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.

Challenges #23 & #103 … and #1


This morning I bought a 9×12″ Daler-Rowney Ingres pastel pad and took it home to do an hour’s oil pastelling.

I often use the Daler pads – usually the handy 6×9″. They are spiral bound, lightweight and ideal for sketching in with my Caran d’Ache oil pastels (the paper’s laid lines tend to show through soft pastel, and with Sennelier OPs the oil seeps through the paper). The sheets come in six colours, all of them useful, but I can’t help wishing they included a few sheets of black.

My right foot in a Brasher Trekker sandal is doing double duty for EDM Challenges #23: Draw your foot and #103: Draw some exercise equipment – what you use to stay fit, since my feet are my only means of transport and they see a lot of action! I was underwhelmed by this sketch when I reached the end of the hour, but it’s not looking so bad on-screen.

EDIT: Challenge #1 is Draw a shoe. D’uh! Another challenge covered.