It getting to that time of year again...

...when the sun is up at 5 and doesn't set until 8. I think they call it Summer...

This was the first 'summer-y' weekend this year and I thought I'd make the most of it by going out and doing a bit of sketching in the sun. Not of people or places, just ideas for...stuff. I haven't done that for a while. Anyway, I encountered this on my way out of the house in the morning...

Ah...the view from my flat in the morning. Blue sky, no clouds to be seen, birds tweeting and, coincidentally, someone stood at the end of path on a Blackberry or iPhone, probably also tweeting. What a great day...

And down on the actual street a couple (one of whom does not yet know the benefits of 'sunscreen'...or protein shakes) and his girlfriend /mistress /sister (delete as appropriate) walking hand in hand. Hand in hand in an elongated stretch kind of way...and they're walking at, like, 2 miles an hour...balls.

It was at this point I realised I was stuck behind two bimbling love birds.

And I wasn't the only one. This slow moving convoy of lust was holding up the entire pavement with their doe-eyed stares.

The image is, in fact, inaccurate. I did not wave my arms in the air, screaming "walk faster"!...that would have just made me look like a crazy, bearded, fluffy haired weirdo. Instead I just ambled along behind them among the throngs of others until we got to the end of the railing and could take our chances with the road traffic to get around. I mean we're British...it's only polite. And we do like to queue.

It's not like the time was wasted either...I mean the girl had a great arse...


Life Drawing 20.05.10

Another week, another set of drawings...
(10 min)

(12 min)

(2-5 min)


At the weekend I brought a new sketchbook...a nice A4 one from a company whose name is the the outer layer of a rodent that dwells mainly underground. I don't usually work at A4 size. It's either A3 for figure drawing or notebook size for sketching.

Anyways, the sketchbook is specifically for location observation...something I've never really been that big a fan of and, frankly have never been that good at so I kind of avoid it. Buildings just don't really do it for me.

That said it was actually quite relaxing. Unlike people, I found that houses don't actually move...ever. It's possible to start something, go and get a beer, come back and it'll be in exactly the same place (this may not be true in San Fransisco) for you to carry on!

The opening three pages -



"The Llandoger Trow", KINGS STREET, BRISTOL

The last picture is of a pub I drink at every now and again called, "The Llandoger Trow". It's in a dispute with "The Hatcher" over which one of them is the oldest still standing pub in Bristol. Both of them date to before c.1500...so they're probably both older than the European discovery of the America's. In the Trow they have barrel lids commemorating Admiral Lord Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) and it also happens to be the pub where Daniel DeFoe wrote "Robinson Crusoe" and Robert Louis Stevenson got the inspiration for the black spot in "Treasure Island"...little history lesson for you.


Life Drawing 13.05.10

(10 mins)
Recently our scanner has had trouble picking up drawings...this one seems to have suffered and lost the feet completely!

(2-3 Mins)
I didn't know how long the pose was and switched from one to the other rather late on (as I found out when they moved) and this is what one of my drawings looks like at about the 2-3 minute stage. It's kind of a weird mental thing I seem to have where this is not a sketch I would have done if someone had said, 'This is a 2 minute pose'. If some one had said that, I would've tried to thrash something out because 2 minutes doesn't sound like alot of time and I feel like I have to produce a 'full' drawing. In this one, with the same amount of time the whole pose is there with the shapes blocked out quite lightly on the page and as a whole it seems a bit more considered than a normal 2-3 minute drawing. Of course, then I go back into it and that's when I tend to mess things up...

(20 mins)
...which is what happend in these. We were in a different room for the session last night so the poses in the second half were longer than the norm and instead of drawing one pose for 10 minutes and then changing, for some reason I got it into my head I had to try and use the full time available (anyone else remember their teachers saying that phrase over and over about GCSE/A-Level time) and ended up over working these. I actually prefer the accidental 2 minute drawing to these. Let that be a lesson in learn where to stop.

Train wrecks (or warm ups and some people refer to them) and caricatures.

Until next week...


Life Drawing 06.05.10

Some stuff from the end of last term and the beginning of the new one -

Anyone for Badminton?

Last weekend saw the horse trials take place at Badminton, which is usually a 20 minute drive. During the horses trials this 20 minutes magically extends itself in to 2 hours as (so I'm told) more people show up for this than show up for Glastonbury.

For those not in the know, Badminton is a 3 day eventing competition, where the creme de la creme of the equestrian world turn up...one of whom I learned to ride with and two others who taught me how to ride way back. It's a great 3 days, the highlight being the cross-country around the grounds of Badminton house...and according to these sketches, just about everyone who turns up looks the same. Hat...check. Barbour Jacket (with plaid jacket underneath...and plaid jumper under that...and checked shirt under that)...check. Pink wellies....check!

I also made the discovery that 'drawing horses ain't easy'. I actually made that discovey a while ago, so I'm going to update that phrase to include '...at the best of times, and is downright impossible when thay have a person on their back and are charging around at who-knows-what speed and then jumping over things'