Stepping back

pastel and ink wash

After the frenetic activity of Open Studios and art-working for Hungerford Summer Festival, it’s good to be just drawing again. It’s so easy to lose the basic skills because of other projects – for me this is where it all starts so I am now visiting life drawing workshops whenever possible, as well as trying to keep my sketchbooks active.

Sunnier times


I can see the sunshine in this. It was made in my sketchbook some time before the darkness and cold arrived, when there were real shadows surrounding objects sitting on a table. One of many (seemingly endless) exercises in the early stages of OCA Watercolour 1 – this one working with warm colours. There are messier ones in this series; the painting with grey and brown tones had a particularly bad ending.

However this one was made off-piste, away from proscriptive exercises, just for the pleasure of painting, after I had worked out a lot of issues surrounding a begonia and some citrus fruit. Wax resist and masking fluid also feature.

Another view

Marcay 2

Watercolour sketch, working out depths and tone. Its messy and badly done but I can see some interesting stuff coming though. (I know what you are saying at the back; pity she didn’t use proper watercolour paper. Yes, well, it’s just a bit of messing around but I take your point.)

Lost and found


Abandoned shoes on the quay at Warsash – my new favourite place. I saw more than one pair missing their owner after a boat had been loaded on to the trailer! Pressed charcoal and watercolour. Just a sketch.

Splashes of colour


Off-piste – a bit of a mess around with a wax crayon (borrowed) and a 3/4″ brush (also borrowed) at art group yesterday – meanwhile stuck in the middle of all those exercises for OCA Watercolour Practice – where will they lead? Will I actually be able to produce a coherent painting using watercolour at the end of it ?

(ps the view is of Marcay, near Chinon in France – I was working from a photograph taken in sunshine and warm air, neither of which were present, sadly, when I finally put wash to paper. Sigh.)

As the first of the sun’s rays….

dodo sketch

…slipped under the curtains, they made their way home. 

Really must finish this exercise sometime soon before I forget what it is all about….

(OCA Illustration 1, Part 5, Packaging Exercise: Produce a series of illustrations for packaging to be used for a new range of organic biscuits for children.)