Up early drawing breakfast

sketch of toastI am up bright and early as it is a long weekend and we are busy! We hope to go out, Jerry with his camera and me with sketchbook but the garden needs a bit of work, we are seeing some friends and there is the usual  weekend fruit and vegetable market to go to. So today it is my breakfast that got sketched. I eat multi grain bread you know the sort, it’s healthy and when you look at it if looks full of bird seeds that get stuck in your teeth.

This sketch was done in Strathmore mixed media sketchbook but this time I used a dip pen, some sepia ink and watercolour paint. As usual click on the image to see a larger version.

Some rambling thoughts on the size of the sketchbook I am using:

I am rethinking the size of my next journal. This journal is 5.5 x 8.5 (approximately A5) and for many of these drawings I have to draw across the centre fold and I don’t really like it. Many sketchers do it and it means you can carry a smaller sketchbook with you when you venture outside to draw. This particular size fits in a hand bag easily so it can be carried everywhere. I had thought that if I used this size and sketched across the page spread for a month or so I would get over it. I think when this sketchbook is full I will go back to the way I used to do use A5 journals, which is to draw on one side of the page and write on another.

Over the weekend I will take with me a larger sketchbook. I always feel that a A4 ( 8 x 11 inches) sketchbook can look a bit pretentious but I am going to give it a go and see if my drawing on location sketches can be improved. I was trained to draw from the shoulder standing at a easel so small sketchbooks that force me to draw from the wrist make me feel tight and cramped. What happens is, I go to draw the line of a bridge or something in a good strong line and then I hit the centre of the book have to lift my pen and continue the line. To be honest it drives me mad! I am always thinking about it.

I have decided that I gave it a good honest try, not once or twice but for a block of time and drawing across a double page spread regularly is not me. Perhaps I will come back to it occasionally and see if I feel differently, but I think it is going to be one of my quirky traits.  So this weekend when out and about I am going to test using a larger A4 (8 x 11 inches) size sketchbook as I have been doing Liz Steel’s Sketching now course and the last few lessons involve sketching outside. I usually use one sketchbook at a time as I like things in chronological order (another topic I will no doubt natter on about some day) so I will see how I go.

Oh I do chatter over my breakfast…I would love to know how others choose the size of their sketchbook as little things like this can stall and annoy someone and I will not improve without practice. Leave a comment as I am curious…Ok I will be off and get on with my day.

This sketch was prompted by #295 on the  EDM challenge list it reads: Draw some toast. This is also a prompt for another facebook group called A sketch a Day which for day 18 suggests we draw something that starts with the letter T.


5 days art challenge day 4

EDM 196  drawing of rope trapezeI think for today I have come up with something different. I decided That my daughters trapeze was an ideal object to draw for the EDM challenge   prompt #196 “Draw some rope”. Well… there is quite a bit of rope in a trapeze so it took a little while. As my regular readers might remember my daughter Eve, works in a circus. She is currently touring in New Zealand with Circus Aotearoa. This is an old Trapeze she left in storage here.

drawing of ballet slippersPeople always say how “lucky” she is to be a circus performer but what they don’t realise is how many hours of training she does. To be able to hang from a trapeze you need a lot of upper body strength and keeping fit is not something you can just do every now and then. Eve trains daily and her skill is not just as a acrobat but also she has taken dance classes too. These ballet slippers always remind me of the discipline she has imposed on herself. Not for month or two but for well over a decade.  I think when people watch any sort of physical performer they forget the training and time it takes to make something look light and graceful. These ballet slippers fit  the EDM challenge   prompt #312 “Draw something light”  This drawing also fits in Day 8 of the Sketch a Day challenge which is to sketch footwear

drawing of teapotFinally before I became too boring with proud Mum moments  I decided to draw Eve’s black and white spotty teapot which meets the criteria for day 16  of the  AJW Sketchbook challenge  which is shared in the Artist Journal Workshop Facebook group The challenge was to draw something black and white. Also the EDM challenge   prompt #290 reads “Draw a teapot” so it fits that too!

So all of these items are themed around one person – my daughter Eve. It has been fun drawing them, particularly since the Strathmore sketchbook I am drawing in she gave me for Christmas.

I am doing the Facebook  5 days art challenge meme. I am posting 3 sketches a day for 5 days running. I was nominated by Jules Woolford of Needle and Pen


5 days art challenge day 3

Drawing of toolsHere I am waving happily with my 3 sketches. I ventured out into the depths of Jerry’s shed which is not so organised chaos. Anyway I decided to raid some tools and draw them. I am beginning to feel as if my self imposed  “overload January” is starting to pay off because it is not taking so long to produce something! I think I have learnt to knuckle down and get on with it rather than faffing about.

All of these were done in a a Mixed media Strathmore sketchbook with watercolours, and pitt pens.

Drawing of toolsThe G clamps I actually use in book binding. After sewing the signatures and glueing the spine, using the G clamps,  I clamp the book block between two planks of wood that are about the size of bread board. I let the glue dry for about 24 hours before binding on the covers. I do not have a real book press but this technique works fine. Also I press it again once I have made the covers. The small hammer is actually mine. Since it is so small and ideal for all sorts of craft related activities.

Drawing of Hand DrillThe last is hand drill which is quite old. The simple mechanical nature of it is very appealing and it reminds me of Dad as I can remember him using one just like it so I think this fits with EDM  prompt #20  Draw something “Dad”. The other two drawings are for prompt  #273 on  the EDM challenge list  which simply states Tools.

I was nominated for the 5 days Art Challenge by Jules Woolford of Needle and Pen


5 days art challenge day 1

As I mentioned yesterday I am starting the 5 days art challenge today. The idea is post 3 sketches a day for 5 days running. You can if you wish post old sketches but I have decided that since this has turned into overload January I may as well attempt to post 3 new sketches. I may have to post older stuff but I am going to give it a try and in the mean while catch up on some of the other drawing challenges I have taken on too.

I’ve been nominated for the 5 days Art Challenge by Jules Woolford of Needle and Pen

drawing of grapesThe first drawing where someone is stealing my grapes is another  Sketchbook Skool bootcamp drawing exercise. It is from week 1 so I hang my head in shame as I post this one. This drawing topic is also #24 on  the EDM challenge list  which reads: Draw some fruit.

Sketches 2 and 3 are related as they are of the same thing but in different media. They are some wild summer grass. Yes, she nods to self, I am quite sane, just because I went for a walk and picked some weeds does not mean I have lost my mind.

drawing of summer grassAnyway week 3 of the bootcamp exercises is about using coloured pencils and building up colour. I find the process agonisingly slow and to be honest I think I need to do this exercise again on something that has blocks of colour rather than my weeds.

drawing of wild grassI decided I was much more of a watercolour person so tried the weeds again in watercolour – and I think you can see I enjoyed peering at them closely and seeing what colours I could see in the seed heads.

These two drawing also fits the  AJW Sketchbook challenge run by Palma of A Creative Journey  who proposes a daily prompt throughout January which is shared in the Artist Journal Workshop Facebook group The prompt for day 15 is: found objects from a nature walk.

This drawing is also #63 on  the EDM challenge list  which reads: Go on a nature walk pick items and draw what you can find. The Every Day Matters group also has a  Facebook page where people share what they have done.