Monday, 24 January 2011

Sketchbooks and musing

Some final pages from this sketchbook, which I finished on the weekend.

 On the train

Farm Cafe, Brighton

Had a great time on the Brighton Sketchcrawl last weekend - was the 3rd one I've attended, but the first one where I don't have any drawings to show. In retrospect I joined it too late, as there were only 2 stops left. However had the fantastic opportunity to try life drawing at Brighton Life Drawing, run by Jake Spicer. Was the first time I have ever done life drawing and was great to do it with such a fun, supportive group of people. And I will be going back to do more!

I has a quick chat with Jake in the pub afterwards, that has really got me thinking. It was whether the process of drawing was more important to me or the outcome. And I think it is probably the process. It's the calming effect of drawing, the sitting quietly and really looking and appreciating that I get the most value from. Is like meditating. Sure, am as delighted as anyone when I have a drawing I am pleased with, but is more about the process and marking that moment.

As the others were looking through my sketchbook, one of the sketchcrawlers remarked on the visual diary quality of my sketchbook. I think this is partly because I do tend to draw small domestic moments and scenes, so they naturally form a narrative of your days. But I do also like the idea of paying attention to your days and celebrating them.

I think there will be more to come on this train of the new sketchbook.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Pencil and brush pens

I rarely sketch in pencil. I like the permanence of pen. I like that I have to live with the lines and just draw over them if I want to correct anything. Bold seems like a good thing to me! Pencil seems to make me hesitant and tentative and prone to erasing. But have seen and been inspired by some lovely pencil drawings recently, so have started to do a few myself. This one was done in a very dimly lit room, so couldn't get carried away with any detail.

The next drawing was drawn looking out of a coffee shop window, desperately wishing the rain would stop. We seem to have had an endless amount of rain and lots of gloomy days where you wonder whether it actually every got light! I read that we are at the halfway point between the clocks changing - good news.

Was trying out my new Pentel brush pen. Have still got to get used to it. So far most attempts seem to be very clumsy and ugly or just plain odd! Can't say am delighted with this drawing either, but is a start. Am going to take the brush pen along to Brighton Sketchcrawl this weekend, and hope that one of the sketchers I met last time is there. Richard used a brush pen almost exclusively, so am hoping he'll give me a few tips.

Do come along to the Brighton Sketchcrawl if you are in Brighton this weekend. All abilities are welcome and is always a very friendly group. Is not at all competitive and is lovely to sit with other people drawing. The link will take you to the timetable and map for the day, so you can come for the day or just an hour. I will post up my drawings!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Braving the London sales

Took my daughter to London for the New Year sales.

I love going to London: buying a newspaper and coffee, settling in at a window seat and gazing out of the window as the train travels along. Is even better when I have a model that doesn't mind being blatantly stared at.

Then off the train and there is London itself. I do enjoy living in Brighton, but sometimes I really yearn for the largeness, the grandness, the relentless bustle of London.

I wanted to go to John Lewis to look at their yarn sale and go to Muji to pick up some pens and pads. Clearly my daughter had much more expansive plans, and I soon found myself standing outside a seemingly endless number of changing rooms...

Managed to do the quick drawing below

and then had a great chat with a number of different women, who were standing in the long changing room queue, about drawing: how long have I been sketching, was I self conscious, am I happy to show people my work, did I think anyone could learn to draw...loads of questions! Obviously seeing someone drawing in public is more unusual than I realised!