Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rhinos and random ramblings

 A very quick sketch from the TV in my little 'random sketches' Green & Stone sketchbook. (I have to give it that name to stop me from worrying about what to put in it!) I wasn't quite sure what was going on with the nostrils and what I normally do is Google some images to get a better understanding of the things I draw. There is a surprising thing that happens when you draw something you've seen a thousand times and think you know - you really haven't seen it until you draw it. I had no that idea rhinos faces are as unique and varied as our own.

Rhinos are such odd looking creatures, you feel you are looking at a very primitive design, like a present day dinosaur. Googling images of rhinos is a very sobering thing though. It's tragic to see these lovely animals suffering for our ignorance.

Since I closed my other blog where I kept my quicker sketches (you would think I'd keep my sketches on the blog with sketches in the title...) I thought I'd post a few of the pages from this sketchbook here. These are in a little sketchbook about 6"x6" and depending on the side, some surfaces are smooth and some rough. It annoys me slightly as I don't like paper that is too rough but I've found that I've come to like it for certain things - like the rhino above where the surface actually helped create the texture of the skin.

First page, I started a quick sketch of a mackerel and then realised it would look good as a repeating pattern. Even though it didn't work as I hadn't placed the first one well, it's something I want to play with again. 

Ziggy, my old cat.

Comfy platforms!

My migraine tablets. Since I drew these, I'm now almost free of the dreaded things since I've suffered from severe migraines since I was 14. One of the benefits of getting older!

A couple of old brooches my mother had in a jewelry box. I never saw her wearing them and by the time I asked her she couldn't remember anything about them. They're very tiny and so detailed.

Two faces from magazines that I put together. On the rough side of the page but it helped with the texture.

I loved the way the feathers looked like a spiral on this turkey.

Sketching faces from TV on the day of Margaret Thatcher's funeral. Loved the profile of the man in the crowd and loved drawing the face of Lady Mary Russell on the right. Some drawings are like books you don't want to end - loved the soft texture of her skin.

More drawings from the TV on various days - TV reviewers and a face in the crowd again at the top. Oscar Pistorius, middle right, and journalists queueing outside the courtroom. Hugh Dennis below, left.

A loon - a lovely long elegant face. It's eyes are red.

Sheep from a magazine. Drawing this I realised I don't know my sheep from my goats because often they look very similar! The one below is definitely a goat...I think.

Friday, January 16, 2015

I don't want to set the world on fire...

I thought I'd start off doing some quick sketches to get back into the swing of things but somehow ended up with another portrait. Again, it was faces on Mastermind that tempted me. It must be something to do with those interesting profiles and the way the camera pans in very slowly. I'd love to say this was easy but I'd forgotten just how much effort goes into a drawing - and this is graphite which I'm most comfortable with so coloured pencil and watercolour are going to be a challenge! This is Andy Bell (of Erasure) one of the greatest voices of the 80's. It's great to see he's still going strong like many other talents from that time. I've been listening to quite a lot of 80's music recently and it still sounds good today.

A tiny sketch in my little Green & Stone book. I said in the last post I hadn't sketched for two years but I was looking through some sketchbooks and I realised that that's not quite true. There were a few small ones, like this one, drawn while flying to Copenhagen last year. I love the unusual angle of the face on the right.

Strange that I had forgotten because we are always told that when we draw we take everything in and never forget the moment. True, I do remember those particular faces but I have a dreadful memory and I also think when we get so caught up with sketching and recording, ironically it can make us a bit detached (certainly from those we are with) and actually not very present in the moment. It's been very good for me to stop blogging, zone out from the noise that was distracting me and reconnect with what I find pleasurable. Maybe that's a side effect, or the down side, of having grown up in the pre-Internet era!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Je suis Charlie

An old drawing but one I felt moved to post again after the tragic and senseless events in Paris yesterday. I had started drawing tentatively again last week after a two year break but I listened to cartoonist Loic Secheresse speaking on the news this morning about the importance of picking up a pen and pencil again and really felt inspired to keep going. He said 'with drawing you feel alive'. How true that is.