Thursday, 30 September 2010


Ink and coloured pencil

Everyday matters - draw a night scene.
Well not quite night, but nearly!  This is a view from my window, we are in a narrow valley and I can just see the edge of  a nearby town on the hill above.  It becomes more interesting at night, boring blocks of flats can become elegant villa's in the darkness and the town hall looks like a castle when the street lights illuminate it.

The clouds and light often make amazing skies,  but we also get to see  beautiful starry nights too as there is very little light pollution down our little lane.  Sometimes you feel as if you could just reach out  and touch them!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A Purple Tree!

Actually purple trees don't really grow in Sicily, my scanner has decided to highlight the blue and violet layers that I mixed with olive green for the actual grey/green colour!
This is an old wild olive tree, knarled and twisted with time.  My friend and I went walking in a local nature reserve with beautiful views of the nearby valleys and hills, there were plenty of  these old olive trees each one more interesting than the next.  It was a very steep walk in the hot sun, which made our picnic stop even more welcome,  here's a photo of the view about halfway up.

Lake Rosamarino is a man-made lake, with the town of Caccamo and it's castle in the background.  I sketched  this view while sitting on a rock, but  didn't manage to complete it.
As usual I collected pocketfuls of leaves and other bits and pieces to draw at home, a great way to remember a lovely walk.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Ink and coloured pencil

I found this beautiful dragonfly (unfortunately dead), it's transparent wings made beautiful shadows on my   garden table in the sun.  It's missing a few bits because when I found it the ants had already got there before me, but I was still able to examine all the delicacy of those wings.

Friday, 17 September 2010

The faces We Don't See

coloured pencil
A couple more sketches from my 'face in a crowd' sketchbook for the Arthouse Sketchbook Project 2011.   The last few pages were about not wanting to be seen and hiding your face,  these pages are about the faces we often don't see.   

I did both of these drawings on very rough, lightweight paper.  It was difficult to get a lot of detail but my coloured pencils felt almost like pastels, very smudgy as they skipped over the ridges and valleys!  It was difficult to keep a point too as the paper eats the pencil.
p.s The vertical lines through the first drawing were made by my scanner not me!

Monday, 13 September 2010

A Favourite Teapot

A view looking down on my favourite teapot for Everyday matters 290.
I drew an old silver teapot a few weeks ago, so  just to change perspective I thought I would do this one from above.  I have a small collection of old teapots, sugar bowls etc,  I don't mind if they're a little worn and they definately don't match, although there does seem to be a general theme of roses !

While I was drawing the teapot I was listening to a radio programme about people's experiences in the Blitz, personal accounts and diaries of bravery and sadness, now when I look at this drawing I  think of those people.  Often I find that a drawing or painting soaks up thoughts and feelings, or a sketch brings back sounds and smells.  Does this happen to you too?

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Virtual Paintout - September 2010

E 106th Street, New York

The Virtual Paintout this month is Manhatten Island and I chose this street view.   I liked the urban feel the bridge gave,  and how it crosses right across the middle of the picture  but at the same time you can see through to the road beyond.  In reality there were a lot more cars on the road, but I hate drawing cars so I left them out!
The Virtual Paintout is run by Bill guffey, he chooses a location and artists paint or draw scenes using Google Street view.  The fun part is finding somewhere you like, I end up wandering down back streets, coming to dead ends or sitting in the middle of a busy highway.   I try not to go to the obvious beauty spots, it's nice to find something you didn't expect!
Of course it's also interesting to see where other artists went and what caught their eye.

The Virtual Paintout Blog

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Hide your Face

Pen and coloured pencil

A couple more pages for my Arthouse sketchbook project.  My theme is 'a face in the crowd' and at the moment I'm looking at different ways to hide your face.   The page above is a veil and the prettiest veils are worn by indian brides.  I thought I would include some Mehndi tattoos as well, these are the beautiful henna decorations that are used on a brides hands and arms.

Graphite and coloured pencil

 The second of the two pages shows how you can cover your face with a beard.  This is Pete the Morris man, who I met last year.   A morris dance (for non uk readers)  is a folk dance, where the dancers attatch bells to their legs and wear flowers in their hats among other things! 

Monday, 6 September 2010

Last days of Summer

Coloured pencil

I picked up this leaf  at the back of my house, it had fallen from our grape vine.  The first sign that autumn is nearly upon us, not that I mind, autumn is my favourite season.  I love the golden browns, golds and reds, I often take leaves home to draw although we don't have that many down here by the sea!

A couple of days ago something nice arrived by post.... a card from fellow blogger Alex Tan .  I am now the proud owner of this Breaux Bridge print.

It was lovely to receive this all the way from the USA......thanks Alex.   (There is something in the post winging it's way to you right now!)

Friday, 3 September 2010

Something with Spots

Everyday Matters n° 288, draw something with spots.

I had difficulty finding something with spots, no dalmatians or ladybirds about !  My friend suggested some domino's as they have a few spots, so I got my pen and pencils out and had a go, this was the 3rd attempt!
I'm definately not good at straight lines/perspective etc and I don't like using a ruler, something  I should practice.

Thank you to my friend Anne at Frayed at the edge for her nomination for this award.

I don't know how to get it on the sidebar, so it will have to stay here!

As requested here are some things you don't know about me ( I could only think of five, sorry!)

1.  I teach English to Italians
2.  I grew up in Warwickshire (UK)
3.  I don't like pineapple
4.  I can sew and knit, but I don't do it very often.
5.  I don't watch television very much (I prefer my art)

One more thing... I often take photographs if I see an interesting cloud formation or colours, they're always useful for references when I'm drawing and painting.  This is a photo I took where the cloud coming over the front, it looks like a hand reaching out!


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