November 15, 2010
St Michael, Cornhill, City of London
It was another cold day for outdoor sketching, one figure temperatures and rain. I spent a good 40 minutes in the district line from Wimbledon to Tower Hill, I had forgotten how slow this line is! On my way to station I picked a bunch of leaves: a Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba) leaf and a very red leaf from another tree which I can't find the name. I tried to do some pencil sketches while I was in the tube, but I've found it a bit difficult to keep my hand steady. Although it was raining we did a tour around Pepys tramping ground and I stopped to sketch in St Michael's Alley. It took me a long time to get the sketch done as I wanted to use a pen & wash technique. Unfortunately, I didn't feel very confident using a pen straight away, so I did a pencil sketch first, then pen on top and some watercolours to finish off.....it took me over 1 hour to do that!!
November 12, 2010
I'm doing a pre-Christmas gift wrapping exercise these days. I have three different events to attend this weekend and all of them require a gift, so I thought why not experimenting with brown parcel paper, string and masking tape! I had this in mind for ages as I like the eco/recycling feel of this type of gift wrapping. Also, I finally managed to use the lino block print I made a while ago, although it still needs some improvement...I need to find a good tutorial on how to use it really!!
It'll be my friend's birthday this Sunday and I made for her a cute neck warmer much needed for this weather that suddenly turned cold without warning! The pattern is from Jane Richmond and can be downloaded for free from Ravelry. It was quite easy to knit, but I admit I had to start twice as I lost count of the rows and couldn't find my way out of it. I hope she'll like it!
November 07, 2010
I went to the local car boot sale this morning and got myself a box of 12 sticks of Pentel watersoluble chalk pastels for just £1. It was a bargain and although I'm not very fond of messy pastels I thought I'd give it a go in the afternoon. I picked one of those huge London Plane leaves on my way back; I draw the leaf contours with a 2B pencilon a sheet of Fabriano Accademia paper and then overlaid the various colours directly on the paper, blending them with a dry brush. I then decided to use a waterbrush on one side of the leaf, but the results was a bit muddy and didn't particularly like it that much. I will definitely try them again, maybe mixing them with watercolour.
November 02, 2010
I've almost completed the painting for this year Christmas cards. The big leaf right in front is far too big and the shape isn't quite right, also the berries were not very round at all, but hey it is known that holly is not easy to paint! I'll wait for the go ahead, or most likely the list of adjustments to make, from my teacher tomorrow evening and then off to the printer.
October 30, 2010
I finally sewed together all the pieces for my knitting needle roll! This first one will be for me, the next one I'll be making will be a Christmas present for a knitter friend. Hopefully, I'll make less mistakes that I did with this one....still can't get the hand stitching done properly, hence the zigzag stitch at the bottom :)
October 22, 2010
My blanket is finally finished! It has been a very long term project, started back at the beginning of this year. I collected several second hand sweaters from charity shops and then felted them using a hot cycle in the washing machine. My mum helped me cut the squares in three different sizes and when I had enough of them I hand stitched each piece together using some gray cotton yarn. I did try sewing the pieces using the sewing machine, but I think a more rough and chunkier final look suited this material better. I'm quite pleased on how it turned out and believe me it is so warm and comfy that we can't watch tv on the couch without it anymore!
October 21, 2010
The exhibition at the Crypt is finally off after two weeks. It was hard work to get things done properly and on time, but it all went very well. I sold one painting and we received lots of positive comments from visitors. I'm hoping to be more prepared for the next one, so I can enjoy it more and stress less!
My bag needed a bit of revamping, the fake flower brooch was really not in decent conditions anymore! The idea just kicked: I made a crocheted flower with some some scrap white yarn, put some patterned fabric at the back and a button in front and voilà....my bag is ready to be worn again!
October 11, 2010
I did these two sketches during the first two watercolour classes, after the summer break. The poppy was done following an exercise on my teacher's book to help loosen up the style for painting flowers. I enjoyed it very much, but still the overall result was a bit of a muddy effect and the red colour of the flower didn't really show. The second was based on a real oak branch which I picked from the ground on my way back from work. The colours were so autumnal, I wish there was some red colour in it as well...
I'm so getting addicted to felt!! I bought some wool sweater from the charity shop just before summer, and after tossing them into the washer and washing them with soap on a hot cycle, they shrank like crazy! I then cut them in squares of three different sizes; they'll make a very warm winter blanket, perfect for a cosy night on the couch!
The other project I'm working on is a knitting needles roll. The pattern came from here, and it just looks wonderful. I'm currently in the process of making two of those as Christmas presents, but I'm thinking of making one for myself too!
October 05, 2010
My first exhibition ever! I've got six watercolour paintings hanging in the Crypt as part of the bankside group exhibition. It was a bit stressful to get everything ready for the day, but I made it. We'll have an informal private view on Sunday 10th October from 2pm, for friends and family. I hope I'll see some friendly faces there!
July 17, 2010
July 12, 2010
I took on a botanical painting class last September at the Landmark Art Centre in Teddington with botanical artist Marcia Hughes. I've always been fascinated by botanical illustration but never actually thought that I would have enough patience to try it. Still a long way to go, but I'm loving it...
July 06, 2010
Water Level Indicator
St Paul's Cathedral
I was reading the SAA July issue last night and I found the article on Allan Kirk’s sketching technique quite interesting. He uses Stabilo Fineliner pens for quick pen and wash studies to ‘capture the moment’. I had some coloured pens for some time now, but don’t use them very often as I prefer sketching with watercolours. I thought I would give it a go as the technique allows for really quick sketches on the move. I used some pictures I took during a boat trip on the
Thames; it took me about 15 minutes to do all three of them and the results were not as bad as I thought. I used heavy cartridge paper to minimize buckling, although I’d like to do some further tests using watercolour paper.