Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Widemouth Bay evening

Another day, another bay, another opportunity for action man to launch his kayak and surf over the waves. In England, in October!
385mmx 140mm watercolour and brushpen in sketchbook

Xavier at the holiday cottage

195mm x 145mm pen in small sketchbook

Heart-shaped mirror

A drawing last thing last night.
I’ve been tagged twice so let’s see if I can find seven things to say about me using this drawing as a starting point.
1. I like to wear a watch all the time, so I usually wear a waterproof Swatch until it falls apart and then buy another one.
2. This one was a present. It has a red strap and a lovely simple face and fact number two – the numerals are Gill Sans – one of my all time favourite typefaces.
3. I have never had a professional manicure. I’d have to be very rich and underemployed to find the time or money to indulge in such a thing.
4. I’d love to have a small table with a three way mirror to sit at and apply make-up to my increasingly wrinkled face, but my house is too cluttered to fit one in, so I usually sit perched on the edge of the bed squinting into a hand mirror like this one if an occasion demands a bit of lippy.
5. I have pathetically small hands. One important reason to keep my husband is so that I don’t die of starvation surrounded by unopened jars of food.
6. I never managed to fill a sketchbook as a student. I discovered over twenty years later that always carrying a small sketchbook such as this one and a single simple drawing implement such as a pen or pencil was the way to get over sketchbook phobia.
7. I first discovered I was very short sighted when I was eight. I was walking across the Fijian island of Nananu-i-Ra with my father and he pointed out an island in the distance which I couldn’t see.

I won’t pass on the tag as everyone I know seems to have been tagged.

210mm x 150mm pencil in small sketchbook

Monday, October 29, 2007

After the best fish and chips ever!

Padstow harbour – after queuing up for a delicious lunch of fish and chips eaten outside in the sunshine.
410mm x 145mm pen and watercolour

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hugo and the chocolate biscuit

I find it’s much easier not to have biscuits in the house, however high days and holidays are an exception to the rule so Hugo is sitting here in our holiday cottage savouring the last crumbs of his chocolate biscuit and looking forward to the second one he has placed on the arm of the settee.
380mm x 190mm pencil in sketchbook

Where most of us have been all week

North Cornwall, what a beautiful place to live. The rugged dramatic coastline, the patchwork quilt of fields spread over hills and valleys. I was at last able to see why so many artists have chosen to live here. Action man had a great time mastering surf kayaking with son Hugo, Tom tried surfing for the first time and was very good at it, Xavier managed to get completely wet paddling most days. I only got wet when as the beach-based official family sports photographer I failed to notice the tide coming in as I looked through the viewfinder.
420mm x 150mm brushpen and watercolour

Tom profile

My son, a week before his sixteenth birthday – how time flies, I can still see him, an endearing tubby toddler in his knitted waistcoat pontificating on life, politics and the world in general.
190mm x 190mm sepia pen in sketchbook

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Away for a few days

It's half-term holiday for the children so I don't have time to scan drawings. I'll save them up for when they're back at school so a little rest from blogging for a few days.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hugo in his hooded dressing gown

370mm x 190mm pen in sketchbook

Donna dozing

This was the best of last night’s life drawing session. I have to arrive early and set out all my materials in advance if I am to get the best out of my limited opportunity to draw models and unfortunately the family supper of Venetian ghetto chicken took longer to prepare and eat than I expected. The next session I go to in three weeks time, I’ll leave out a loaf of bread and a few tins of beans and leave them to get on with it.
570mm x 260mm pencil and watercolour on W&N watercolour paper

Xavier’s apologetic self-portrait

Whenever my children have been in trouble at school, for any kind of bad behaviour to fellow pupils, I’ve always insisted that they write a letter of apology to the other child. However this is the first time that I’ve had to find a way of doing this before my own child can write! I did in fact only ask him to draw a nice picture for the other child and I would write the words of apology for him. However it looks as though Xavier firmly believes that a picture is worth a thousand words.
180mm x 120mm felt-tip pen on paper

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Interminable laundry folding

With six of us there are always at least a couple of laundry tasks a day, washing, drying, folding putting away…
Ironing? sorry I don’t know what that is.

300mm x 200mm pencil in sketchbook

Monday, October 15, 2007

Visit to the zoo

Pencil sketches in small sketchbook

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Soft autumn evening

I know this is rubbish, but I need to get back into plein aire. It’s funny how with a bit of a break it all seems so much more challenging to get together a few materials to draw or paint outside.
90mm x 110mm watercolour in small moleskine

Toast and honey after football

175mm x 185mm pencil, graphitint and water in sketchbook

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Watching the scary bits of spiderman with Mummy bear

Sometimes I just feel like I can’t be bothered to scan the pictures – especially when I have a lot of other things going on.
Poor old Rufus had another bout of
haemorrhagic diarrhoea (bit of a spelling challenge there!) not as bad as last year but nonetheless very scary and very expensive.
235mm x 160mm pencil in sketchbook

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Life drawing season

210mm x 260 mm watercolour
210mm x 350 mm watercolour

Looks like my son Tom is going to have lots of pictures of naked people on his Flickr account, because by using my computer (without asking) he’s managed to lose me my cookie for signing into my Flickr account and after over an hour of trying every which way on my account name and password, I just think I’m going to give up. GRRRR!!
These were a couple of ten minute poses at the first life drawing session for the season.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Short legs fixed in Photoshop

I made such a cock-up of the proportions of the legs in this drawing of Flo, I thought I’d have fun fixing it in Photoshop, but showing you the before and after. I have no shame. Do you think I should bury all my mistakes or do you enjoy the fact that I show you the good, the bad, and the very ugly?
Pencil in sketchbook. Animated gif created in Photoshop

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Eating dessert

280mm x 190mm pencil in sketchbook

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Alien with twenty-eight, twenty-nine, twenty-ten legs

Big cyclops alien with his little friend alien. I love this drawing – and the first one I’ve described to Xavier’s satisfaction. Xavier kindly counted the legs for me.

Hugo sitting


180mm x 130mm, pencil in sketchbook.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I’m really happy with this one – the drawing, I mean – though the husband of twenty years ain’t bad either.
380mm x 190mm sepia pen in sketchbook

Did I post this?

This was a painting I did on location. I crept out of the hotel bedroom early while Flo slept in.
Oh to be in Venice!

Shirtless boy

110mm x 110mm pen and ink in sketchbook

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

At the hairdresser

Pen and ink in small moleskine

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Folding laundry and the solipsistic musings of a four year old

A favourite way of getting this chore done is to do it while watching TV. We really need some light bulbs for the central light – we’re down to one low watt bulb when there should be three, so goodness knows which paints I was using.

On my walk to school with Xavier this morning, he came up with an interesting philosophy. He told me that Jesus made us all, but he made children, children and adults, adults. It was simply a figment of my imagination that I thought that I had been a child. And that all adults were created to believe that they had once been children, even though they had in fact been created as fully formed adults. I asked him if that meant that he would be a child forever and he told me that yes that was the case. So it looks as though I’m going to be walking the school walk for a long time. I just hope this eternal child tires of all the plastic toys that fill up every corner of the house, so that this eternal adult can enjoy a bit of uncluttered adult space.

175mm x 235mm ink brushpen and watercolour

Monday, October 01, 2007


I’m knackered and worn out. Sometimes I’d give anything to be a hermit.
180mm x 170mm brushpen in sketchbook