Thursday 28 February 2019

Two Months in Crete : Sketch - Shrine and Bell

Shrine and Bell
(Markers and coffee stain in 195x195 mm sketchbook)

This little shrine stands in front of the old buildings in Chania I drew earlier, but rather than stand in the sun this time, I was able to find a sheltered door where I could sit on the step and draw. Only now and then did I have to pull my legs in to avoid being crushed by cars and motorbikes.

The page for this drawing was prepared by having cold coffee spilled over it - deliberately - before leaving the apartment. I knew the stain produced would be similar to the colour of the buildings and I was pleased to find I was able to work with it well.

Wednesday 27 February 2019

Two Months in Crete : Sketch - Old Town Laundry

Old Town Laundry, Chania
(Markers and watercolour in 195x195 mm sketchbook)

Another afternoon in the hot sun. Urban sketching in Chania can be difficult from the point of view of finding a shaded spot that affords a view worth drawing.

Why is the Laundry sign in English rather than Greek? I imagine it's because, being a tourist town, the people who need a laundromat are tourists and English is the language of tourism.

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Two Months in Crete : Sketch - Old Buildings

Old Buildings, Chania
(Black marker across two pages of 195x195 mm sketchbook)

Allowing myself more time, this drawing was completed while I sweated in the sunlight standing near these old buildings. I knew the buildings from previous visits to Chania and had them in mind when making plans for the trip. 

I started on the right hand page, them continued the drawing onto the left hand page.

Monday 25 February 2019

Two Months in Crete : Sketch - Nea Chora Beach

Nea Chora Beach
(Markers and coloured pencils in small square sketchbook)

Last year, Pat and I decided to carry out a plan we'd thought about for quite some: we'd find an apartment abroad and spend as long as possible there, me painting and drawing, Pat reading and sitting in the sun.

We settled on an apartment in Chania, just outside the old town. We've grown to love Chania over the years and it has a very special place in our hearts. The apartment gave us easy access to the Old Town and Venetian Harbour, had a kitchen and bathroom, a patio and garden to sit out in and a good big table to work on indoors.  Just round the corner was a very good supermarket and, of course, there are more restaurants than you can shake a stick at (should that be your favoured method of counting restaurants). We were there from the end of August to the end of October, the weather was great and it wasn't long before we felt perfectly at home. 

Walking out right at the beginning of our stay, we had lunch in a taverna overlooking the beach at Nea Chora, the new harbour. Determined to make a success of this working holiday, I got out my little square sketchbook and made a start.

Sunday 17 February 2019

Old Buildings, Chania

Old Buildings, Chania
(mixed media on board, 12 x 12 in)

Finished about a week ago, this painting is based on some buildings near where Pat and I stayed on Crete last year. There's a big post needed to deal with that, as I've hinted before, but this isn't the time for it. 

This picture was long in the making because I'm going through a quite experimental (for me) period of trying out new materials and methods. For this I used acrylic paint, Posca Pens, FW Acrylic Ink, a bottle of dye with no label on it, tissue paper, and collage papers. It was a fascinating, if messy, experience.

Thursday 14 February 2019

Sketch Crawl : St Thomas's Church, Newcastle

George Cross Island Assoc. Window
(Black marker and coloured pencil in A5 sketchbook)

On Saturday, the Tyne & Wear Urban Sketchers met up in St Thomas's Church in the Haymarket. I was a little late in getting there and some of the sketchers were already thinking of moving on to McKenna's Cafe at Northern Stage. 

I'd never been in St Thom's before and was surprised at how small it seemed inside: bigger on the outside than inside, a sort of inverse Tardis.

Maybe because I've been painting figures recently, I was attracted to a stained glass window commemorating the Siege of Malta and sat down in a pew to draw part of it.

I was interested enough in the window to look it up online later. It was designed by Helen Whittaker of Barley Studio in York and it's interesting to note that Barley Studio were responsible for making and installing the new window in Westminster Abbey, designed by David Hockney.

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Sketch Crawl : Back to the Ouseburn

The Old Chimney, Ouseburn
(Black marker in A5 sketchbook)

OK, I know I'm late in posting and everything seems to be becoming confused. Must do better.

The winter weather wasn't terribly conducive to outdoor sketching and I missed at least one sketch crawl (to Durham in January), but this drawing was made in December. We met in the Cafe at the Ouseburn Farm where hot chocolate and coffee made forays to draw outdoors possible. Some sketchers didn't even brave the outdoors, choosing to sit in the warm cafe and draw the view through the windows, but I decided to draw the Lime Street Chimney. The chimney was built in the late 1840s originally as part of a steam operated flax mill designed by John Dobson, the building now known as Cluny Warehouse.