Thursday, 30 June 2005

Dancing Lesson

This is my niece with her guinea pig, Ruby.

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Bird Restaurant

This is the apple tree I used to climb as a girl, now strewn with bird feeders holding peanuts, sunflower seeds, wild seed mix and water.

Friday, 24 June 2005

Close up of my watercolour snail with 3D crystal lacquer slime.

You've got snail mail!

Monday, 20 June 2005

Slater's Bridge, Langdales.

Spent yesterday up in the Lake District in the boiling heat. Managed to avoid the forecasted storms and had a great day walking around the Langdales. We stopped halfway at Slater's Bridge where I did this sketch. There were some kids splashing about in the stream with an inflatable crocodile. It looked a bit surreal when we came across them in the middle of nowhere.

Gin & Slimline makes chairs bigger!

Friday, 17 June 2005

A sketch of P reading, done with the brush pen and watercolour. Will definitely be doing more like this. The brushpen has waterproof ink so doesn't run into the watercolour when it's washed over the top.

We're off to see REM this afternoon in Manchester and I'm trying to decide whether to take my sketchbook or not.

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

My mum

My mum had to have an operation yesterday to remove a cataract from her eye. It's a pretty amazing and wonderful thing to be able to do but the though of someone putting a hole in my eyeball makes me really squeamish and freaked out. Mum was incredibly brave and will hopefully be able to see much better in about 6 weeks.

I have done her this little watercolour to cheer her up. It's called 'Things to enjoy when the fog clears' and features her favourite activities.

There's a Woman's Weekly mag, her binoculars, a flower (she loves natural history full stop), the cherished photo she keeps above the piano, Coronation Street on the tv, a menu & a slice of cake at a cafe, one of the grandchildren who's reading, a birdtable and a squirrel on my dad's nuts which we all think is hillarious because he charges off down the garden to either bark like a dog or squirt it with a supersoaker.

Friday, 10 June 2005

Portrait Painting - From start to finish

Step 5...

Finished! Well I think it's finished. The actual colour is warmer than this photo shows.

Amongst other things I have painted the background with patterns from the wedding dress and then covered with different glazes to give a subtle effect. Other details have been added to clothing, jewelry and flowers.

Going to have the usual pondering session now where I try not to ruin the painting by over-working it.

Step 4

Step 3... Starting to look more complete

Step 2...

Portrait Step 1...

I covered my canvas in a warm brown tone and started painting straight away without much drawing prefering to place blocks of colour down for the face rather than lines. Not concentrating much on colour at this point, just tones.

Wednesday, 8 June 2005

This was my first experiment with the Pentel brushpen. It's satisfyingly convenient and easy to use, especially if you're drawing fur!

Monday, 6 June 2005

I was very naughty recently and put in a huge order at I find nothing more exciting than a courier ringing the doorbell with a huge packet of goodies!

Amongst other things I bought some waterproof black ink which I've been using to sketch with a sable rigger brush (see recent drawings), a pentel brush pen (a lot of fun to use), a set of gouache paints like the ones I used to use on my art foundation course, a load of new brushes, a pack of different kinds of watercolour paper, a new ceramic daisy palette... mmm.... this is like the generation game... and a layout pad for designing.

The best thing was that they arrived just before we went away and I had the anticipation of trying all the new stuff all weekend. Sometimes the anticipation is even better than the thrill of using it for the first time.

Friday, 3 June 2005

North Lakes - Day 2

After our strenuous walk on the first day we decided to relax a little with one of the 'easy' walks from the book. It almost finished me off! We walked higher and higher, my legs feeling like dead weights.

At one point we encountered a girl, around 10 years old, screaming at her mother that she WASN'T GOING ANY FURTHER, ESPECIALLY NOT UP THAT MOUNTAIN. That made me feel so much better (and a bit sorry for her) because I looked at the way she was heading and she had a really menacing climb ahead of her! I felt quite spritely after that. You could still hear her from the next peak.

The last part of the walk was along Bassenthwaite Lake and we stopped in this wild flower meadow while I drew Skiddaw and P took arty photos with my camera.

We found a lamb that had managed to get it's head stuck through a wire fence. It had little horns which were acting like barbs when it tried to pull itself out. It was baa-ing pitifully. We really were in the middle of nowhere and pondered our options.

Find the farmer? No chance. Phone the police? They'd probably say it wasn't their problem. Phone the RSPCA? Maybe. Help the lamb ourselves? Let's give it a go.

Aware that the poor little mite was distressed, P climbed over the fence into the adjacent field and walked slowly up. The lamb started struggling a bit but P managed to get one horn out of the fence which it put straight back in. P was ready to give up, thinking the lamb would strangle itself but it calmed down for a moment and P swiftly but gently lifted the wire over its head. The lamb stood there for a second looking at him then it turned and skipped up the field, baa-ing all the way.

P is a hero!! I think the Indiana Jones hat has had an effect.

Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Ard Crags and the Keskadale Edge

The Lake District is a fantastic place. I always feel instantly relaxed when we drive up the motorway and the landscape gives way to the mountains.

We spent the bank holiday weekend based in a B&B in Keswick. P had received 'Short walks in lakeland book 2' from my dad for his birthday, so we chose a ridge walk close to Keswick which was graded moderate.

By the time we had climbed the first peak in this sketch we were wondering which superhuman mountain leader had graded the walk. But the views were stunning and we only met a handful of people all day which was amazing over one of the busiest weekends of the year.

P took some great photos while I sketched

P in his new Indiana Jones hat. It really looks good on him.

I bought some new walking boots this weekend with my birthday money. My old ones are finally ready to retire after 14 hard years. I used to wear them everyday to walk to art college and I'm sad to see them go. It seems like everything's changing at the moment, fundamental things and small things such as this.