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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: sketchbook, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Sketches from Sweden

I'm just settling back to the easel after a trip to Sweden. It's always good to get out of the studio to see and draw new things. Here are a few of the sketches done in my sketchbook while away. I wish I could spend my whole life wandering around this beautiful world looking at art and sketching.

Our first day in Stockholm – snow blanketed this cemetery. I loved the stark gravestones and cross against the white and brilliant yellow of the church.


Wedding spoons of the Sami people – carved reindeer antlers


Swedish Folklore design


The post Sketches from Sweden appeared first on Lita Judge.

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2. Rusalka

 A quick color study from last week.

0 Comments on Rusalka as of 4/15/2014 6:27:00 PM
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3. Tourist Season: Drawings from the Big Rodeo


Drawings I did around town some time ago.

Tagged: Allen Capoferri, Art, Illustration, International, people sketches, quick sketch, rodeo, sketchbook, sketchbook drawing, USA

3 Comments on Tourist Season: Drawings from the Big Rodeo, last added: 4/14/2014
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4. Spring Fling

pig ballernia redo 450

Fa la la la la!

Such a beautiful spring day like today makes me want to dance like a… um… a ballerina… ahhhh, pig.

That’s a thing, right?

Why not.

I want to dance like a ballerina pig!

8 Comments on Spring Fling, last added: 4/10/2014
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5. ESL Workshops - Something a Bit Different

Tomorrow I am of to Leeds for the very last visit of the Spring season. After that, I am back in the studio for quite a while.

John re-visited his role as Chauffeur recently and drove me to the tiny (and lovely) Scamblesby Primary School in Lincolnshire (it was just one of those places that was a nightmare on a train, even though it wasn't really that far). He dropped me off and then went to the coast.

It's a good system, but I get to do no train sketches of course. Not to worry though: I spent 2 days at a secondary school in Nottingham last week, working with ESL students at Djanogly Academy (I still have no idea how to pronounce that), so I got my train-drawing fix, as you can see.

Djanogly was a very interesting booking. For those who don't know, ESL stands for English as a Second Language. I had really small groups, anything from 4 to 12 students, because some of them had not been in England for more than a few months and had only a very basic grasp of the language. Some of their confidence levels were, understandable, quite low, although many of them were obviously pretty bright. 

I was really pleased that we managed to work so well together, and they all clearly enjoyed the session. I took lots to show them and forced myself to talk slowly and clearly (not easy for me!), keeping my sentences short and my vocab simple. They all worked really hard and produced some smashing drawings.

The staff were very complimentary afterwards, which felt great, as I was in completely new territory. They said that the students weren't used to sitting and listening for anywhere near that long, so they were really pleased with how focused and enthusiastic they all were, right to the end. 

I really enjoyed working with young adults too. Even when I am in secondary schools, I rarely get the older students. They are usually caught up with the exam syllabus, but Djanogly were having an Arts Festival, with various visitors and creative workshops going on, so students could opt out of regular lessons, or spend their lunchtime / after-school doing different activities. What a great idea.

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6. Merrymeeting Bay

I wanted to needed to doodle something fussy and mysterious this afternoon. This was the end result.

 nd over on the Little Crooked Cottage, I'm sharing my favorite childhood book.

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7. patterning

 Hello all, fun busy times over here. I'm working full tilt on a project I can't show, and playing with patterns (rather amateurishly by hand) for the class I'm taking. Here's a quick peek:

When my schedule clears up I am ready to learn some computer skills; until then I'll continue to muddle through :)

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8. Survival

t_rex tie shoe 450Alas, “survival of the fittest” would not be a concept that worked out for Rex.

The Illustration Friday theme of the week is “survival,” so…

3 Comments on Survival, last added: 4/7/2014
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9. Sketchbook people live in a cafe this month

Some of my sketchbook characters decided to spend the month in a wonderful cafe called "Ninas Café Klatsch" here in Hamm, Germany. I took them there last night so they can watch Ninas guests having delicious cupcakes and soups for the next 4 weeks.

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10. SCBWI SketchCrawl at MOSI in Manchester

I spent Saturday in Manchester, sketching in and around the fantastic Museum of Science and Industry (yes, this is me in action - thanks to Adelina Pintae for the lovely sketch):

The Society of Children's Book Writers and IllustratorsSCBWI, asked if I would run a sketchcrawl workshop day for them. The idea was to make it very much like the sketchcrawls I do each month with my Urban Sketchers group, Sketchcrawl North but, because SCBWI represents authors as well as illustrators, we incorporated on-the-spot writing too.

I kicked off with a talk in the Learning Loft, because the concept of sketchcrawling was new to many of the participants, in fact several of them had not done location sketching before, or not used a sketchbook in years. I took along lots of my sketchbooks, told them about Urban Sketchers, talked about reportage sketching and the various techniques I use. People were very interested in the contents of my kit bag, because I have got it down to a fine art now. I carry quite a range of art equipment, but can pack it all into a little zip-up case, just 10" x 6":

MOSI is spread over several buildings. Our first sketching spot was in the Air and Space building. I concentrated on a replica of an old tri-plane, although I was also very interested in the iron architecture behind:

I could have stayed there all day, but after an hour we moved on to the Power Hall. It was certainly a baptism of fire for the new sketchers. If our first venue was pretty tricky, the second spot was fiendishly so! It was all pumping pistons and spinning wheels. I got quite interested in the patterns that the various structures and machine elements made so, rather than concentrating on one machine, I went for a general view across one end of the room.

We had a lunch break up in the Learning Loft. It was a wide, bright space, up at the top of the main museum building, with fabulous views out over the surrounding area.  We spent 45 minutes sketching the views. I picked this one, down over the 'train' part of the museum, complete with working steam trains. This is the sketch I am doing in Adelina's drawing at the top:

We were intending to stay within the museum, but it was a lovely warm sunny day, so we went for a little walk instead, to a really good outdoor location, called Castlefield. The canal meets various railway lines as well as the road, so there are lots of different bridges in a small space, creating some great shapes and contrasts:

There are also canal boats and geese, as well as a lovely variety of old and new buildings. I made a mental note to take SketchCrawl North back there as soon as possible.

We went back up to the Learning Loft to share the work. As usual, it was fascinating to see all the different styles and approaches to the same subjects. The two writers who were with us didn't read out, but they also passed round their notebooks. They had both chosen to capture words and phrases, to take away a sense of the place, rather than write a narrative.

I enjoyed walking back to Deansgate station through the same area we had drawn in. It was very visually exciting. Even the grotty bits were interesting. I had a fun journey home too. the train was rammed. Luckily I got a seat and started to draw. 

A family, who were standing behind me, were all watching. Their little girl, about seven I should think, had her head just above my book and was fascinated. Incredibly, despite all the attention and all the little girl's questions ('Are you drawing that?'), the people still didn't appear to realise they were being sketched!

A big thanks to Anna at SCBWI for organising the event and for inviting me to lead it. I met some lovely people and had a great time.

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11. Sketches: Cats, Blobs and Feathered Friends

Yes, I love studying. So I've just started on The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design's Module 4, having taken the previous 3 Modules last year and loved them. The e-courses are doing me a ton of good and, if anything, letting me know how much I have as yet to learn about art and design. It's the first week of ABSPD, and I've been sketching Things and Characters. Here's a bit of what I've come up with so far. I'm calling this first one "Cat Blobs" ...


Cat blobs by floating lemons


I don't know about you lot, but I really want it on a print and, oddly enough, a tea towel - perhaps even a journal/notebook! The second one was just organic blobs really, and I'm not sure where it came from but quite liked it:


Organic blobs by floating lemons


And this final one was an attempt to sketch birds. OK, it needs more work, but I can see a few there that can be improved on and used for something later, what do you think? Any favourites?


Feathers and feline by floating lemons


I'm not too sure of how that cat got in the bottom of the page, but it probably thought the birds just too good to resist. I'm off to sketch more today, let's see what pops up. Can you tell that I'm thoroughly enjoying this?

WIshing you a day full of pleasant surprises. Cheers.


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12. Fish Noir

red-herring_color new 450


This week’s Illustration Friday theme is “red“ and the first thing that popped into my addled brain was ”red herring”. So I thought, hey,  I’ll redraw and repost this from a couple of years ago. What the heck, I’m on a roll.

Most mystery novel and film buffs know that a red herring is a plot device used in film noir, murder mysteries and suspense films, to distract the audience away from the more important aspect of the plot. The red herring can sometimes be a character, believed by the audience to be the killer, only to discover later in the film that they are innocent and another character, never even considered is, in fact, the murderer.

Now that you have your twist ending, do you know where the term red herring originated?

Wikipedia tells us:

A tradition whereby young hunting dogs in Britain were trained to follow a scent with the use of a “red” (salted and smoked) herring. This pungent fish would be dragged across a trail until the puppy learned to follow the scent. Later, when the dog was being trained to follow the faint odor of a fox or a badger, the trainer would drag a red herring (which has a much stronger odor) across the animal’s trail at right angles. The dog would eventually learn to follow the original scent rather than the stronger scent.

I’ve also heard that British fugitives in the 1800s would rub a herring across their trail, in order to divert the bloodhounds pursuing them.

All this talk is whetting my appetite for a bit of kipperes and toast (NOT!) and a Hitchcock film or two (YES!).


12 Comments on Fish Noir, last added: 3/26/2014
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13. Stealing Time on the Beach in Norfolk

It's not often that work takes me to the seaside. 

As you know, I had a couple of events just outside Norwich last week. I knew the work would be fun, but it's still a 4 hour drive. Which was why we decided to book an extra night's B&B on the nearby coast at Cromer, to make better use of all the travelling.

It's not a part of the country I know, but a librarian I worked with in Leeds recently was born nearby, so she recommended a great guesthouse with a perfect sea view. Not only could we watch the crashing waves, but I had this view down over the pier:

We got up at 5am on Monday morning (ugh) so we could get to Cromer for 10.00 and have a full day to play. We took pot luck with the weather, but it turned out sunny and dry all day. We pottered and ambled along the sand, ate a picnic lunch on the cliff and wandered back across the top, chilling out with the sun on our faces and the wind in our hair (jealous yet?). By 3pm though, John was flagging from the early start and all his driving so, while he went to recuperate, I sat on the pier and sketched.

By then the wind was up. I had to cling onto my book for dear life, to stop it being snatched out of my hands and into the sea. I was also very aware of the pencil-sized gaps between the wooden boards at my feet!

All along the coast they are hard at work, repairing the storm damage. I did a really quick sketch of one of the many diggers on the beach. I was sketching to a soundtrack of sawing and banging. All the pier boarding was being replaced - the sea rose up underneath and simply lifted them all off. It lifted the buildings at the pier gateway too, so they all need rebuilding. So much work, but they are really getting on with it.

The next day was cooler but still nice and we didn't need to get to my event until late afternoon, so we headed the other way down the beach. I did some more sketching, wrapped up in my big coat: 

Unfortunately, the rain eventually caught up with us. I was half way through trying to capture all the patterns in the eroded sandy cliff when it started to spit. I held out as it got heavier and heavier, until my sketchbook was starting to get quite wet (as well as me, of course). You can see the rain marks in the paint:

We headed inland to dry off at our next B&B, which turned out to be even lovelier. When I booked White House Farm in Hindolvston, I had no idea it was such an old and beautiful house.  A lovely garden too, with lots of different kinds of chickens and a pond full of big frogs. Inside, there was a big soppy dog to greet us, plus lots of cake.

The Book Group talk went really well and it was nice to show everyone the drawings I'd done that very day. People were all really friendly and interested. I stopped and chatted to them afterwards and signed lots of books. 

Next morning, my chauffeur dropped me at Reepham School, where I had a brilliant day with the children and got them all drawing too. The time shot by and, before I knew it, John was back to pick me up. We drove back via the coast and grabbed one more brief walk on the marshes with the sea birds, before starting the long drive back. 

Good fun, good company, good weather and good sketching in a beautiful part of the world - I think we can call that a great success!

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14. high chaparral


HC1 Anytime I can find a moment to draw is a good one. Here I had a moment to draw the houses perched on the overlooking California hills before my class. As I was drawing, the title of this post came to mind, albeit misspelled on the top image here. Funny how this terminology, here from a TV western remembered from childhood, comes back with a little more significance.

Tagged: Allen Capoferri, America, Art, California, chaparral, Illustration, International, sketchbook, sketchbook drawing, USA

9 Comments on high chaparral, last added: 3/23/2014
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15. happy spring !

Enjoy your weekend!

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16. Interconnectivity

Here's an end-of-day Dirk Gently sketch because, well, why not.

And happy Spring! It looks impossibly wintry still out of doors, but at least the calendar is at odds with the weather. We'll just politely ignore the fact that I'm wearing snow-boots and had to push some hideously slushy precipitation off my windshield this morning.

Speaking of green things, remember the fig tree? Well, it's rallied marvelously (see specimen below) -- take that, physopella fici.

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17. first position

guess which one belongs with me ...

If you know me, you are aware of the fact that I'm not much of a dancer. I think I missed that window, and now it's definitely too late...
But I've been doing my research, and I have a few dance illustrations in the works, just for fun.
I hope you are having some fun too, spring is coming!

0 Comments on first position as of 3/19/2014 2:53:00 PM
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18. I'm part of Sketchables!

I always thought blog collectives were pretty cool. I belong to a few of them and rarely take part.
The incongruence of those two beliefs made me hesitate when The Sketchables asked me to join their rebooted effort of blogging sketches.
My worry was that I wouldn't keep up.
I tend to get very busy with deadlines and school visits and new projects.

This spread from my sketchbook was drawn
at the NY Public Library's fantastic exhibit, 
The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter.

But I knew it'd be good to get into the habit of posting my art online regularly. I have probably 500 full sketchbooks at my house. Some of that work is worth sharing.
So I said yes.

Here's my latest Sketchables post. It shows a page of first draft art for my next Ellie McDoodle book.

Check out the Sketchables blog. See cool, fun sketches by
Priscilla Burris,
Heather Powers,
Nina Crittenden,
Joy Steuerwald,
Steve Bjorkman,
and me.

And, if you're inspired, get sketching!

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19. Voice

singing lady_line new 450 2

The Illustration Friday word of the week is “voice.” So I decided to redraw yet another oldie. I better get off my duff and come up with some new ideas I suppose, eh?

6 Comments on Voice, last added: 3/7/2014
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20. Sophie's Masquerade

It's March? It's March!

Something from my sketchbook, before the weekend commences.

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21. SCBWI SketchCrawl at Manchester Science Museum

I've been commissioned to do a SketchCrawl event in Manchester at the end of the month, for SCBWI - that's the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. If you are trying to get started as a writer or illustrator of children's books, it's an organisation that is well worth joining. They have regional groups all over the country and put on lots of events to advise and inspire.

SketchCrawling is an idea I introduced to SCBWI back in 2010, when I was keynote speaker at the 10th anniversary conference. I talked about it in my speech, because sketching is a key part of how I keep my love of what I do alive, despite it having been my job for 30 years now.

Because SCBWI represents authors as well as illustrators, the SketchCrawl event later this month in the Science Museum will not just be for sketching, but writing too - creating on-the-spot responses to what we see. There will be plenty to inspire and I'm sure the exhibits will be evocative enough to get the authors fired up.

If you fancy giving it a go, as a writer or a sketcher, it's open to non-members too. Drop Anna Violet an email to book your place.

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22. Hasten, Spring


One last sketch before I head off to the weekend.

I'm planning to watch this.
Read that.
And fingers crossed, cook this.

And you?

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23. Wise Guys

wise guys redeux 450

(click to enlarge, or fugget about it.)


9 Comments on Wise Guys, last added: 3/16/2014
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24. Nighttime costume sketching! #sketchbook

Nighttime costume sketching! #sketchbook

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25. Saint Patrick's Day

 Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

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