Saturday, 27 January 2018

Playing with aluminium

Jackson's Art had an art sale for aluminium panels that I found out about thanks to a fellow Reading Sketcher Mohan so I bought a couple and had a go after reading up on it

The easiest way to tackle the blank panel/canvas was to try doodling using some materials* and the end results were very pleasing in terms of effects.




The surface was cold and you did need to put something under your hand as you drew for your own comfort and to avoid smudging - as per their blog post.

Biro was the only thing that seemed reluctant (and unpleasant to use) . Bingo dabbers and posca pens seemed a bit duller but the other tools created a lovely vibrancy when used. Posca pens layered seemed to be better.

It would be lovely to carry these panels around as well as a sketchbook but may be impractical to do so every day.

*materials list

  1. Posca pen
  2. Faber castel pitt pens (fine and bold)
  3. Water
  4. Sharpie pen
  5. Pentel brush pen
  6. Sailor fude pen
  7. Lamy green pen
  8. Watercolours  (Winsor and Newton)
  9. Watercolour pens  (Winsor and Newton)
  10. Watercolour pencils  (with and without water)
  11. Biro (unsuccessful)
  12. Bingo dabbers
  13. Pentel stylo
  14. Gouache  (designer) Winsor and Newton


Monday, 1 January 2018

Memories from drawing in 2017

When I restarted drawing /sketching a few years ago I didn't expect any of the things it would actually mean for me.

For example that I would share these drawings with strangers, some of whom I would meet in person, others from whom I would learn (book/food/art/tech/Reading-related/stuff). I also reignited or built up friendships with old friends in a very different context and gained confidence and drew things I never thought I would even enjoy drawing.

The other unexpected delight is that I have sketches that are actually diaries and unleash memories  (some lovely, others reminding me of times I turned to drawing to recharge when I had read too much news). I also decided to write down all the books I read 'during' each sketchbook and have built up another wonderful and unexpected reminder of the year.

Here are a few drawings from 2017 and I thought I'd share some of memories and feelings behind them.

A page from Jan 2017's #sbsdrawingaday 

It is the only month I managed to keep up a lot of the drawings a day prompts and this page included CHEESE (thank you Grumpy Goat and Borough Cheese Company for keeping me happily addicted all year around) & a wonderful,  funny, kind and clever hubby who makes an excellent cuppa (and who likes animals and googly eyes)

Brushpen sketch of person in waiting room 

At this point I decided to play with the brush pen and was very pleased with this sketch. I drew it in the waiting room at Reading station and was actually thinking of the many people who were suddenly being affected by the MuslimBan.

 #OneWeek100People2017 challenge

I signed up for this as I like drawing people but wanted to push myself to draw several quicker.  This one is on International Women's Day and I had to find women on the train that I could sketch that morning. I successfully managed 100 people that week but it took a fire evacuation (that I didn't start, honest), a visit to the theatre to watch The Book of Mormons and a visit to the excellent Reading library trying not to crack up when people moved - and it became about numbers rather than people at the end.


HeyClay - Reading 

The Great Pottery Throwdown is my guilty pleasure. I love it as it makes me realise how amazing the ceramics industry (in everyday use) is - never considered making fully functioning toilets as an art challenge before!  As part of HeyClay, the OHOS in Reading hosted a pottery event and I finally had a first (unsuccessful) go leading me to have another go and learn how to use the wheel from Cait  - she's teaching a couple of courses at the Reading College - sign up here

Whilst waiting for my first go, I dared to sketch this lady AND show her my sketch.

Ancient Reading

So, it's not ancient but I did this sketch of the corner of Cross Street and Silver Street. If I had left it another week - this building would no longer be there as it was demolished. I especially liked the marks/traces of the older building in the wall of the building about to be demolished.

Holiday sketches

Reminders of a small holiday that included animals!



Still life - a cherry

Never thought I'd draw fruit but I really like this one

The Blade

This is one of my favourites of the Blade - it was used by Matthew Farrell's in an interview with me. When I arrived in Reading, I loved the Blade as it seemed iconic and not ugly. A lot of the other buildings no longer exist. It also acts as a navigational tool for me.
Also, it made me more at home about living in what I had then considered a bold move to the countryside. I love life in the countryside with it's cafes, restaurants, art scene, museums, indy shops, people and theatre.



A portrait of an artist.

The amazingly talented Salvo is a fab photographer from Reading and I thought I'd sketch him.

Sketching with strangers (#rdguk)

The Reading Sketchers group (facebook group - ask to join it if you fancy) organised a sketch crawl for Jelly's Open for art. I went along to draw with the group that day and whilst I was sitting sketching the people sitting outside the Oracle), a man sitting next to me asked what I was doing. I told him and then took the plunge and invited him to sketch on my sketch and he did. I was a bit nervous but I'm glad I did. I don't know if we'll meet again (and I won't recognise him anyway) but I felt it was okay to do this in the group. It also made me feel more comfortable to talk to strangers and tell them about the Reading Sketchers group that I got involved in.

A lady on the train - an accidental vehicle for another memory

A sketch that actually reminds me of my mother reading and I don't now recall the person I actually drew.

Daring to cross the road...on to a roundabout

I have wanted to draw the Whitley Pump ever since I saw it. Several years later, I finally crossed on to the roundabout and took a closer look. 


A happy request

Friends bought a camper van and requested I draw them on their adventures. I love these kind of requests and they usually make us all laugh.

The picture that led me to meet...ReadingTalkies

I met ReadingTalkies thanks to this sketch of Broad Street Mall

Another memory of a closed down place in #rdguk

We found the "firestarter" in the sketch (right) in AgainstTheGrain in Broad Street  Mall- it was an upcycling shop /charity that ceased trading just before Xmas. I had intended to draw the person who worked there during the holidays. It had some truly lovely things that cannot fit into our house.
The "little sun" in the sketch (left) is something we got in order to see the OLAFUR ELIASSON Tate Blackout a few years ago.


Using the imagination again.

When I was younger I drew a lot more from imagination (as we all do). The last few years (apart from the fun requests from friends) have been more drawing from life. The Imagining course from SketchbookSkool invited me to revisit drawing from imagination and this is one assignment that I took to mean a series of drawings on one page that made up a whole without knowing what I would draw next (the dates tell you the order it took). 


The Postal Museum and memories of the Eighties.

This is a sketch of two old men walking away from the newly opened Postal Museum where you can go on the MailRail as well. The area is behind Farringdon Road. Every Sunday the East London Group shares this photo and reminded me of an area I have many memories of. It also led me to visit the excellent exhibition in Southampton that opens again tomorrow and ends this Saturday - (HT @declarationball for introducing me to the work of the group)

It also led me to revisit the History Today clips on Youtube. 

A sketch of a #rdguk celeb 

...and for a while, their profile picture! I kept on wondering what I had posted when I saw their posts. It was a huge compliment and confidence boost.

The Nepalese community in #rdguk - and a breakthrough for me

The ladies sitting in Market square is one of my favourite sketches in the SketchBookProject book - a terrifying project I decided to take part in. This sketch prompted me to continue with it.


And this double spread below kept me from giving up as well though it was nerve wracking when I had one sketch on the left and was nervous that the other one would not work. This project is harder because the double spreads matter (well, I keep telling myself it doesn't matter really in the big scheme of things and I just have to keep on going).



tldr; 

Take a few chances and don't give up hope


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Hello Sailor!

The Sailor Fude pen, as recommended by Mike Daikubara in his book "Sketch Now, think later" is something I was wary of as I had never got on with calligraphy pens.

However, another Reading sketcher Mohan had a 55 degree nib and though I found it tricky to use, I was inspired to buy one.
I bought a 40 degree one which is supposed to better suited to smaller sketches according to online reviews and found that I really like it. All those line widths in just one pen. This has not led to a reduction in pens I still carry.


Here's a selection of some of my initial sketches using the Sailor Fude.











The Reading Sketchers are meeting again at MERL  11am on Sunday December 10, 2017.


Skooling (Expressing klass homework)