Brand new challenge


I am still sketching, a new person is posting challenges for Stoke-on-Trent urban sketchers and it is great to be inspired by them. The challenge was locality.

I did a drawing of the view through my window, locality…near a pottery. This is a digital drawing done on my tablet.

The sun has been shining all day and I went out in the garden and pruned back some of the trees that are growing over the summerhouse. The cherry trees are still covered in a large crop which is gradually ripening. No doubt the birds will get them first.

More later.


Edinburgh Castle by zoom.


Urban sketchers Stoke-on-Trent are holding weekly virtual visits to places we cannot go to at the moment. This week it was Edinburgh Castle.

About fifteen of us joined a zoom meeting to draw scenes from the castle and its grounds. We use Google to find the images to draw.

In my case I was late joining, and there was only a short time for me to draw before our throw down, that’s where we all get together to show our art, and to take pictures for a joint photograph of the results.

I’m not sure where we are going next week. But I’m enjoying these virtual visits.




Urban sketchers Stoke-on-Trent day 5, draw inside your shed or garage.

Where do I start. In my case our shed has had all the tools expelled to the outer darkness of our little shed. Instead some rickety pasting tables have been put up. The tops are covered with boxes, lengths of train track, bits of trains, engines, train trucks, stuff…. Plus he’s got different controllers to send power through the tracks. The pasting tables are so warped it’s like the trains are running through hills!

Then he’s got his bike bits, wheels, and a box that the stray cat sleeps in, which is surrounded with bags of straw… I’m allowed in as long as I don’t mess with anything… In the meantime he wants to upgrade things when the lockdown is over. We are going to buy some better tables. Exciting eh?

New challenge with Stoke USK

_20200419_190902We all agreed after completing the thirty day challenge that London Urban Sketchers had put together that we would like to continue. We have a new list of about 37 challenges, which may well see us out of the lockdown.

Today’s challenge was ‘local to you’.

I was going to draw all the lovely terraces up the hill behind us. But I failed to realise how much next doors bushes have grown. So this is the cat and the 70’s houses behind us. Then someone walked into the bedroom opposite. It was like a scene from the film ‘rear window’ so I retreated!

I have the list somewhere. I’m setting the daily challenges. A few people have joined in so far.


Buxton Opera House


Today I got together, virtually, with a bunch of friends from Urban sketchers Stoke-on-Trent.

We had agreed to meet up and draw a local landmark. So we went ‘out’ on Google Street View, and using Zoom, we each drew the view of a photo of the opera House.

The perspective was interesting, a bit fish eye lens ish, and there was a red bus in the foreground which I think has been truncated because of the method Google uses to take images.

The drawings today are not part if the thirty day #uskstoke challenge, but instead is one for our fortnightly expeditions. However I think we are doing this weekly.

My drawing is in my A4, Windsor and Newton sketchpad. I drew it in the landscape position and it’d dark grey felt pen (nibb ® permanent markers). I used the point to draw the lines, then tipped it so that I coukd use its edge to do some softer shading.

I’ve also used Zoom for the first time. I gradually learnt how to use it, with lots of help from the people in the group and a helper that Zoom technicians had given us for the meeting.

It was good to hear people’s voices, and see them when I’d sussed out the video bit.


Comfy challenge


A sketch of my very old, but very comfy, pink slippers. Used metallic acrylic paint over the sketch, then added more details in pen over the top.

This was today’s challenge with #uskstoke today. It’s not my best sketch or painting, it’s a bit dark, and you can’t really see the metallic paint. But it was fun to do, and after all, why not?


Today I’m taking stock


Mid way through our thirty day challenge in Urban Sketchers Stoke-on-Trent. The subject was ‘taking stock’.

In front of me on the floor is a lovely carrier my friend sent me for Christmas. Its covered in decoupage pictures of me and my friend from years ago, and little cartoons drawn on top of the photos. The box contains all by little bottles of metallic acrylic paints, gold, silver, copper and bronze, but also metallic red, blue, green and brown. There is something nice about adding a bit of sparkle. In it too are packets of brushes, cheap but strong. Finally I have four or five tiny canvases on easle. They were going to be the centerpiece of my craft stall this spring. Instead they lie their forlorn, still wrapped in plastic, waiting for me to find inspiration in these bleak times.

I must paint and keep busy. But all my time is taken up by social media!