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Showing posts from 2012

Unknown Sculpture, Canary Wharf, London

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I’ve had my eye on drawing this one for a while as I pass it daily from CanaryWharf Pier. Sadly I couldn’t find a nearby plaque with the sculptor’s name, so I can’t be terribly informative. But it’s quite a raw-looking piece, with cut angles from the sculptors’ knife visible all over, like it’s just been made from a huge block of clay. This faceted look translates well to cross-hatching with the biro in small chunks of light and shade. Drawn at West India Avenue, Canary Wharf, London. Bic biro on card and digital colour.

Canary Wharf DLR (Canada Square)

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I went out Tuesday lunchtime to draw and paint this lovely arched DLR station entrance near Mackenzie Walk but once again rain stopped play. Not only that but I realised I was using a non-waterproof pen, (even if it was an ad agency icon, the lauded Sign Pen). Thus it wouldn’t have been any good for watercolouring anyway, even if it hadn’t rained! Thus I brought it back, albeit bespattered with a few raindrops visible here, and scanned it as a black and white (greyscale) image only. Today I finally got round to adding layers of colour digitally, using a limited and muted palette as it was a grey, overcast day. Choosing to drop in colour in a very cut-out fashion on transparent layers, it has a kind of block printing appeal. I was careful not to try and colour in everything too, so it maintained its sketchy freshness. Pentel Sign Pen and digital colour.

‘Couple on seat’ bronze by Lynn Chadwick 2000. Canary Wharf, London.

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Strong winds again today but dry at least. Right outside the Ogilvy office is this bronze by Lynn Chadwick. I was surprised to see the date of 2000, having presumed it was a 1970s piece, similar to the Henry Moore abstracted figures that I used to see around Harlow, Essex when I was younger. A ring of tiered seating surrounds this and a fountain, so I had a comfortable sketching position. Drawn with a soft (7B) pencil, the paper’s tooth was rather too rough for any subtle variations of tone, but the wash of  sepia over the top helped with that. Dry pigment on the brush dragged upwards (left figure) lent an appropriately rough texture in places. Winsor and Newton watercolour on 210gsm Khadi (Indian handmade) ‘rough’ paper pad.

London lunchtime sketch: Sasso Cosmico, Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London

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A grey day in London. Raining, in fact, so nowhere to sit down and sketch but would have sketched this standing up anyway, for the best viewpoint of this dynamic view down to the famous Canary Wharf tower. In the foreground is a sculpture entitled ‘Sasso Cosmico’, by Do Vassilakis-Konig (bronze and steel) 2007. This view will be familiar with commuters like me who get the Thames Clipper boat into the wharf. The very fine rain added an interesting dotty texture to the painting, visible in the sky especially. The woman pushing the pram, lower left, circled the small park continuously for as long as I was there, a good 40 mins! Staedtler Permanent Pen and Winsor & Newton watercolour on 130gsm cartridge paper (the latter was too thin/non-absorbent for such a well-soaked job really).

London lunchtime sketch: Knocker White, West India Quay, London

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A windy lunchtime today, had to batten down my own hatches with bulldog-clipped pages held down to stop them blowing around in the wind. A few spots of rain too but nothing really threatening. I am currently freelancing in the Docklands area of East London so thought a boat would make a good inaugural sketch for this area. The rust-coloured autumn leaves floating in the water were a good match to the tug’s warm orange paintwork. This little tug sits just outside the Museum of London Docklands and here’s the official history: 

KNOCKER WHITE is a traditional Thames tug, built in 1924 by T. van Duivendijk, Lekkerkerk, Netherlands as CAIRNROCK, for Harrisons Lighterage Company, London. She was traditionally steam-powered. She later passed into the ownership of W. E. White & Sons, Rotherhithe, and in 1960 was renamed with the nickname of one of the White family. She was converted to diesel power with the installation of Petters engines, and alterations were made to both the funnel and w…

‘One for the pot’ (lobster)

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A poor photo of this painting (at A3 or 42cm x 21cm it’s too large for my scanner), but hopefully you’ll get the gist. The outline was done with a jumbo bamboo dip pen and Ultramarine ink. Watercolour and ink on The Langton Prestige 300gsm rough paper. •SOLD

Sketched in the City: Tap East, Stratford City, London

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TAP EAST
Finding a pub for a cheeky one near a train station when you’ve got a spare 20 minutes usually involves buying into a naff nationwide chain on the concourse. So imagine my wonderment at seeing not just a bar virtually at the top the escalator by the high-speed line home to Kent at Stratford International, but an in-house microbrewery too. Situated on the outside corner of the Great Eastern Market area of ‘Olympic-tastic’ Westfield shopping centre lies this hoppy haven, not only for opportunist commuters but unkeen ‘shopping halves’ too. It must be a tall order making a place like this feel as welcoming as your local back home when the place has glass walls and a shopping centre out front, but it’s been done well. When I visited tonight there were no less than ten unusual-suspect keg beers on (US beers, wheat beers, etc) and five closer-to-home ales on handpump. I opted for an amber ale, London Extra, (5.6%) sketched above, which was excellent. Apparently the guys running thi…

Keith’s wooden house

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Last month my old college friend Ben, my brother and myself took off on a circular cycling tour around Bordeaux. This is my brother’s friend Keith’s place, nestled in a huge woods. He built the place himself and was kind enough to put us up for the night. Not only were we treated to a huge chili con carne, but lashings of local red wine and Keith’s performances late into the night on slide guitar and spoons! Definitely our most raucous night of the entire trip. Thanks Keith - this painting’s winging its way to you as a ‘thank you’ ; )Black Indian ink (via dip pen) and Winsor & Newton watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm NOT paper.

Red & green hen (• SOLD 13 Jan 2013)

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A random hen for the show (it can’t all be about fish, fishermen and that maritime stuff). A big puddle of plain water was laid down for this in the shape of the body and pigment dropped into that puddle once only the sheen of water remained. (You need to use big, bold water-loaded squirrel mops for this). The result, rather like a photographer’s experience in the darkroom, is a joy, watching the colours blend, dominate and develop in front of your eyes. Minor leg and head details/caption were added with a dip pen and ultramarine ink. The downy feathers of the hen’s rear was achieved beyond the puddle area, dragging out the pigment eastwards with a dry squirrel brush, across untouched paper. It’s best, again for simplicity’s sake, to stick to just a couple of colours when experimenting like this. Winsor & Newton watercolour on Two Rivers handmade paper (rough). SOLD 13 Jan 2013
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Another current exhibition piece and again using a ‘Pierre Noir’ pencil/watercolour. I had used a 7B graphite pencil but it was still looking weak, thus the more graphic treatment. A big dry squirrel mop brush also ensured a similar simplicity of stroke in the watercolour work.

Whitstable harbour

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A new painting for my current show at The Horsebridge Arts & Community Centre, the harbour itself only a minute’s walk from the gallery. A simplified and graphic interpretation, it sums up the spirit of the harbour which still has a working fishing role to play. The show goes on until next Tuesday 9th October 2012 in Gallery 2. Drawn in (appropriately) a ‘Pierre Noir’ pencil which gives a very punchy line which works well with large, strong and simple compositions. Winsor & Newton watercolour with Pierre Noir pencil on The Langton 300 gsm rough grain fin paper, (with a touch of wax for foreground texture).

Cafetiére, painted in coffee

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What better way to paint my trusty cafétiere than coffee itself? Espresso in fact. Plus a little help with a dash of Indian ink (linework) via a scratch pen. Black coffee and Indian ink on rough 300gsm Khadi Indian handmade paper.

‘The Granville III}‘’ pub, Lower Hardres, Kent

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This pub, ‘The Granville’ has been displaying some of my work for a while now and I will also be exhibiting at its ‘sister pub’, The Sportsman at Seasalter near Whitstable, in November and December this year. This is one of a few informal watercolours available to purchase over the bar in the pub. Winsor & Newton watercolour on The Langton Prestige Grain Fin 300gsm paper.

Hand-painted ‘Pirate Tom’ sign

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Still on the subject of swashbuckling pirates, here’s a hand-painted flotsam-style sign I made this morning for a client’s son. Painted in gold enamel and acrylic paints on old pine, scrollsaw-cut for that ‘just-washed-onshore-after-that-shipwreck-look’. Commissions available upon request.

Herne Bay Festival kids’ tee shirt art

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A final version of my Herne Bay Festival kids’ tee shirt in black on white, with a few minor changes.




Hand-drawn Whitstable icons print

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For lovers of ‘The Bubble’, a reminder on the wall of why they keep going back to this lovely north Kent seaside town. Famous for its oysters and Oyster Festival, the Hammer House of Horrors actor Peter Cushing and the brass diving helmet (it was invented here). Whether a beer at ‘The Neppy’ is you bag or a plate of fish and chips on the beach is more your style, there’s sure to be a personal favourite on here. Printed on archival-quality A3 (297mm wide x 420mm high) paper with great lightfastness. Buy one on FolksyOriginal was painted with brush and black Indian ink, plus marker pens.

More Herne Bay Festival kids' tee ideas...

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Design for the Herne Bay Festival kids’ tee shirt

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This is a low-res mock-up of my recommendation for the kids’ Herne Bay Festival tee shirt. Looking suitably piratey, the focal point is a burning fire sculpture of a pirate ship which will be featuring at the event.

Wall design idea for ‘The Beaney’, Canterbury

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Herne Bay Festival 2012 commission

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I have just met up with a Canterbury City Council (CCC) client and have been asked to come up with a kids’ tee shirt design in one colour for The Herne Bay Festival 2012 in August, so watch this space. I will post up the 1st stage scamps (pencil sketches) here next week. The festival is a 9 day event with music, street theatre,dance, bandstand performances, workshops and entertainment and this year the festival is 20 years old. I hope to incorporate many of the following in the tee shirt design: Pirate & Lantern Parade; a Giant; a Crab Catching Competition; Spitfire/Breitling/Mustang air displays; an Open Air Screening; Science Museum Shows; a Sandcastle competition; a Giant Picnic and Fireworks, so my work is cut out, as they say. Oh, and a Punch and Judy Show, of course.

Tracy’s Tailormade Tea Towel - the devil’s in the detail

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I’ve been asked to show some of the detail in this tea towel close-up, so here are the shots showing some of the many small illustrations that make up parts of the whole...

Tracy’s tailormade tea towel - printed sample

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Artwork for 2012 tea towel

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All of the original linework for this was hand-painted by brush and ink, even the fonts, then scanned and composed with Photoshop. With a characteristic visual twist, this design depicts The London Eye as an Olympian’s rear bicycle wheel and is surrounded by amusing details of a typically varied collection of London spectators. Look out for the lost tourist, the 'proposal couple' and even a wandering gander! (See detail pics). To be printed in 'Union Jack red and blue' and now available as an art print at Folksy and Etsy and soon available as a tea towel (July 2012).