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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: sketching, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 331
1. 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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2. 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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3. 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.

0 Comments on SCBWI SketchCrawl at MOSI in Manchester as of 4/2/2014 6:29:00 AM
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4. Fish Noir

red-herring_color new 450

RED HERRING

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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5. 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!

0 Comments on Stealing Time on the Beach in Norfolk as of 3/24/2014 1:27:00 PM
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6. What do You Get if You Cross a Frog with a Mouse?


You might think this question has something to do with the strange animal couplings from Jungle Grumble, but you'd be wrong. The answer to the riddle is... me, last week. 


Okay, hopefully I didn't bear any visual resemblance to either frogs or mice, but my voice certainly did. Yes, I know, again. Almost every year it seems to happen to me. I get a cold and end up with laryngitis. 

As usual for March, there have been so many visits booked in, I've just had to dose up on paracetamol and get stuck in. Normally I can blame the germy children I meet around World Book Day but, this year, I think I caught it off a friend the weekend before, because I got poorly on the very first Monday, 2 weeks ago. Groan.


By that Friday, the voice was seriously wobbly, but I was booked to do a talk first thing to a hall-full, at Sheffield High School. Luckily we got an emergency microphone rigged up so I could do the mouse-voice thing. Then, half-way through the subsequent illustration workshop, John suddenly appeared with emergency supplies: a big bottle of of TCP, so I could do some lunchtime gargling in the loos! What a hero. Unfortunately, I've been bathed in the delightful scent of TCP ever since. 


It does help though and is probably the reason why I've not gone completely silent this time round. I had only two days of visits last week, on Wednesday and Thursday. I had hoped that the few days of rest would sort it out, but no - still the same. Oh well. John is enjoying the luxury of getting a word in edge-ways. Also being told off at a far lesser volume than usual.


I hope you like this latest batch of train sketches. These are from the two days last week, done in my trusty Inktense watercolour pencils

I met some smashing children on both days and everyone has been very patient with my difficulties. It all seems to be going very well anyway, despite adversity. Maybe next week I will sound less like a squeaky frog...

0 Comments on What do You Get if You Cross a Frog with a Mouse? as of 3/15/2014 6:27:00 AM
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7. Wise Guys

wise guys redeux 450

(click to enlarge, or fugget about it.)

BADA-BING BADA-WHOOOOOO!


9 Comments on Wise Guys, last added: 3/16/2014
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8. 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.

0 Comments on SCBWI SketchCrawl at Manchester Science Museum as of 3/10/2014 5:42:00 AM
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9. 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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10. Space

BUNNY ROCKET2– redo 450

COTTONTAILS IN SPACE

After successfully landing on the moon, Neil “Cottontail” Armstrong was famously quoted as saying, “One small step for a bunny, one giant hop for rabbitkind.

Space is the “Illustration Friday” word of the week. So I dusted this old chestnut off and redrew it.


7 Comments on Space, last added: 2/28/2014
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11. Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!

valentine bunny cupid450

Little known fact: The Easter Bunny moonlights, filling in for Cupid, to get some extra scratch.

He says, “They don’t call me Dead-Eye Cottontail for nothing!
(Actually, they don’t really call him that, shhhhhh.)


5 Comments on Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!, last added: 2/16/2014
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12. Disguise

chameleon new 450

COMPUTATIVE CHAMELEON

For some reason I felt compelled to redraw this little guy from a few years ago when the Illustration Friday word was “adapt” Perhaps more appropriate? You decide.

Well, it  must be karma… get it… karma karma karma karma karma chameleon. No? Oh come on! How can you see the word chameleon without that song going through your head?

Unless you’re under 30.

Nevermind.


5 Comments on Disguise, last added: 2/13/2014
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13. Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

wolf in sheeps clothing 450Sheila finally solved the mystery of that wet dog smell in her closet.

Felt like it was time for a nice animal idiom.

“Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing:
One would use this idiom to describe a person or thing appearing to be good but is, well, not so much. There seems to be a few different ideas about it’s origin, but here is what Wikipedia has to say about it.


5 Comments on Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, last added: 2/13/2014
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14. Search

meerkat searching 450

Mitzy, Manny and Mo took eagle lookout duty very seriously.

………………………………………………………………………………………

The Illustration Friday word of the week is “search.” I had a hankering to draw meerkats today, so these little goofballs showed up.


7 Comments on Search, last added: 2/1/2014
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15. Time

time running 450

RACE AGAINST TIME

Despite strenuous training and conditioning, Murgatroid found it difficult to beat the clock.

The Illustration Friday theme for this week is “Time.” So, since it is 11:00 pm on Thursday, with only an hour  left to post… time is running out!


4 Comments on Time, last added: 1/12/2014
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16. Post Holiday Doldrumoids

duldromoid5 450

We’ve always known of their existence, but for the first time ever, caught in mid listless, despondency, is what experts commonly refer to as the Post-holiday Doldrumoid…in the flesh……or rather, in the doodle.

No matter. It’s official. We have a Doldrumoid pandemic on our hands. They are here and we have got to deal with them.

Some effective methods for coping with these ubiquitous yet unwelcome creatures are as follows:

1. Ignore them. Doldrumoids have been known to eventually lose interest in their host and reluctantly disappear after a week or two.

2. Keep that crunchy Christmas tree up for another month, along with the exterior icicle lights and the inflatable snow globe on your lawn. Do this while ignoring the fact that the holidays are over. This method seems to keep the Doldrumoids at bay, but leaves the door wide open for Lackus Deselfrespectus spors to take hold.

There are no easy answers, but…

3. For those of us who need to get back to business… pronto, there are some drastic measures that can be implemented. Take tree and exterior lights down, box up Christmas decorations, shove said boxes up in garage rafters, eat salad, go to the gym and then actually make that deadline for your employer/client as opposed to staring blankly at the computer monitor (close mouth, wipe drool off chin, mind don’t get any on the keyboard.)

In the event none of the above methods prove effective, one can always hold on until February 14 when a virulent strain of Guiltus Cupidus overcomes the weakened Doldrumoids, offering minimal relief to some sufferers.

This has been an important public service announcement. You may now return to your regularly scheduled program. Thank you.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Another redraw and a repost from a few years ago. Thought it might be apropos.


10 Comments on Post Holiday Doldrumoids, last added: 1/12/2014
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17. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 15

Mice skates 2 450

Another wee redraw of last year’s  “Mice Skates”

Skate on over here and check out my fellow HoHoDooDaers!


3 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 15, last added: 12/20/2013
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18. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 14

card-shark450-1

Didn’t get a doodle done today because I was finishing up my holiday cards. (Yeah, it’s tradition to be this late, thank you very much!)

So although it’s a bit of a cheat I decided to repost this from a couple of years ago. Thought it might be appropriate.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I love holiday cards. I love getting them, but most of all I like making them.

At least it starts out that way.

There’s the initial concept. Fun!

Sketching it up. Fun!

Drawing, painting, tweaking. Fun! Fun! Fun!

But then, there is the whole standing in line at the post office because I absolutely must have those special snowman stamps.

Followed by an attempt at addressing the cards and the subsequent admitting to people that I wrote their address on a scrap piece of paper last year and my cat batted it under the couch and apparently a spider drug it away to it’s nest, so could you pleeeeeeease give me your address for the fifteenth time… and I promise I’ll key it safely into my iPhone this time!

Couple that with the fact that I waited until pretty much the last minute, even though I promised last year and the year before that and the year… ok, the past ten years that I would start in August.

Before you know it, I’ve got a holiday card meltdown on my hands.

Does any of this sound familiar? Am I alone with this?

Anywho, fun? Not so much.

But despite the griping and moaning, after all is said and done, the truth is, it’s just not Christmas until I’ve sent off all my cards and, of course, I receive that very first card in the mail, be it Christmas, Hanukkah or Festivus (I’m still waiting for my first Kwanza card.)

I just love holiday cards!

It’s tradition! Every bit of it, from fun to meltdown and I hope it never goes away!

Now get yer elfin shoes over here to see what the other doodlers have in store for you!


6 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 14, last added: 12/19/2013
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19. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 6

fleece navidad sheep 450

Getting into sheep shape after missing a day!

So now I’m even borrowing from my own darn self. Redrew this from a sketch I did a few years ago.

Why not pour yourself a nice hot chocolate and stop on by here and check out what my fellow HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.


12 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 6, last added: 12/16/2013
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20. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 7

prancing with the stars 450

“Prancing With the Stars”

Why not hoof it on over here and check out what my fellow HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing today.


8 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 7, last added: 12/16/2013
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21. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 8

Image

“Snow Bank”

 I’m not at home tonight. So I doodled with an actual pencil instead of my Wacom stylus, took a photo of it with my iPhone and am now agonizingly posting with said iPhone using WordPress app.

Way cool or horribly obnoxious? You decide.


15 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 8, last added: 12/17/2013
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22. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 10

partridge-in-a-pear-tree-copy

Wasn’t able to squeeze out a doodle today, (hmmm, that didn’t sound quite right, did it?)

Anywho, I thought I’d post this guy from a couple of years ago. Also, it seemed like a wee bit of color was in order.

Hope y’all are having a great holiday season so far!

Why not stop on by here, to see what my fellow doodlers are up to.


10 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 10, last added: 12/17/2013
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23. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 11

Christmas rapping 450

“Christmas Rapping”
(Click for larger view of Santa and his crew gettin’ down with their bad elves.)

Why not hip hop over here and see what the other HoHoDooDa Doodlers are up to!


7 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 11, last added: 12/16/2013
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24. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 12

mistle toad 450 more white space

Undaunted by his recent breakup, Murgatroyd continues to troll for love.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Murgatroyd and myself wish y’all a Merry Kissmas! Also a Happy Egg Snog (for our friends in the UK!)

Ok now, if you can tear yourself away from these groan-worthy puns, come on over here to see what my fellow HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.


9 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 12, last added: 12/17/2013
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25. HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 13

walking in a weiner wonderland 450

(Click to enlarge.)

Nothing says Holidays like a wiener dog. Am I lying?

Anywho, why not stroll on by here to see what the other HoHoDooDa Doodlers are doing!


2 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 13, last added: 12/17/2013
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