Paints and pomegranates

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What a long, strange week it’s been. But enough about me.

Tuesday’s sketchjournal entry was really just playtime with a couple of colours I bought to celebrate the prettiness of the frosty autumnal weather: a half pan of dioxazine (Winsor Violet) watercolour and a tube of gold gouache. The scan doesn’t capture the shimmer, but I fell in love with the warm, pearlescent purple created by mixing the two.


I emptied out the student-grade watercolours from a lightweight Cotman box and squeezed gouache into the half pans: much faster and easier for sketching and journalling than having to faff around with the tubes every time, and my Winsor & Newton Designer’s Gouache seems to rewet pretty well.


As you can see, I decided to forget the ubiquitous pumpkin today and celebrate the fact that it’s pomegranate season. Pen, watercolour & gouache in Canson watercolour book.

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.

Spicing up Sunday

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I have my very own domestic god. Yesterday, he baked some subtly-spicy Sunday afternoon cinnamon biscuits, and the 3 of us devoured them eagerly.

Since my window of opportunity for uploading sketches is even narrower than the one I have for actually doing them, I figured I’d better share this now. A couple of strokes are still needed to redefine the shadow of the plate. It took 45 mins, and is my #8 in the WetCanvas 100 Pastel Sketches Challenge. Yum.

9×9″ oil pastel on dark blue Canford paper

Gridmania!

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I wish to thank whoever came up with the concept of sketching grids, for s/he is truly a genius. Not only does it allow me to fit drawing into my limited time, having the satisfaction of completing something after just 5-10 mins and, eventually, of covering a page with variations on a theme, but I’m also finding that drawing out boxes of random size and shape and seeking subjects to fit them, cropping where helpful, means that even with a tiny drawing of one inch2 I am forced to consider composition.

Recent scans of my hand*book journal have made my watercolour sketches look so washed out that I hesitate to share them. But here’s a spread representing our “holiday at home” these past nine days, much of it spent outdoors in the sunshine with our 8-month-old daughter.

In a spiral, starting from the top left-hand corner and ending in the middle: Melody’s foot; a soft toy known as “Starman”; the smily octopus from M’s new playnest; baby sunscreen, SPF 50; a jingly toy we’ve imaginatively nicknamed “Ladybird”; Bonjela (tooth #5 appeared this week); a cloud of unidentified genus; peach-flavour Alpro soya yogurt; and pushchair wheels.

This is an earlier grid on a foodie theme. The colour is way off; those are blueberries, not marbles.

Pen & watercolour pencil in small hand*book journal.

Twists and turns

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“E-J’s Christmas Yarn”. This is one of three skeins of merino wool that Liz hand dyed for me as a Christmas gift. I’m using them to knit myself a cabled scarf. Profipen, watercolour & white gel pen in small hand*book journal.

EDM Challenge #96: Draw something sweet

I saw this Chocolate Twist at Costa and it reminded me of a skein of yarn. Pastry, chocolate chips, a dusting of icing sugar. I don’t usually go for pastries, but I bought it to draw. It smelled so good when I took it from its white paper bag that after I drew it, I (and Paul) ate it. It was fabulous! Profipen & watercolour pencil (used dry everywhere but in the shadow) in small hand*book journal.

Here there be dragons

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As usual, you can click on the images to see them “in big”, but I’ve copied out my rambling notes for those of you not inclined to incline …

1 April 2007 DRAGON FRUIT ~ I bought this tropical fruit (PITAYA) at the supermarket today, fascinated by its wacky bright pink colour and twisty, spiky, greenish-yellow scales. It cost £2.29! This is not an April Fool’s joke.

2 April 2007 ~ The unexpected insides of the dragon fruit. Quite juicy, with a subtle flavour, like kiwi fruit without the sweetness.

Pen & watercolour in hand*book journal.

Challenges #7 & #14

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Going almost monochrome for this entry. These are both in my 3.5 x 5.5″ hand*book journal.

EDM Challenge #7: Draw a bottle, jar or tin from the kitchen

Marmite, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is a savoury spread made from yeast extract which looks like tar and tastes indescribable. This sketch was done in Profipen & watercolour pencils with black paper & white pen.

EDM Challenge #14: Draw what you see in the morning when you get up

Technically, this is what I see before I get up, while I’m still on the pillow: my bedside table, sideways on. I’ve noted “THIS WAY UP!” to remind me not to turn the sketchbook clockwise 90°, which is what I do without thinking every time I glance at the page.

The stuff you can see is, from left to right (I mean, bottom to top): Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides; a failed bit of crochet I use as a coaster; alarm clock; lamp; aluminium photo frame. Every night before I sleep, I turn the frame so that I can see the photo. Every morning when I awake, it is facing south west, away from me, and has slid an inch or so forward.

Profipen 0.1 and a Derwent Inktense pencil.

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