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Showing posts from 2013

‘The old ones are the best’ hand-chalked greetings card

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It’s good to chalk. ‘The old ones are the best’ is our first in a new line of www.haveagander.biz hand-chalked cards. There is a dearth of ‘chalk-like’ effects that you can computer-generate. They are all poor imitations. You don’t get the subtle things happening naturally that make it authentic, like dusty ‘ghosting’ on the blackboard, or the beautifully imperfect line. Unsurprisingly only the real thing looks properly convincing, so this is real chalk - Stephen’s brand, from nearby Folkestone in Kent, UK, in fact, on a real blackboard.” Chalk & blackboard.

‘Jolly girl’ cycling card

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To sit alongside our www.haveagander.biz ‘Spiffing gent on a penny farthing’ greetings card, we needed a female counterpart. Hand-drawn in pen and ink, I used digital colour on the illustration and a traditional watercolour wash for the background.

Gurnard (AKA ‘Sea Robin, etc’)

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I bought a small shoal of these sustainable fish (well, half a dozen) at Whitstable fish market a few weeks back, for a fish curry. British chefs are said to remark ‘Ugly fish, tasty dish’. And true enough, my gurnard were very tasty. But I think they are rather lovely-looking too. Compared to the usual cod or pollack, gurnard look like the kind of exotic fish you’d find in Mauritius, not Margate, but apparently they are quite common around local Kent shores. The one shown is a tub gurnard, probably the most colourful, with its electric-blue edging to its huge pectoral fins (the others are ‘red’ and ‘grey’ gurnard). They are also known ‘Croaker’ as they emit a croaking noise when caught. Other names include ‘soldier’, elleck’ and ‘rotchet’, depending on where you live. They are also far more interesting because not only do they have armoured heads, but they also possess ‘legs’ (thus also called ‘feeler fish’) behind their front fins for walking with. And, as if all of the above isn’t…

Red Sands Radio Christmas Card pen & ink

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Latest inky work for Bob Le Roi, radio presenter at local radio station Red Sands. The original is hand-drawn with scratch (dip) pen and ink, with watercolour. Santa is seen descending into one of the ‘Maunsell Forts’, a set of WWII anti-aircraft battlements still seen off the coast here in the Thames estuary in north Kent and once where Red Sands Radio transmitted from in the 60s.

Fishing lure 131015

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Despite being an avid fisherman, I must admit to never having mastered the lure, admiring from afar their beauty as objects but that’s as far as it goes (so far). This one sports a chunky diving vane on its lower lip and a ruddy throat which I understand throws the intended quarry into a lusty attack, thinking that the faux fish is injured. Unusually for me, I used masking fluid for the hard-edged spine highlight as it does give a strong effect (usually I bring wax to the art table for similar effect). The white/cream paper, though full of texture (Hahnemuele Andalucia 500gsm board) lacked a certain something, so I cut out a fish-body-sized mask of paper and lay it on top of the coloured fish. Then sprayed it freely with blobs of watercolour paint tapped over the back of the hand for that more characterful bespattered look.

Fiona’s Converse

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I’ve always wanted to draw these iconic shoes from my youth and my wife Fiona wears them, so I got her to part with them for an hour. The drawing was done sans sketch/pencil 1st, so it remains nice and loose with a spontaneous feel. Ink and dip pen with watercolour (mostly Payne’s Grey) on Hahnemuhle Andalucia 500gsm paper.

Seaside figures for Putterfingers

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Commissions for www.putterfingers.co.uk a Suffolk-based mini-golf company. Set of 9. Original: Ink and watercolour on 300gsm The Langton Grain Fin paper.

Seaside characters for Putterfingers.co.uk

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Commission for www.putterfingers.co.uk a Suffolk-based mini-golf company. 1 of 9. Original: Ink  and watercolour on 300gsm The Langton Grain Fin paper.

Washingborough Hall commission

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I posted a painting of a French chateau I painted during a holiday recently and it was seen on Facebook by an owner of Washingborough Hall in Lincolnshire, UK. She asked me if I took commissions and last week I drove 200 miles north, and during a beautifully warm September day, I produced this set of paintings for her. Watercolour and permanent pen on Winsor & Newton 300gsm Grain Fin paper.

Inked ‘Cockerel’

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A new www.haveagander.biz addition to the ‘Menagerie’ series of hand-painted animals which we make into rubber stamps and hand-print onto greetings cards.

Blackboard for Rosie’s Wedding

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Conference pear

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Before I ate this Conference pear I was taken by its textured skin and so took to painting it first! My piece of broken wax candle served to impart the texture via washes of watercolour over subsequent wax resist marks. Extra linear marks and white highlight were added with blue, sepia and white Conté sticks. Watercolour on The Langton 300gsm (rough) paper.

‘Alias Smith & Jones’ hand-lettered image for Photo Mosaic

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The top pic is one of my wife Fiona’s ‘Photo Mosaics’. A tessellated square of many squares, they are given as gift to loved ones to celebrate birthdays and suchlike and are comprised of the tiniest detail to the big things in life. They are part photo, part scanned original art. Fiona does the photographic squares and I paint mini originals for the remaining ‘favourite TV programmes, brand of jeans/custard’, etc. Some come along that are really nice to do, such as the ‘Alias Smith & Jones’ panel, above. The original lettering was rendered in pencil and watercolour on paper as it the paint can have a lovely inconsistency when used in a ‘scrubbing’ fashion. This was later superimposed onto a scan of driftwood that I had, with transparency allowing the background through slightly.

‘Thank You’ swallow gift tag art

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Today I adapted the artwork of our ‘Swallow’ card www.notonthehighstreet.com/haveagander/product/hand-printed-swallow-card to customise it for a ‘Thank You’ gift tag & card. Original: The swallow image and new banner were hand-drawn in black ink with a brush and scratch (dip) pen.




New pig on the block

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This pretty porcine pencil drawing was sketched recently for a client who supplies no less than the Royal Family with the most handsome of hams and grandest of gammons. Those familiar with our piggy portfolio will recognise that the inspiration here was our pink ‘Pig Cuts’ tea towel. The final design will adorn aprons, tea towels and signage and, like every product with a Royal Warrant, one will be shown to Her Majesty for a Royal seal of approval, literally!

Hand-painted Easter eggs

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What could be more fitting than a handcrafted egg as a gift for Easter? The pastel-blue egg on the outer edges are ‘Clarence Court’ Old Cotswold Legbar eggs. The centre one has been painted with black ink, left to dry then painted again in white gouache, with letters added in the white banner with black ink.