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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Watterson Watercolour 

A hurried attempt to copy the understated bucolic beauty of Calvin & Hobbes’ world of play. First attempt is nowhere near! But fun as always to look into the method and try to work it out. Cheaper than taking classes but long hard lessons are so much longer lasting than short easy ones! So. Here’s […]

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Snowscape III

Trying new methods in this one. Masking fluid instead of masking tape. I tipped the page up while the paint dried and created a wonderful line on the edge.  In fact, that detail might be better than the whole painting. I also splattered a little bit of masking fluid to leave gaps in the sky […]

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Snowscape II (& trees)

It’s big. 30x40cm. Biggest yet. Rushed and it shows. Never mind. Try again!  Looks better framed.  But maybe not as good as the first… I tried practicing my blue snow thing. Getting worse not better. However, I learned to do trees better by using my watercolour markers and water pen. And a lovely soft filter […]

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Refujesus Watercolour

I was struck by an iconic picture of Jesus as a refugee, painted (I think) by David Hayward on his website for church dropouts. Maybe that started me thinking. That and having just visited the Retsona refugee camp in Greece.  So I got a picture in my head of the camp built up around our church, […]

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On Your Marks

Watercolour Marker Pens! They have a brush at one end, a felt tip at the other, and a pot of ready-mix in the middle! A bargain in Cass-Art (especially when they generously price-match the same product online). I also got a water brush pen to use with them. Use it to prudently wet the paper […]

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A Quick One

After a day of fiddling about painting the details of a garden gate, I thought I’d do a huge landscape in five minutes. Nothing to say then. One minute sketch on the beach, and five minutes of water colour at home, without thinking or stopping to look. 

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