After over a year I finally went out today with my local urban sketchers group to a place called Keele Hall, part of Keele University. Its near Newcastle-Under-Lyme in Staffordshire. The hall was originally the home of Ralph Sneyd and his son a couple of centuries ago. It was then taken over as Stoke-on-Trent University but then was taken over as Keele University, one of the first campus universities in the UK.
Too complicated! I should have been there at 11, but by the time I got there and started it must have been 11.45, then time flew by. The sun was so bright I decided to lurk in a shadow, but even then it was hard to see details.
Sky landscape artist of the year is on again so I quickly found Plymouth and Smeatons Tower that is featured in this weeks programme. The tower was a lighthouse built out in the sea. But it was rebuilt when an automatic one took over. This drawing took me ten minutes.
I found a black and white feather, possibly from a magpie and decided to make a pattern with it. I turned it slightly in the ‘straighten’ tool I have, then mirrored it and duplicated it. It tickles my brain playing with feathers! I’d turn the feather into a quill pen if I could.
I’m learning more about what I can do. I create using anything from post-it notes and collage to the simplest calligraphy pen and paper to the extreme using nail varnish! This is a quick drawing of the watercolours I use together with a mug of water and paint brushes.
Now we are learning narrative art at college. Learning how to lay out panels. I think you are meant to have an idea and base the shapes of the panels on what we are drawing, but as usual I did it back to front, drawing the panels first, adding the speech and thought bubbles, then adding the people. The ideas for the story came last! My mind is strange. Anyway it worked quite well. I would try and make it neater if I were to do it again and perhaps import it into photoshop to tidy it up? Overall it was relatively painless to do. Note to self, why has the mother’s dress changed?
Last night the cats stayed out till dawn. I called them every hour but they were not bothered. The two indoor cats are fine, they love being out now. They sit on garden walls and seem to stick together. They follow the outdoor cat around and the dynamic between them all has really settled down. They are being very loving when they are in. Lots of purring and cheek rubbing. They seem to be staying round the back of the house and garden, keeping away from the road.
If I can find them in all the foliage I will try and post some photos of them.
The monoprint was made by rubbing paper onto black paint brushed onto silver foil and then scratched through a bit. I then cut out a shape to fit to the shape of the woman body and arm, side of the face and hair, (basically the shaded side of her face and body). This was a bit nerve wracking as I only had ten minutes to do the cutting out, sticking, and drawing the rest of the portrait. I used the monoprint from a stock of them I’d made already.
Thursdays #bandofsketchers prompt was new. OK, I struggled with this, then drew a new self portrait using monoprint paper and silver foil, then adding my face as if in a cracked mirror. The mouth is down, but that’s what happens to me when I’m relaxed!
Well, I’ve finally got back to my studio at spode! I started a small painting of a bottle oven, I think it’s going to have a Van Gogh style sky. I need to start getting some work done for a possible exhibition later in the year. I want to do work about the area, but with a bit of a twist. This is a canvas about two foot by eight inches? It will be acrylic on canvas once I’ve painted in the mortar for the brick work I will add colourful bricks. The sky will swirl with clouds and stars and there may be vegitation or a bit of foliage.