Cuttlefish aren’t fish!*

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I recently decided, if not to retire my small hand*book journal, then to reserve it for drawings in wax pastel and/or gel pen on pasted papers. The roughness and absorbency of the hand*book’s paper (relative to the Daler-Rowney I’m used to) and its size (a tad too narrow: I prefer postcard size) have made it a disappointing purchase, and though I’ve been quite productive in it, I won’t be opting for a hand*book again. Just personal preference.

These 2 pages, then, are the first in a new 4×6″ Daler-Rowney: an interior view of a local coffee shop (EDM Challenge #128), and a rapid sketch of my daughter among her toys.


I seem to have gone all sepia lately, but I can assure you it won’t last: I am too much a fool for colour!

* Admittedly, this is only tenuously related to the content of my post, but it’s something I learnt while browsing on the topic of sepia (the brown ink so named having traditionally come from cuttlefish), and it surprised me. Cuttlefish aren’t fish. They’re molluscs.

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Thought(s) for the day

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Whether it’s typical of works done in Inktense I can’t yet say, but neither a scan nor a digital photo seems able to capture what it is that I really like about my first full-colour drawing done with watersoluble ink pencils: its vibrancy and richness. So, I apologise for the washed-out, streaky image. But since life is too short to spend repeatedly scanning and snapping and uploading a 6×4″ drawing, you’ll have to take my word for it that these pansies, photographed yesterday morning and Inktensed directly from my laptop screen, are more appealing on paper than they are in pixels. This is 6×4″ on RWS watercolour paper. I also made use of 2 Pilot pens: a black pigment liner & a white marker.

The name “pansy” comes from the French pensée, meaning “thought”, and the flower itself has long been a symbol for freethinking and atheism. With their rich mix of mauves, reds, warm yellows and deep inky purples, they are also more gorgeous than I ever realised before stopping to look at them yesterday morning.

I blame Nitsa!!

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COSTA COFFEE. Thursday 24.4.08 … How to justify a cappuccino & triple choc muffin at 8.20 on a Thursday morning? Make them your sketching subject. I seem to be channelling Anita today, so I can always blame her! She has influenced more or less every element of this sketch …


… from the use of sepia pigment liner to the cup of coffee I hadn’t planned to order to the desire to make more use of watercolour paper to the irrational urge to sketch my food to the purchase and use of a set of Inktense pencils to the postcard format to the gluing of a scrap of the brown muffin wrapper onto the page, the inspiring Nitsa has infiltrated my artist’s brain.

6×4″, sepia pen & white marker with Inktense pencils on watercolour paper.

Sui Li’s flowers

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I love flowers and I love crochet, and this artist’s work is a tribute to both. Simply gorgeous.

Sui Li’s crocheted flowers.

Still here

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And so the artist emerges from hibernation, blinking and stretching and in need of a cup of tea.

The little piece on the right is 4×6″, in pen, watercolour and coloured pencil on paper. It’s based on a photo of dendrobium orchids.

Below, you can see the 3×3″ leather-bound sketchbook that I bought in Camden Market last month, and a montage of pages from it. This tiny book is encouraging me to fit in a scribble when I have a few minutes to spare, without stressing over the quality of the finished (or unfinished!) sketch. It’s precisely the kind of thing I should be doing more of in my regular hand*book journal, but ho hum, that just isn’t happening; and as opportunities to paint have been thin on the ground these past few weeks, at least the novelty of my little book has kept my sketching hand moving.

To quote Danny Gregory: “The drawings don’t matter. The drawing does.”