Having a sketchbook


I’ve been taking my sketchbook with me recently because of doing the one inch drawing challenge. That’s meant that I have drawn pictures as well as photographing them.

Yesterday I was looking at autumn trees in front of black and white buildings (the architecture looks like its from the 1920’s or 30’s.) Sturdy, tall trees were starting to colour up as autumn starts to bite. The branches were swaying and soughing in the wind. This is a season I can relate too. It’s sometimes quiet and misty, other times dramatic. That’s what I enjoyed about drawing it. Trying to bring a bit of that drama into it. You can’t draw every individual leaf in a ten or fifteen minute sketch, but you can try and add movement.

For information I used an a6 sketchpad and a unipin fine line pen size 0.8.


Adult colouring books


I see perfectly coloured pictures on Instagram that adults have done to release stress, and it’s almost as if they are in competition with each other. No one colours outside the lines. The colors match perfectly and they are always filled in with solid colours.

This is my partners drawing, it’s a bit messy but expressive. He is not an artist but he still wants to enjoy the freedom to relax, he has some problems and doing this helps him relax. Time flows, the pattern of colour grows. When I asked him if he had finished he said he wanted to do some more to it.

It’s fascinating watching him. It’s great that anyone can just do this. Why didn’t someone think of this before?

Art of whatever sort needs to be encouraged. Art is life, the opposite of our stress led world.

Instead of being tied to a computer all day perhaps we should all carry a small sketchbook around with us. Of recycled paper of course


Tonights lifedrawings


Tonight life drawings at Caverswall.

The model is studying yoga so her first pose was based on a yoga position. I was drawing with a very soft pencil so the final drawing is a bit smudged ( I use both sides of he page and the graphite from the pencil can transfer across).

The first two drawings were 15 minute poses, enough time to get a reasonable representation. The last three drawings were all the same long pose but I chose to try and draw it for half an hour before the break, which was not very successful as I struggled with the fore shortening. I am quite pleased with the models face and upper body, but the legs and hands are a bit too small.

The fourth drawing was also for half an hour. While I might have got the figure slightly more in proportion I think the face is wrong and the drawing is too tight .

Finally I gave up and moved so the last drawing was for half an hour drawn from the other side of the room. I was much happier with this and used the final few minutes to draw the surrounding objects and a couple of the other artists.

Life drawing does help with understanding the human body.

There are quite a few local classes, and if you want to learn how to draw or paint portraits, or even just so you have a working knowledge of the human body I would recommend joining one.

Celtic art

I recently looked through some old sketchbooks. These drawings are from one from the 1990s.


I have been interested in Celtic Art for a long time. I wrote my thesis on pre Christian Celtic art and I think these were drawn a while after that. I know they were drawn in  the early 1990s as I found a drawing of one of my old cats in the book.

Drawing knotwork is not easy, the trouble is getting the pattern right. Weaving the lines is quite difficult and I think here I was practicing the positions of each line. There are other circular patterns where two or three parts interlink. If I remember rightly these can be used on brooches and sheild bosses.

I still try and do this kind of pattern occasionally, for example a painting of a snake recently which had this kind of feel. I  also like the animals that are used as terminals to the knots.

Recently a hoard of jewellery, armoury and gold peices were found in Staffordshire. This was a Saxon Hoard but you can still see the influence of knotwork in the peices. I want to create something like the figure of a woman (see top of page ) as a painting.