Very exciting this month to be featured in Leopard the London Assay Office's newsletter!
This delightful piece of brickwork is immediately left of the Mayflower pub, at number 117. Drawn on site, plus a few of the top bricks painted in before we retired to the pub for the customary discussion. Also, got to have another go with the latest addition to my paintbox, a 5ml tube of buff titanium, by Daniel Smith. Just the right colour to use as the base for London stocks. Everything else is varying degrees of hookers green dark, indigo, paynes grey, cadmium red pale, sepia, ..... you get the idea.
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Funny how the drawings one thinks are going to be a piece of cake, end up being anything but. 'South Woodford station maybe?' said the editor. Oo fab, I'd drawn the outside a couple of times before, so I was sure I could adapt one of those. After realising my mistake, I armed myself with some photo evidence and got down to work. The ticket barriers, ironwork, the underside of the roof, and how it all fits together. This is what drawing does, it makes you take notice. Even down to the holes in a Wilko laundry basket.
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This little Georgian pile used to be a grocery shop, not originally, mind you, just in the sixties, the 1960's that is. Google images came to the rescue as usual with references for shop fronts of bygone days, which believe it or not, I can still remember, and the fabulous shopping bags, string, woven plastic and wicker. Those large oval baskets where still in use in the 70's, accompanying their smock coated, granny booted, diamante hairgripped owners at Watford Technical High School.
Here we have another adventure from the lady in red, the joy of waking up to a giant scone. As you see, I sometimes have an interesting space to fill, so furniture arranging and scale was a big issue. Filling up with extra tables and chairs was an option, but as these illustrations operate on the gag style, using only just enough elements to set the scene is essential. Eye level and standing point give a credible view; it doesn't matter how wacky the subject is, the actual space has to look feasible. Until the next one!
This months, apart from hunting down references for pedestal side tables and winged armchairs, this illustration was pretty straightforward. As the familiar sight of the roundabout got a mention, I figured it was daft for me to re-invent it, as I already had a suitable drawing I could get some more use out of.
Saturday was an Urban Sketchers day, so I headed down to the NHM to my beloved mineral room to squint at the fabulous specimens in their glass cases. For my next three gem cards, I want to do opals, tourmalines and beryls, and I fancied including some crystals and a massive. This sort of drawing is pretty intense, partly because these objects were rather small, and because crystal growth is relatively new to me. As usual, angles and proportion are very important, and to be accurate, one must pay attention to them.
There is the stretch one has to do before the pencil layout stage, drawing the background to fit the space allocated, designing figures, which here included research on barristers' wigs and robes, and getting poses right. As usual, scissors, a glue stick and tracing paper where very much in use. I ink with Carbon ink because it's totally waterproof, so I can paint without any fear of vile smudging. I like to have an edge I can work to, or from, as I see fit. You can click on the images for a bigger picture if you like. Will appear in the next issue of the South Woodford Village Gazette.
Redbridge Lakes for the Sept/October South Woodford Village Gazette. Apart from the lady and mushroom group, the rest was painted from references I found on Images. I even had a fabulous time doing a coloured pencil study of the hunting Robertson tartan! Mainly because that was the one we had as a child, but also because I needed something which would pick up the colours in the rest of the piece, without it taking over. Click to enlarge if you want to.
Even though it's time for the next editorial job, here's the last one. I know these pictures don't make a deal of sense unless you read the piece it was about, but suffice to say, it was about hebe plants and going to the tip. The styles I've used before have been pretty much different, and I've had a free rein on my approach. All very nice, but I had come to realise that there was a certain lack of continuity, and that was making me uneasy. With this illustration I feel I have hit the spot, can reproduce the look, and incorporate the red clothed writer into whatever situation she finds herself. Click if you want a bigger picture.
I really didn't think I'd have to wait until the end of May to get back to my beloved theatres, but I did. When it comes to the cold, I rate at the weedy end of the scale. The Duke of York's is the other theatre in St Martin's Lane which has delightful iron work across the front. Not having drawn these for six months, I was a bit concerned I might suffer from 'first night nerves'. As it turned out, having got the position and proportions of the pillars right, it all came flooding back, and I hadn't forgotten my lines afterall!
Another one reminiscent of days gone by, also for the South Woodford Village Gazette. The brief was squirrels eating camellias but as there were other garden features mentioned in the article, I made a trip to Redbridge Garden Centre. Couldn't believe my luck when I came across a stone squirrel.
This is the one in King's Cross. I did want to draw far enough down to get the lovely red sign in, but as usual the paper I had was too small. After an hour and a half, the sun was setting, and the nip in the air had become prominent. Time to leave. I meant to do something small, quick and cute, but unfortunately, drawings, like roads, are often paved with good intentions.
A compilation piece for the South Woodford Village Gazette. I've had a thing for a while now, about those exquisite book illustrations of the '30's, especially those drawn by Rex Whistler for the delightful tales of country life by Beverley Nichols. During the week, I went to see the David Hockney, and also had time to pop into the Paul Nash, as it was daft not to. Well worth it for his pen and pencil work. So what I aimed for here, was that 'memory' of a long gone idyllic world, (pretty much like a holiday) which may, or may not, have existed anyway.
There is a gap in my set of Chelsea drawings. If I had them in 3 rows of 3, there wouldn't be, but as it is, I need one more. For now. Not many boroughs have such attractive street 'furniture', and I thought this cross between architecture and still life would be an alternative one for a placement print. I like it as a pencil drawing, but on later inspection, I'd put in too many segments round the top. The new pencil study is on the Chelsea page, waiting to be finished in ink.
Sort of picking up where I left off over in the Bloggersphere; it all feels a little weird. Anyway, can't live in the past, so here I am. Wyndham's Theatre took me a long time, and that wasn't just the drawing. Cleaning up on Photoshop isn't a five minute job, well not for me, as I had insisted on inking over the original pencil lines, quite necessary too, I may add. Still there is history to pieces done like this, and traces of indelible graphite are a reminder that we don't always get things how we want them straight away.