Sunday, 10 February 2019

pages from sketchbook...

I've usually got a sketchbook on the go but sometimes there are gaps of weeks or months between drawing in it. Now and again watching a video of an artist or reading a blog will get me started and after watching Joy San's video 'Filling Up a Sketchbook Page | A Scene' I used her technique.


With a black fineliner I worked freehand - the face in the background on the left hand page above isn't to my liking but it is left alone, not erased. This is part of how I draw freehand, mistakes are tolerated. 



After the first three double pages I found myself being pulled into creating some sort of scene which tells a story and the haphazard grouping of images is lost. This is probably a natural process and I know, if I 'get stuck' working in my sketchbook, I can always revert to Joy's technique. 




None of the double page scenes are sketched first with pencil, they retain the freedom of freestyle. I have no idea what the final images will look like, it's all about letting the pen go for a walk and what emerges inspires how the images finish up.




After the last spread I again felt the need to fill the space with unrelated figures - my character Bloowabbit pops up in all the fill-the-space pages.



I liked how this figure sat on the blank pages so I left it as it was.

Drawing so much imaginary stuff got me thinking of the realistic animal eyes I'd drawn last year for a prompt challenge by Sea Lemon - sometimes I need to prove to myself I can do this - and I googled some photographs to draw from. Interesting faces. The important thing is to keep drawing whatever the style..


Time for a new sketchbook...



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Sunday, 30 December 2018

end of year doodle...

After getting some drawing pens as a Christmas gift I really wanted to pick them up and draw something. When in doubt, doodle...


Faber-Castell PITT artist pens (Indian ink), Jansroad pigment liners, Paperchase rainbow gel pens and white Gelly Roll gel pen...and I finished with Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils.




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Monday, 24 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - Christmas Eve

looking down to a snowy garden 2010

We have no snow yet and it's Christmas Eve. For some that's sad but for others it's a blessing. I like to look out onto it but wouldn't fancy having to travel in it. For nostalgic moments, a few photos from a few winters back...

 snow on my street 2010

 Here's a short video of a drone over snowy Belfast from Christmas 2017...

Belfast Snow Drone | Christmas Music - Bozo Media


Shadow in the snowy yard 2010

Dean Martin - Let it Snow!Kyle Wolfreys

Frank sinatra - Let it snowPaul Sarmasag

Let It Snow! Ella FitzgeraldNuova Canaria


Happy Christmas 
and may 2019 bring you
good fortune, good health
and your heart's desire xx

ice on the inside of my window 2010



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Sunday, 23 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - dinner with pals

2011 doodle

Was invited round to a pal's house for dinner yesterday evening. It's lovely when someone cooks for you and I am always so appreciative when that happens to me. Shepherd's pie, wonderful comfort food, with the addition of mustard and smoked cheese to the mashed potato topping. Peas and carrots in the minced lamb pie and a side dish of cabbage. Simple enough fare but yet so good.


the snout of a happy whippet

And to follow some homemade sherry trifle with black cherries, lychees and pear. We even had a cheese platter all the way from Fivemiletown. This is life...good food, good company, good craic. And a short blog...





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Saturday, 22 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - doodling


I had been working on repainting a doll for a friend but it was an unmitigated disaster. Acrylic paint doesn't adhere well onto cheap plastic and I hadn't invested in any suitable sealants...I winged it on the cheapy cheapy. It was the first time trying to repaint a fashion doll and I will have another go. As they say (whoever they are) 'practice makes perfect'...a lot of practice lies ahead.


So...a Happy Mail parcel arrived from my penpal with goodies galore including 4 Paperchase rainbow gel pens. And as I haven't doodled in a while I thought these pens would help fill a blog day. I set myself the challenge of only using the rainbow pens with a black drawing pen and a white gel pen (which ran out and I used a white correction pen instead). 







No great works of art, just doodles. I like the hanging baubles, it was fun to do. The snow scene in the moonlight and the Christmas elf are ok - as doodles they're acceptable. And I have never been shy of sharing work that isn't perfection. It's the mistakes that help create newer better work. These little doodles may well spur me on to drawing again.

Thanks for the pens Marleen !!



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Friday, 21 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - funfairs and xmas market

Cathedral Gardens - outside the art college UU

Belfast City Council seemed to have pulled out all the stops to make the city centre into a series of mini funfairs. Perhaps it's to help the negativity attached to the main street being split into two separate halves (now kinda sorted) because of the fire at Bank Buildings.There's also the annual International Christmas market at the City Hall. At the eleventh hour I stopped by the latter to have a nosey (It ends on Saturday 22nd). 
Castle Place


Continental Market at City Hall

The market has stalls which offer some specialist goods like German sausage, French pastry tarts or Russian Christmas decorations. And there are some Northern Irish products too. But it's mostly much of the same as the last few years. I feel the Continental Market vibe has been mostly played out.

It is good to see people out and about though and there's a definite festive air. The Russian stall seemed a little empty but a Turkish hand painted ceramics stall was still overflowing with vibrant coloured bowls in many sizes.




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Thursday, 20 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - keeping a December Daily


December Daily is a project created by Ali Edwards, a 'designer, blogger, workshop instructor and author' who keenly feels that 

''there's no right or wrong way to do all this, 
that the real stories are worth telling, 
and there's a whole lot of celebrating to do 
even in the midst of the challenging pieces of life'

I follow crafters PopFizzPaperSerena Bee Creative and Sabrina Ann who are a trio of friends who explore, swap, teach, video and share all things paper, card and adhesive. Plus, they're funny. Through their videos I found out about this form of journaling.

It's all about memory keeping the first 25 days of December and finding the best creative way for you to do so. Other paper crafters and memory keepers have developed ways to make a DecD and I chose to make a loose ring bound journal with separate pages on which to visually record days. I originally bought 8cm metal rings but after finding they were just too big I repurposed them to hold my xmas washi tapes.


My book is made from scrapbook paper from 'Traditional Christmas' by Make ^ Create - a value paper pack from The Works. At 3 quid and with 20 double sided sheets it's a great buy. I also picked up embellishments and washi from online shops and the local pound shops on the high street. It's useful to keep flyers with seasonal imagery as they can be used for backgrounds, like the Royal Mail flyer with houses and a postbox in the snow - perfect for days about receiving a letter and writing Christmas cards.


There are interesting ways to create a page - with pockets to conceal private pieces of journaling, card bands to hold separate attachments in place, tags with info or images on the end of baker's twine, envelopes or mini paper bags to hold ephemera. Some pages are smaller than other to create interest, some fold out to enlarge the journaling area and others are plastic trading card pockets sometimes sealed to contain sequin mixes if you like a bit of sparkle. 

felt kit in magazine and Xmas party at UoA

section folds out to contain private journaling

new journal plus Qs for the day 
and visiting Primark after the Bank Building fire

What you end up with is a creative journal that is as interactive as its creator makes. Already I'm finding that I'm developing a certain style with the washi edged pages. I like how my DecD looks when it sits on end and its pages splayed open. Although it's not yet completed the book itself is a decorative thing, not just what lies inside.



12 days to Christmas - decorating my planner

12 days to Christmas - Trollbeads Share-a-Christmas-Card

12 days to Christmas - making bunting

12 days to Christmas - Jacquie Lawson advent calendar

12 days to Christmas - Christmas/Winter quote book

12 days to Christmas - decorating

12 days to Christmas - sending Happy Mail


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All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.