Monday, 29 March 2010

Open to the Public

watercolour and ink sketches

I finally managed to get into the gardens of Villa San cataldo, behind my daughter's school.  I've been curious for a long time and at last the gardens were opened to the public, if only for the weekend.
It is an enclosed garden originally belonging to a 'high' aristoctat family.  It has a geometrical pattern to it's footpaths decorated with seats, fountains, pillars and vases.  I thought it was very romantic, lots of hidden corners and places to sit.  Although it is now mainly orange and lemon trees you can imagine how elegant it was.

This is a photograph of a raised terrace and trees, the same one as in my drawing of 'An enchanted garden'
here .  It was lovely to see it close up and not just from the road, hopefully it will be opened more often and I can do some more sketches.  There was so much to absorb in just one afternoon, it was like having a box of chocolates and having to choose my favourites, does that make sense?

Friday, 26 March 2010


mixed media
EDM 265 -Draw your neighbour.
Portraits aren't really my thing, it's so hard to get a likeness and I really admire those artists who can.  So here's my 'ex' neighbour and good friend Nadia.  I don't have any real neighbours any more, mostly just weekenders, but Nadia was willing to pose and she was pleased with her 'likeness'.

I would also like to express my sadness at the death of Patti Gregory,  wife of Danny Gregory,  the inspiration behind the drawing group 'Every Day Matters'.  Sincere condolences to Danny and his son Jack.
Danny is right every day DOES matter.

Friday, 19 March 2010

The Enchanted Garden

Coloured pencil  sketch

One of my favourite views that I pass every morning.  These are the gardens behind my daughter's school and I've sketched and painted them many times.  I love to see the different shadows at different times of the day,  this was about 9.30 am and a fairly sunny day.  I did this drawing  from a pencil sketch and my photographs.
Our local news web site tells us that the gardens will soon be opened to the public, which means hopefully that they will be cared for a little bit more.  At the moment the garden is slightly over-grown, but I tidied everything up in my drawing, pruning the bushes and cutting the grass...just because I can!  I wanted to see what it would have looked like originally.
From the road it looks as if there is a symetrical pattern with another identical gazebo(?) on the other side, and it looks beautiful.   It's a good job the road is one-way and there is no oncoming traffic because I have to have a good look every time I go past.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A belated Mother's Day

Coloured Pencil & watercolour

A drawing of a little church I visited last year on Mother's Day.  It was Mother's day again last Sunday in the UK, and although I'm not there the memory of a special spring weekend remains.
Time passes quickly, bubbles burst but some things you can't forget?

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Stavanger in Norway is the destination of The Virtual Paintout this month.  There were lots of choices on Google street view, Stavenger looks like a  very nice place, but I think it might be a bit cold?  
This  is small 11x22 cms and in coloured pencil.

Two quick sketches

EDm challenge - 'draw your favourite cleaning product'.  A quick sketch just to say I'm still here!  I'm having computor /internet problems that just don't want to go away.  So plenty of time for jobs around the house and lots of the above product!   Time for some sketching too, 

Here's one from my little moleskin sketchbook, hence the crease down the middle.  The light was fading fast so I couldn't get any colour in.   This place used to be a farmhouse, then turned into a summer home for a minor aristocrat.  It's now abandoned and is actually quite creepy.
Sorry about the lack of posts, hopefully next week will be better. 

Saturday, 6 March 2010


Coloured pencil  ( 16x13 cms)

My entry for this month's Monthly Sketch Project . 

I love the colours in these onions, you can really have fun with the reds and purples.  I'm still experimenting with different types of paper and this time I tried (smooth) Fabriano 4.   I was quite impressed and will use it again.  The beautiful photo reference of the onions was provided by Gillian Mowbray.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A Grand Entrance

Coloured pencil & Graphitints

Another sketch I've re-done for my new sketch book.  This is a gateway (now bricked up) on the side of VIlla San Marco, a privately owned villa that I pass every  day.  It has a high wall surrounding it, that just makes me want to have a look inside.  
I'm enjoying this project immensely, re-visiting many places and comparing my sketches.  I've realised just how many villas and interesting locations there are in this area...enough to keep me going for a long while!  I'm learning a lot too as I research the history and local style. 
We also have the remains of a fascinating Phoenican village (700 BC) up on the hill, which I've visited many times but have never sketched, so that's on my list too.  Watch this space!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Winter Olympics

sketch in coloured pencil

A speed skater for EDM #261, which was 'draw a winter olympics event'.  I don't watch much sport (or TV for that matter!), but I do find the speed skaters facinating.  The positions the take and their long limbs makes their movements so fluid.
I did this sketch on Fabriano 3 paper, which is very smooth.  A bit of an experiment but went well with the theme as my pencils slipped and skidded about.  I'm still trying to find a good paper for coloured pencil that is available locally, I'm working my way through the local art shop's stock.  I usually go for the Fabriano 4, which is rougher and gives a softer feel to my drawings but takes ages to fill all the white speckles.  You can't have it all!?


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