More tea vicar?

Sketches from recent visits to the consistently lovely Comins Tea House in Bath. First my multi-tasking daughter; pouring tea, drinking tea, checking her phone, and reading, after delicious matcha ice-cream (apologies to her for the odd shaped hand holding the tea cup…).arnos vale (15)

Then the view loking back towards the entrance on a sunny Sunday near closing time….

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And the debris at the end of afternoon of Ruby Brandy tea and gyoza with sriricha sauce…
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Finally a couple of sketches from previous visits.


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Rear windows

The back of an old terrace of canal-side houses seen from Chester city walls, and a sketch looking right through a house on Camden terrace in Bath. Usually older buildings are more interesting to draw than new (lots of accretions, additions, alterations, patina…), and almost inevitably the best view is the rear view. (Further below others from my growing collection of Bath rear views)

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Small world…

A great afternoon in Bath with Susan from Salt Spring Island, BC Canada, sharing approaches and observations on urban figure sketching. Her island’s 7,500km/4,700miles from Bath, but coincidentally she lives 5 minutes away from my mother’s second cousin (whose daughter coincidentally married someone who went to my brother-in-law’s school…). A small world, made smaller, and also bigger, through sketching.

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Nineteen musicians and two train-spotters

A jazz band in Oswestry (my sister’s playing saxophone) sketched from the balcony of the old chapel they rehearse in…P1270606

…Nik Jovcic-Sas busking in front of the queue for the Roman Baths…arnos vale_0011

…an acapella group singing Bulgarian and Romanian folk songs in Bath while waiting on a bench, reading the music off their smartphones (they were happy to be sketched, and even carried on as it started to rain, making my ink lines looser and freer than intended) …arnos vale

…and two trainspotters in the cafe at Newport station; I hadn’t realised that they use laptops these days.arnos vale_0008

(All done in bamboo dip-pen, using either Noodlers Lexington grey or blended De Atramentis inks)

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A rural interlude…

Here is a Welsh valley sketched twice in different media (Sally says it looks like a Geography textbook…), four views from a train in four different media (felt-tip, pencil, ink-brush, watercolour), some sheep and lambs (topical!), and a different Welsh valley (out-take from Postman Pat?).

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A cast of thousands…

…,well, at least a hundred. Too late for the ‘one hundred people sketched in five days’ challenge (I was still bed-bound) but still good practise for quick gesture drawing skills. They’re done in a wide range of media as I seem to be jumping between pens/pencils/bamboo/brushes etc at the moment. And they’re all in Bath, which is a busy and popular place, but not as madly crowded as these sketches might suggest. My daughter said the second one made her feel stressed!

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Sketching while walking

I recommend drawing while walking as one way to encourage looser, simpler ‘right side of the brain’ sketching. You’re so busy not falling over/wandering into people, while balancing sketchbook/pencil etc, and trying not to be too conspicuous/creepy that the drawing becomes almost automatic! You have to be fast, and make every line count. Pencil seems easiest to use, and having a double ended one gives you a couple of colours to play with (see photo at end for my current favourite kit modification). I can’t manage the watercolour wash while walking, yet, so add this when I get home. Walking’s a fairly receptive action so if you don’t catch the angle of the foot-fall first time, just wait a moment and catch it the next. From the top here’s Jim holding his daughter Anna’s hand, two strangers with dog, late night winter shoppers, three old friends, my mum and dad, and extended family. The only problem (?) is that you’re limited to rear views, unless you can watch them approaching from a fair distance…

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