Monday 29 February 2016

Mr Walker's Suitcase

Some drawings readily lend themselves to a little colouring in Photoshop. Here's Mr Walker's Suitcase given that treatment.

Sunday 28 February 2016

Sketch Crawl # 7: The Discovery Museum

Mr Walker's Suitcase
Discovery Museum
(Black markers in A4 sketchbook)

Holeyn Hall Turbine
Discovery Museum
(Black and grey markers, A4 sketchbook)

The Discovery Museum in Newcastle has changed quite a bit since I was there last. In addition to a huge new atrium accommodating the famous Turbinia, the world's first steam turbine-powered steamship, there is what seems to be a maze of rooms full of all sorts of engineering and historical stuff. 

Perhaps I should have been more adventurous in my choice of subjects on this, our seventh Sketch Crawl, because others seemed to find things that had somehow missed my attention, and while I thought Turbinia couldn't be drawn, Mike and Richard proved me wrong.

Still, I was happy with my suitcase, carried by a Mr Walker on his voyage on RMS Franconia. I don't know if there's anything special about Mr Walker or indeed his choice of steamship, but the suitcase served to illuminate the possibilities of world travel brought about by the introduction of steamships, in this case by the Cunard Line.

As for the turbine, I wish now that I'd not gone along with the black painted pipes,because although they were what drew me to the subject in the first place, I had to make a decision about the panel bearing the name of the manufacturer, C A Parsons. It was also black but couldn't remain so and still be legible; I think now the drawing would have worked better without the solid black. Oh well, you learn by your mistakes (sometimes).

Finally, as I'm pleased to say is often the case with museums and Sketch Crawls, I can recommend both the Americano and the fruit scone in the cafe, although Allan would rather they didn't serve Lattes in what he regards as glass vases.

Next time: a venue in Newcastle to be decided (Don't you just love a mystery?)

Monday 22 February 2016

Sketchbook Circle Snippets

(More snippets from Partner B's A5 Sketchbook)

Being full of cold usually means a befuddled head and sure enough, that's what I found I had over the weekend. Nevertheless, because I knew I had to get Becca's Sketchbook Circle book into the post back to her this week, I pushed on and found myself going down strange pathways.

Again, I'm unable to let you see what I've done with her pages until she receives the book and can only post the little snippets above.

What I found fascinating about the whole exercise is that I began working intuitively again, picking out things that Becca's original entries reminded me of, then trawling through bits and pieces of saved paper, magazine pictures and photocopies, and putting them together. Putting them together in a way that seemed to work and at the same time surprised me with what appeared.

I'm really quite excited about this.

Monday 15 February 2016

Realisation of Space

Snippets from Partner B's Sketchbook

I've spent some time over the past few days working on the sketchbook sent to me by Becca, my Partner B of the Sketchbook Circle. I'm not allowed to show my interventions in her work, or any of my own additions until the book is returned to her at the end of February, but I can share these four snippets.

While working on the book at my desk in the new studio, I came to the realisation that I'm not comfortable working in that corner and that it would be more appropriate to have the desk under the bigger of the two skylights.

As you can see, that means a big job of removing all the books in the nice new Ikea storage unit, taking out the drawers from the desk, switching over the desk for the storage unit and then putting everything back in place.

I'll start ... later in the week.

Thursday 4 February 2016

And now it starts ...

(Various media in A5 sketchbook)

Now that my Sketchbook Circle book has been safely received by Ang, I can show the pages I prepared before sending the book off to her. At least, I can show you all of the pages except the inside front cover and Page 1, which somehow I failed to save when I scanned them in. I hope to add those when they become available again.

Having no previous experience of this kind of exchange, or indeed of this kind of sketchbook work, I simply set to and played with the pages. Some are collaged from magazine photographs with watercolour and body colour added; others are clearly straightforward marker drawings. There are a couple that use fragments of failed etchings salvaged from the bin of the print room at University.

And the last one should be of interest to my old science fiction pals - it's an imprint left on a folder that contained an inked stencil used in the production of one of the many Gannet fanzines.

The stencil imprint and the etching fragments have been in my studio for twenty years or more. A hoarder? Me!? I knew they'd come in useful one day.

What my sketchbook partner will make of these pages is anyone's guess. But that's half the fun. I've now received a sketchbook from Becca, my other partner in the Circle, and I have to start thinking about what I want to do to that. That's the other half of the fun.

Monday 1 February 2016

Sketch Crawl # 6 : Baltic and Sage

(The usual and some not so usual suspects in the Baltic)

The weather is never really kind at this time of year and while it was a decent enough sunny day on Saturday for our sixth Sketch Crawl, the wind was howling a gale and icily cold. So meeting in the cafe of the Baltic was a good move and we had a good turnout: 7 or 8, unless I'm mistaken. But Mike likes to put the pressure on and said "Well, I'd like to try drawing outside for a while." Who there would say they thought it a terrible idea?

I tried to get out of the wind by walking round the side of the Baltic and standing on the narrow quayside path but I soon realised I was in something of a wind tunnel. Still, having decided to draw a boat on the other side of the Tyne, I set to and tried to ignore my streaming eyes. About an hour later, my freezing cold fingers (Note to self: remember fingerless gloves!) had made this rather shaky drawing. I tarted it up a little later on with some firmer lines and a grey brush marker.

Across the Tyne 
(Black markers and blue and grey brush marker in A4 sketchbook)

It was a relief to meet up back in the Baltic on the observation deck, but the view from there is so complex that I think no one really fancied attempting it. So out we went again into the wind and climbed the stairs to The Sage.

The Sage is something of an intimidating space too, although I suspect that after a while it would be possible to get to grips with it. I eventually settled on looking down from the first floor gallery onto the tables of the cafe. For no particular reason, I decided to use a 4B pencil for this drawing and I have to say I enjoyed using it and like the result. The only problem with such a soft pencil is that it wears down very quickly and while sharpening it outside wouldn't be much of a problem, leaving pencil shavings all over the floor of the Sage probably isn't looked upon favourably by the staff.

In the Sage 
(4B pencil in A4 sketchbook)

Next time : The Discovery Museum!