strokes, all fixed in glaze 300 years ago (“The Delft potters made tiles in vast numbers, estimated at eight hundred million over a period of two hundred years”!).

funchal22914Derwent Inktense pencil, watercolour, A5 – 20 mins

april16fdfbh1Noodlers Brown 41 and Namiki blue ink in Kuretake #8 brush-pen, watercolour, A5 – 30 mins

funchal22916White gel pen, A5 – 30 mins

Posted in brush pen, collections, figures, Inktense, Madeira, museum, objects, Uncategorized, white pen | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment