Day 15: Days slip away

Days slip away with swimming in the sea, discovering a new giant pebble beach, hidden beyond a rough steep track that falls away perilously from the coastal road. Days slip away with sleeping in the afternoon, after cooking from the full flavoured local produce. Or soaking up poetry in a good chair in the shade, […]

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Day 13: Arrival in Aegina

I have a new Moleskine watercolour sketchbook, but trying out a nice clean, square-format Seawhite book for monochrome sketching. First drawings are all of the familiar things here on the island of Aegina, where I have spent summers since about 1972. Finally, after many weeks of being too busy, my watercolours come out. I begin […]

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Day 11: Travel

Last couple of days in Unique Lisbon. Found the wonderful Cathedral Sé: And realised that the plainest building outside our bedroom window might make a perfect painting: Discovered the a Portuguese for ‘viewpoint’ is probably ‘Miradouro’: Then, next day, we’re off to Sintra, the famous historical site. Kings of old came to escape the heat […]

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Day 9: Belém

We walked and took the metro, and the train, and the trams today. Had sardines and a delightful sparkling Vinho Verde today. We made sure to return for England in the World Cup semi-final, but also made time for drawing. This building can be drawn from our room’s balcony: This building is the Torre de […]

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Day 7: Lisboa

By train we leave our children and grandchildren and set off together. Though we miss our children, I’m always glad when we’re alone. It takes a lot of time to get to the important conversations. We walk for miles and mikes around Lisbon and discover the posh bits, and the Alfama district where the “Fado” […]

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Day 5: São João do Estoril

Winifred Joy sits with her grandfather, splashing toes in a blue pool. It’s a good start to a day but it’s not a day for uninterrupted drawing, listening to a podcast, or reading poetry. Instead the children keep us occupied with their entertainment. But in weeks to come we’ll miss that, so it’s really OK. […]

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Day 3: Pool and Beach

I’m repeatedly drawing the view from this place. I’m thinking about perspective, but also, trying different ways to imitate tree trunks and foliage, water, pantiles, and brickwork. here’s three versions drawn so far: I tried again with parallel lines fanned out to guide my perspective drawing: And then again. To try harder. They’re not great; […]

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Day 1: Leaving London

Down to the river for a lonely pint and a fish finger sandwich 🥪. Mulling over this unusual situation. In a few hours I’ll leave London to spend four months living simply on a Greek Island, meeting Mary in Lisbon on the way out and (I hope) stopping in Venice on the way home). It […]

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The Gig of My Life

This has been a draft blog for 5 years. I’m publishing now at last. Something to do with age. Anyway. Here it is: Last Saturday at St.Aldate’s Oxford, my band, “Our Dad” performed at a wedding.  Due to budgetary limitations, we were not able to field the entire team, featuring our spectacularly talented singer, keyboard […]

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Bloomsbury Drawing Day

Set off in search of inspiration and a place to sit. Sat on stairs in the British Museum Grand Hall. Then moved on to a sandwich bar with a real chair. Next time I’ll take my own chair! Fully painted: Half painted: Completed drawing. (Fear of colour): Before tinting with Snapseed: Reference photo. I drew […]

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Drawing Classes 5/5 Three-Point

Three-Point perspective is the use of three vanishing points, in this case the third is below the picture so that we are looking down on a building which recedes downwards as well as to the left and right.  I have used Derwent graphic ink pen liners and a water pen to drag the wet ink […]

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Design Museum

Trip to Cass-Art and draw the Design Museum to test the new colours; Davy’s Gray and Phthalo Turquoise.  With a 25% Gothic filter by #Prisma.  Without.  Fabrr-Castillo HB Jumbo. 5mins. 

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Drawing Classes 4/5: Pastel

OK. I’ll try anything. It’s pastels. Another day, another bird  actually I am totally OK with repeatedly drawing something that I can’t draw. It’s the only way forward in anything. Practicing something you can already do is not painful or hard work. But you don’t learn, don’t discover.  I spent much more time setting up […]

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Pears #2

This is a 300x400mm whopper. I’m inspired by the picture I’m copying but really not inspired by my success as my picture unfolds. I think perhaps the problem is that I’m not familiar with the look of a half-finished work. The initial drawing looks OK. Now the black background is in place hopefully the rest […]

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12 Abstract Disciples

No ideas. Sat at the blank sheet anyway. Drew a 3×4 grid of squares and did 12 variations. Using masking tape and masking fluid to get ‘edges’ but failed to add enough paint to flood the edges.  Building as we go, seeing what ideas turn up if any…. Overnight I decide on one black square.  […]

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Learning from Mistakes

Here’s a lesson for life. And for watercolour painting. To avoid mistakes, simply do nothing. Taking risks isn’t enough. You have to make mistakes. Of course, if we’re talking bomb disposal or sky diving, there had better be a safe environment! Here I am, deliberately ‘having a go’, with no other intention than to examine […]

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Drawing Classes 1/5: Pencil

Started a series of drawing classes. Serious! I’ve played guitar for 57 years without a lesson. Now doing drawing classes? That Is Serious! It turns out we’re going to draw birds! OK. It will help with anatomy, likeness, weight, etc.  Here’s the warm-up, and an “outlining” exercise: Here’s the main piece: After that I tried […]

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