Airport Reportage

Luton Airport isn’t the most inspiring place, generally speaking. But it is a good place for people-watching, even if you can’t guarantee they will stay still for long.

Waiting for our flights to France, I was able to pass a few quick minutes sketching fellow passengers – good practice for fast sketching. I have realised that it pays dividends to have a really good look at the person, then try to imagine what their face would look like from other angles, before setting pencil to paper. This gives a bit of an advantage when they move (which they surely will).

I probably spent about 10 minutes each on these small sketches, and am fairly happy with what I learned. Working fast is de rigueur, and pencil is ideal. I definitely need to do more of this (although I wouldn’t go so far as to make the airport my destination)!


Mark Making

Sunday afternoon, sketching in the garden. Husband (Mark) drawing vine leaves, me drawing him. I chose pencil this time, feeling somewhat obliged to put my money where my mouth was after giving him a long diatribe on why it’s important to be able to use pencil for shading, because of the subtlety of grades it offers the user. I have a nasty suspicion that I spent less time drawing this than telling him why he needs to get over the ‘messiness’ of graphite and accept its many merits.

This in mind, it’s rather ironic then that I didn’t really smooth out the shades or get a particularly wide variety of tones…but you know, the sun was very bright and the contrast high. That’s my excuse, for what it’s worth, and I’m sticking to it. Anyway it made a nice, comfortable change to get stuck in with the old 4B for a few minutes.

Mark sketching pencil

Funsize Sketch – Essentials

Funsize pencil & sharpenerPushed for time today, struggling to get any kind picture done, not feeling the love… so I turned to what was at hand: the essential tools.

A very quick sketch using my dark sepia pen and no preliminary guidelines (pencil being otherwise occupied in modelling), just to say I did. Hurrah.

The Last Piece

Recently, we had some friends to visit, and I made two strawberry tarts for dessert. Well, I say ‘made’, but it would be more accurate to describe the activity as ‘assembling’, given that I bought ready-made cases and used quick-jell to stick everything together. The strawberries were real…

Strawberry Tart pencil 2Anyway, the tarts got eaten, save for the last piece. And here it is, immortalised a couple of days after – still in its aluminium tray. What a give-away!

I chose the black sketchbook again (I’m determined to fill it), and used my ancient box of Karisma coloured pencils. The old blog post on this link sums up what’s good about Karisma and I feel very lucky to have them in my arsenal.

I’d forgotten just how blendable they are, and this meant that I ran into trouble down the right hand side of the tart, where the blue I was using for shading got a bit out of control when combined with the white. But by the same token I was able to get the depth of colour into the quick-jell between the strawberries.  My favourite area is the knife, especially where the handle meets the blade.

(P.S. My son ate the last slice for supper.)

Just Footlin’

I decideCat mandalad to let myself off the hook today and just do something quick and fun, without worrying too much about how it turned out. I have a black sketchbook which hasn’t been doing much recently, and so I thought it might be different to do a monochrome picture. Mandalas were in my mind, and I’ve never experimented with one before – seemed like a good opportunity to have a play.

So, here’s a little mandala/silhouette combo which reminds me of our sly black cat, Peat. I used a chinagraph pencil and, in retrospect, I think I might have been better off with a standard coloured pencil, as the chinagraph was quite sticky in the way it went onto the paper (reminded me of school crayons!) and the point wore down very quickly so details were hard to achieve. But I enjoyed myself anyway, and for me that’s the whole point.