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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: #inktober, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 37
1. i've seen that road before

This is one of my favourite recent drawings (or urban sketches as they now have to be called). I made this at the end of a long day. I thought I was all drawn out, but I found a window seat in a café directly across the road from this lovely pink building.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about how much my work has changed and in the comments somebody (another Andrea) said "There's a certain element to your style - organicness (? if that's even a word) which does link it all (old and new work) together." I liked hearing that. From the very beginning, and all of the drawings that I made came from an authentic place, and even though I wouldn't want to - couldn't even - draw in that way anymore, it still is very much part of me and my work. I wouldn't want to deny it or try to erase it. So it pleases me to know that others can see that link. I do. 
I think then, and now, I was always trying to achieve the same thing; I've always been trying to make the drawings that I would have loved as a kid. The kind of drawing that would have made the young me want to draw. That's always my in my mind. Well maybe not my mind, I'm not consciously thinking about it, but that aim is somewhere inside me. I think that this drawing is a favourite of mine because, I reckon, the young me would have loved it.

Somebody also recently said to me "there is no such thing as art it's all nostalgia". It's quite a bold and perhaps controversial statement. It's something I've thought about a lot since hearing it. I think I agree. 

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2. how to make an urban sketch in ten easy steps

How to make an Urban Sketch (in the North of England in Autumn (i.e. it's cold)) in 10 easy steps;

(Optional step; Turn up to the location and realise you've brought all your inks but no pen. No really (I told you I was a rubbish urban sketcher). Go buy pens)

Step 1. Find a coffee shop with a window seat and a view
Step 2. Have a coffee and sandwich. This is one of the more complicated steps; I'm in the Northern Quarter, of Manchester, so will have to decide between ten different coffee beans, made in fifteen different ways, then there's the bread...sour dough, brioche, rye....
Step 3. Make a mess of the table
Step 4. Ah shit. Why did I put colour on it?
Step 5. Have another coffee. And a Danish pastry. Try to hide the mess you've made of the table when they bring it over.
Step 6. Add lettering to try to take away the focus from the awful colour work
Step 7. Pigeons
Step 8. Scrub the table then go outside and take the obligatory out of focus urban sketcher photo, whilst holding your book in front of the building with one hand and trying to take photo with the other hand whilst worrying that somebody is going to snatch your phone.
Step 9. When all else fails go shopping
Step 10. Reassess at home over a cup of tea. Followed by either throwing it in the bin or feeling a little bit smug.

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3. Inktober Day 8 – Rock

#Inktober, #Inktober2016

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4. Inktober Day 4

#Inktober, #Inktober2016

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5. Inktober Day 2 – Noisy

#Inktober, #Inktober2016

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6. Inktober Day 1 – Fast

Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. I'll see if I can keep it up!
#Inktober, #Inktober2016

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7. Inktober 2015

I just love Inktober! Here are a few of the sketches I created this year. You can follow me on Instagram to see what else I'm up to.

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8. I ink, therefore I am.

I ink, therefore I am.  

Inking is sort of like skiing - fun and a little dangerous with a sense of movement... or something like that. Descartes never did any skiing.

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9. On Henry Moore and stuff

A few weeks ago I visited the fabulous Yorkshire Sculpture Park with Urban Sketchers Yorkshire. I love this place, plus, even better, there was a Henry Moore exhibition. 
I came to Henry Moore later in life. In the last couple of years, actually, I'm pretty sure it was on my first ever trip out with the Urban Sketchers to the YSP. Anyway, wherever whenever, now I'm a big fan. 
It's just SO drawable.
Earlier this month, when I had a grip on #Inktober - before it ran off in all directions - and I was doing an ink drawing a day, I came across my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.
It hadn't been used much at all. In fact I hadn't seen it for years. But when I opened it I found this wash (above). Now, I have no idea what I was thinking way back then when I put it on the page, but just looking at it with all that time between us, I could only see one thing. You're thinking the same, right?? You can see it too, yeah?
Yes, exactly. 
So I came up with my very own Henry Moore reclining nude. An Andrea Joseph inspired by Henry Moore for day nine of #inktober

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10. inky update

I'll be honest, I have no idea where I'm up to with Inktober. But that doesn't mean I'm not inking away. In fact I haven't stopped. 
And my love for ink grows by the day. I've always loved the intensity of ink, and have used it in the past, but always ended up drawing with my paint brush in a very controlled way.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to take an expressive ink workshop by talented fashion artist and illustrator Tracy Fennell. I absolutely loved it. I really feel this is what I've been looking for.  
I'm always trying to improve my skills, always wanting to learn new things when it comes to illustration. I love drawing so much that I just want to keep learning. I want to learn anything and everything. 
So, yes, I'm very much loving ink and Inktober - even if I have no idea where I'm up to. 

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11. It must be Fall!

It must be Fall! It's fun to be doing a book in tandem with the actual seasons - but then it's also fun thinking ahead to next Spring. I guess with children's publishing the seasons are often tied into the subject matter.  

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12. raining cats and dogs

Still keeping up with #inktober (just about) and the last few days have been all about cats and dogs.
Not sure where it came from, some dark recess of my mind no doubt. Actually this poodle has been trapped inside trying to get out for ages. 
I've also been trying to work outside of the sketchbook. Not that I'm giving up in the sketchbook. NOOOOO way. I'd never do that, my sketchbooks are my favourite places to draw and that was the problem.
I just felt I couldn't draw outside of the sketchbook. And when I feel like that about some drawing related thing, these days, I challenge myself to....well....challenge the 'I can't' thoughts and feelings. 
So, with that in mind, I've decided to use up all of the scraps of paper I have around the house. It started with my bicycle challenge (the one where I felt I could never draw a bike so I drew fifty in a few weeks. Actually, I'm not sure I've blogged about that yet) I gathered every bit of blank paper in the whole house and have started drawing on them. 
A friend of mine bought this 1920s music paper for me so I drew on that. I drew on the cardboard backs of sketchbooks. And on brown paper. On old water colour pads. Anything that's been hanging around. It's getting drawn on.
 Like this poodle, if it's a bit of paper that can be drawn on then it won't be hanging around for long. It's going walkies.
Cat and dog drawings available HERE.

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13. Life on the farm...

This was fun - I'd never painted a potato field before this.

 I did work on a Maryland tobacco farm once when I lived in Washington D.C.

  and in a bull barn and a dairy barn when I lived in Manhattan Kansas...

  which was unusual for a city mouse like me.

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14. Line, silhouette & a dash of bright color

I was pleased with how this piece came out - I managed to keep some of the spontaneity of the sketch in the finished color. It seems like I'm always struggling to choose a line for the finals - but in this one I combined several different solutions - colored line and silhouette shapes and a dash of bright colors.  Thanks to my pastel brush for the painting. 

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15. Inky October

#Inktober Day 2 

In my quest to blog more (this always goes 'tits up' as we say in the UK) I've got on board with the whole Inktober thing. A day late, but I'm on board now. 
#Inktober Day 3 

Now, I'm truly rubbish at doing these things. Almost as soon as I commit I start resenting having to do a drawing a day for a month (or however long the thing is that you've signed up to) and then it just becomes a massive chore. But it has been a while since I've committed to any such thing, and I draw everyday anyway, so I'm giving it a bash. How hard can it be?
#Inktober Day 4

Another reason that participating in Inktober makes sense is that I am going to be taking a couple of Tracy Fennell's ink workshops during October. I really feel that need to push my work in a new direction. To take it somewhere exciting and I've always been a massive ink fan. So, no doubt, after the classes I'll be itching to experiment with all the new techniques.
#Inktober Day 5 

So that's the story so far. I'll post the rest as I go along. I will, I will, I will *trying to convince myself*. 

Some of my Inktober sketches are for sale, in my Etsy shop, HERE

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16. Part 3 - How to run away to NYC to become a children's book illustrator


Our bumbling saga continues as our spanking new Knickerbocker finds his way around town... full of pep, vim & vigor.


Next problem... where the heck was I going to live? After about two days I started feeling way too at home in the Vanderbilt YMCA, except for the bedbugs. I could have stayed on for weeks actually... like in the old movies, when characters live in hotels. There's something about having a desk clerk, lounge, cafe and elevator that kind of gets to you.

The next week I adopted a new schedule of looking around all the far flung boroughs of New York City. Being too clever by half, I figured I'd live out in some unpopular borough, and save on rent. I took the train over to Hoboken one hot sticky morning... summery sticky sidewalks and a mist of humidity in the air. I remembered the Frank Sinatra song about Hoboken. I must have heard something about Hoboken being nice... and it was surprisingly quaint. Old fashioned iron fences surrounding old parks and boulevards. Brownstones lined up and still keeping their diginity from the last century. But... Hoboken wasn’t for me.

I thought I’d outsmart the commute one day and locate on Staten Island! Brilliant! I figured it would be almost like riding the ferryboat across Puget Sound from Seattle to Bainbridge... only not quite as pristine. I remember taking the ferry to Staten Island (the first and last time I ever went there) and then riding the train out to the end of the line in Staten Island. I remember walking down the tracks... way the hell out in the middle of nowhere... feeling totally lost and impossibly too far away. Dumb idea I thought to myself. So I got right back to Manhattan.  This wouldn’t be the last time I moved away in error... and came back to New York. I did that twice.

A few more days went by... I was getting used to NYC but starting to worry about finding a place. Then one bright day I picked up a Village Voice and looked through the want ads. There was a room listed on West 78th Street. I hadn’t even been to the West Side before... so of course I went. I think I might have walked all the way there, and the more I walked the better it looked. I remember walking up Central Park West and going past the Dakota... though I didn’t know it was the Dakota then.  The streets were quaint and charming and totally New York. I loved it.

At the apartment, Maury, the ‘super’ showed me around. It was a classic Upper West Side brownstone. Maury was a delightfully crusty old bolshevik, with an accent as thick as garlic bread. He dressed in about 3 old tattered colorless coats. I’d later discover that’s what he always wore... winter and summer. He could have been a screen double for Charles Laughton... only tattered.


I loved my little room at first sight. A little sunlit room facing south on the second floor of a walk up brownstone.  It was a really narrow room... you could almost reach out and touch the walls on each side, but it had a VERY high ceiling and it was quite long. A long narrow tall room with a window... a subdivided room actually.

Maury had one of those accents like onion soup... heavy, flavored, almost impossible to know what he was saying... but I liked him right off. He was my kind of bolshevik. I don’t think I ever saw him outside of his standard ‘moscow wear’... a heavy dark shapeless winter overcoat with a matching hat. He even wore the three overcoats to the Met, where I ran into him one day. "Paintings! You like paintings? Look around! Beauty!", he said. You just don’t meet guys like that in Seattle or Salt Lake. So I signed on... $35 a week... dirt cheap. It had a little refrigerator and a stove and a squeaky spring mattress and the shared bathroom was down the hall. Roaches, no extra charge.

I had an address now... 161 West 78th Street. I loved my new room... roaches and all. If you leaned out the window you could just see the Museum of Natural History at the end of the street. It was like living in one of those great New York movies with Jack Lemmon or something. Plane trees and fancy iron railings all along the street... a great place. Just one week earlier I’d been in Seattle... 3 days ago in Denver. Now I had my own place for a whole new life. Wow! My life seemed suddenly so very much more exciting! I’ll always be grateful to the Village Voice for listing a place like that. Just like always... when things seem impossible and there’s no good choices... suddenly the BEST possible choice pops up at an affordable price out of nowhere. Life does things like that sometimes... but I guess you have to pay the price of waiting through all the other stuff first.

To be continued... until your socks get bored right off!

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17. The wraparound studio Chez Nez...

The wraparound studio Chez Neezer. I've take a shine to the new updated iPad camera software that makes really seamless panning shots. So much fun! 

And I've decided I like Google Photos more than the iCloud iPad photo backups. Why? Because they're easier to sort, easier to modify and they actually tell you things about what's going on with your photos - unlike Apple where I'm always trying to guess what's going on. 

Oh, and Google has 15 Gigs of free cloud space too.

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18. The Starbucks Roastery - where people go to feel famous while sipping a cup of coffee.

For my birthday I treated myself to a trip to the new Starbucks Emporium - where people go to feel famous while sipping a cup of coffee. (at least that's my guess).

Between the 250 decibel ethno-jazz (can't hear yourself think) and the 6 story coffee factory with walkways and ladders it is quite an experience and not a quiet contemplative one at that.


It's more like a Starbucks gone Vegas experience. The whole idea is modeled after 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. Funny, but I don't remember the smell of coffee while I was there.

And I wouldn't know the meaning of what 'happy birthday' meant. I always get a pensive sadness that creeps into the occasion - like a frozen chill of defeated expectation.  Sigh... c'est la vie.

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19. Pages from the past...

Opening the pages from my past we find old magazine spreads...

and old book plans and dreams...

and even a self portrait of me at age 8 1/2.  I added the Pierrot costume, which seems just about right for this serious little fellow.

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20. Some spiffy new art...

Here's a collection of some spiffy new art I've painted up recently.

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21. Once every blue moon...

Once every blue moon I like to do an 'art piece' like this. I just can't help it - so it's easier to give in than resist. This was inspired by a scene from a BBC - PBS production - it's dark and somber instead of my usual cartoony dish of happy nursery fodder. I guess the fun part of making 'art' is one can just let go and be messy. This was all done with the wacom in photoshop. 

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22. Add a paper bag and you're done...

And then add a paper bag and mix in Shakespeare and a cat and you're done.

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23. The evolution of Shakespeare into a cat

The evolution of Shakespeare into a cat. I'm not sure why this is important, but I felt compelled to finish drawing it out. I think Ben Johnson had a closer relationship with his cat. I read that he had a servant to keep it's bowl stocked with fresh vittles.

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24. Deep in the Jungle

I always loved those Tarzan movies with the treehouse, vine-swings and all those elephants. It was the depth of the jungle that I found so enchanting - hidden depths, elevated trees, simplistic (non-existant) plots. It was more of an experience than a story. 

I'm attracted to the same qualities of depth in my paintings on canvas. The deeper and more mysterious the elements, the better. 

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25. One of my forgotten books - 'The Easter Surprise'

Here's one of my forgotten books - the Easter Surprise! It was painted in real paints on gessoed paper (for all you hard-line real media folks). And it featured idyllic scenes of baby farm animals frolicking in pastoral locales. I think it does have a nice painterly aspect to it. And now I'm much more forgiving of it's innocence, all these years later.  I think it's sweet... loving kindness.

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