8 Jun 2012

If you go down to the woods today...

 More experiments in ink-rements. Took my inks to the woods with me and luckily it was by a stream so dogs were happy whilst I got lost in the colours. I was trying to capture the vibrant acid green of a spring wood and the dark dark trees amongst the leaves. The one above I just got into drawing the roots and path but thought I"d try a version of just the green behind.
 This one I just wanted to concentrate on the greens, though the scanner hasn't really got the colours from my actual drawing.
 All works in progress, not sure whether to make the background darker in the one below and draw more ferns emerging from the dark. Really enjoyed doing these, and again I was drawn back to the Scots pines, I've done a few paintings of these three trees with their red barks vibrant against the rest of the wood. More fun to be had I think with this ink, I'm enjoying seeing where its taking me...

5 Jun 2012

Variations on a theme

When we finally got round to uncovering all the bulbs that we'd overwintered in vermiculite, we found these lily sprouting. I loved the colour of the stem and the bulb, and the little white shoots coming out of the base of the stalk, like little grubs.
So after doing the watercolour, I decided to try inks, not totally colour representative but great to see how the inks work and blend with each other. More practice needed I think to get balance right. As I say, a work in progress. Now I've planted the bulb, I'll wait till a flower comes and add it to the picture.

Lightheaded at the lighthouse

 I braved the heady heights of St Abb's and drew the lighthouse, watching the gulls and cormorants and guillemots nesting on the steep cliffs. But I more worryingly watched a young researcher walk to the edges and cling on while he counted the birds. Didn't look like he had a care in the world, whereas my palms were going sweaty just looking at his precarious positions. Just after I finished the ink one a thick ha (sea mist) came in and obliterated everything  from sight, which was a relief as I was getting almightly annoyed with the wind and trying to hang on to the paper and ink and pens and water and hair flapping in wind and.... but had a lovely day out anyway...

15 Feb 2012


To save myself from getting too upset watching Scotland getting beaten yet again, I decided to draw and and get distracted by all the lovely arms and tight shirts of the rugby players. Couldn't believe how hard they are to draw though.  Far too fast and furious, but I was nicely distracted thankyou very much...

1 Feb 2012

St Bride's Day

St Bride's day today. The start of Spring. Apparently...
Sowed a few seeds today too, apparently an auspicious day to do it, so lets wait and see how they do, although last years crop that we sowed that day did really well in the end so perhaps there is some truth in it? Thought I'd draw the tulips just about to open, the start of things to come...

24 Jan 2012

Tree obsession

 Think I have a tree obsession. Not sure how bad it is yet, but I've noticed, in the past 2 days I've done at least 5 drawings of them. This obsession came to light as I've been going through old drawings and photos of mine trying to find ideas to turn into etchings. Putting together several images, I realised two thirds of them where trees, or wood related.
 Very quick colour sketch, one day to turn into a proper painting, but I loved the way the winter light hit the bare poplars, with some of them in rich lilac shade.
 I love seeing how fallen trees carry on growing, their branches turning into trees themselves, carrying on despite the odds.
So, not sure where these drawings will take me, but I have an idea it could be quite an absorbing project ahead of me...

17 Jan 2012

Wolf Alice

So this is is one of the things that I've been doing that is keeping me out of trouble till the wee small hours of the morning. (5.30am to be exact but nothing like a last minute panic to get the creative juices going...)

Managed to get three illustrations and an idea for a cover (above) done for an illustration competition for the Folio Society.  I love, love, love this publisher. They publish beautiful hard back, mostly illustrated books. All great quality, and its been one of my dreams to become one of their illustrators. Anyway, I heard about this competition only relatively recently, so once  I read the book -  'The Bloody Chamber' by Angela Carter, I couldn't wait to try some ideas. The book is a collection of short stories, all adaptions of fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood,  Beauty and the Beast, and Puss-in -Boots, but for adults. So some pretty interesting interpretations of the old favourites, which made it really exciting to try and illustrate. The one above is called Wolf Alice, about a girl bought up by wolves, and half 'tamed' and humanised by nuns but left to live alone with a werewolf in a castle. Great story.

So, now its a case of crossing fingers, waiting, and hoping to hear the results. But as they say, its the taking part that counts...