Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cardoon seedhead in gouache and tinted charcoal in a Stillman and Birn alpha sketchbook

Another cardoon seedhead, gouache and tinted charcoal in a Stillman and Birn alpha sketchbook


Another quick cardoon.   This one had shed all its scales, leaving just the fluffy 'fairies' that carry the seeds - one is next to it, so delicate against the large heavy seedhead - and the bristly dried flower petals.

More of the NEC doodles to come .....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Artbars, tinted charcoal, gouache and cardoon seedheads

Cardoon seedhead in Artbar, Gouache and Tinted Charcoal Pencil

One of my students, Toni, had promised me some cardoon seedheads and this week brought a big bag of lovely toothy/fluffy/prickly specimens. This one had lost virtually all its scales.  They are so much fun to draw.  It ended up with nearly half the class deciding to have a go.  Cue much concentration and muttering.

This was done in my Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook (A4), with a mix of Artbars, gouache and Tinted Charcoal pencils.

Mine never did much good in my garden and sadly died this year.  It had wonderful sky blue flowers but only managed one in its first year, two in its second and none this year.   It probably needed more sun and lighter soil.  I did manage to draw it though.  I think these have the purple flowers like the one below, perhaps I'll try planting some of the seeds.


Old, more detailed sketches of similar seedheads in other drawing media:




more details about these here and more sketches to follow .........

Sunday, November 25, 2012

More doodling at the NEC

Seedhead done with Artbars A5ish

Another of the small pieces I did to show the different ways Artbars can be used, using some of the lovely subtle colours in the box along with the more vivid.  All work there was done on the new watercolour paper they devised to complement their water soluble media.   It's lovely, smooth and the colours glow against it.

I do like the ability to use line and mass and switch constantly between with the same crayon.

Had a great day yesterday catching up with old friends at an Open House full of great paintings, printmaking, felting, ceramics and glass.   Buzzing now :>) Will share some of the artists work later.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Doodling at the NEC

Demonstrating Artbars at the NEC
(techniques: washes, scratching through, drawing through wet paper, splattering and scratching flecks in a wet wash using the spritzer)

I had a fascinating time at the NEC, demonstrating Artbars for Derwent.  The idea was that I would sit at a table using them in small images, showing the different techniques that could be used with them - subtle washes, wet in wet, lifting colour from the crayons. layering and scratching through, splattering etc etc  etc.   They have a really rich and varied range of mark making potential.

I combined them at times with a little Inktense pencil or scrapes of inktense to create flecks of colour that would stay in place while I washed more colour of Artbar over them.

Scarily, at the last minute Derwent were offered a 30 minute slot each day in a 'theatre' where I did a demo to an audience, complete with cameras, big screens and a microphone.   Scary!!!  Luckily the cameramen were great, helping set up and ensuring the audience could hear and see what I was doing.

There were materials out for people to have a go as I showed them the sort of marks and things they could do.   People were great, friendly and open to experimenting with the art materials out.   Some were enthusiastic beginners, a few children, some students considering going to art college. others experienced.  I came home talked out completely!

There were one or two real characters, like the very tall and lovely gentleman who chatted to me, wearing a suit made from rose chintz curtain fabric.   Another, a lady with fluffy orange hair, a fluffy orange jumper, clutching 2 fluffy angora animals, who cheerfully helped herself to pencils from the stand. licked them (to the horror of Emma) and coloured the cheeks of the animals ready to sell on her stall!

Each evening we went to a really nice restaurant for a meal and Sarah, Emma, Gill and Anita looked after me brilliantly and were lovely company.   I also met Barbara who works for them but was there on the UKCPS stand nearby - she is the one who actually develops new products in the lab, very interesting to talk to.  Sarah comes up with the ideas and Barbara makes them work. 

I nearly bought myself some beautiful earrings and a very expensive leather bag in the craft section - but just managed to refrain ......... just.

I can't talk about it or the hitmen would be after me -  but the next new product in the pipeline looks fabulous and I can't wait to have a longer play than the quick few minutes I was allowed .... out next year and I hope I get chance to play some more.   It's brilliant.

I'll show some more of the doodles and a finished piece or two that's larger as I scan/photograph them.   My scanner had died and I had to buy a new one :>( .  I kept putting it off installing it, thinking things never are as straightforward as the blurb claims ....... it was :>) 10 ,minutes and up and running :>)  so I can post more regularly again.

More to follow ............

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Demonstrating for Derwent at the NEC

Sorry for the long absence - recently I was at the NEC with Derwent, as artist in residence, more about that later.   They have used one of my images for the flier for their new art competition - take a look at them on Facebook or on their website for full details.

And the other reason?


October 2012   RIP