Cat sketch

dsc_2407.jpgI do like sketching in biro, you can get a good strong line, but by varying the pressure on the pen its good for shading. I have also found that by spraying the biro with hairspray you can sometimes get the ink to blur and bleed. If you are using black or blue biro you get interesting colours flowing from the lines. I guess it depends on the chemicals in both the pen and the hairspray. It might not always work. I have also used hairspray as a fixative for astel and charcoal drawings.

Did you know you can use milk sprayed onto charcoal or pastel as a fixative too? I found an old perfume bottle with an atomiser and used that to spray drawings. They might end up smelling a bit cheesy but it works. You just have to remember to wash out the bottle and spray after use.

Yesterday at Westport lake

It’s hot, I’m tired, I can’t sleep. I got a bit burned in the sun yesterday while I was drawing at Westport lake. These are just quick biro sketches on a Crawford and Black A4 130gsm cartridge paper sketch pad. Excuse the setting I don’t have many bright areas in the house that are shadow free so I ended up propping them up on the gas oven. Ah the joys of photography at 3am! Night all!

Phone doodles

Do you doodle when you are on the phone? I do if I’m on my phone. Its funny what comes into my mind. Mainly faces, patterns, thoughts.

These were drawn in biro on an old envelope. Sometimes I use italic pens or metallic ones. I tend to fill up all the space. I don’t remember when I did these. A few years ago?

And why not draw doodles? The more you practice art the better you can get. It also helps understanding what you are doing. I talk to myself sometimes as I draw to work out where I want to place features on a face for example.

Cat yoga?

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Cats must have done Yoga in one of their 9 lives! How else could they bend and twist like they do?

Well actually its because they have extremely flexible spines and can move fluidly and easily.

Imagine a cat was a slice of toast,  it would always land butter side up. There was a joke once about tying a slice of buttered toast to the back of a cat. Because toast is meant to always land buttered side down the result would be a perpetually rotating cat!

Anyway I would never do that to any animal, let alone a kitty.

But joking apart cats can bend their spines so that if they are dropped from an upside down position they can generally turn right way up before they hit the ground. (don’t do this at home). Cats also cushion the fall by landing on their toes. Their legs and rest if their skeletons act like shock absorbers.

So Cats are pretty awesome, flexible, and good to draw!

 

Conwy sketches

If you decide to take a day trip to Conwy, north Wales, on the other side of the estuary to Llandudno and the Great Orme mountain, can I suggest you don’t take a cheap sketchbook, an ok blunt pencil and a couple of old biros with you because you have forgotten your good drawing tools?

Firstly it doesn’t make drawing easy, particularly if you choose to walk along the battlements of a castle. If the sun does decides to shine then you can’t get dark enough shadows to show the foreground trees and you can’t get the subtlety of shading on the mist shrouded mountains in the distance. Each sketch becomes more random and quick. The only good one you give away to “Eric the storyteller” of snowdonian folk tales because you managed to capture a reasonable image of him.

Off down to the smallest house in Great Britain, built 400 years ago, now there is a house to draw. Luckily you dredge up an old black felt pen and make tentative marks. How to show how tiny the house is? The clue is to draw the welsh lady by the door, passing on wisdom and history. She is a good figure to add for a sense of scale. Mission accomplished while queuing to enter the house, the felt pen has run dry, but the image is clearer than the previous ones.

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