Archive for July, 2010


Saturday, July 31st, 2010

I decided to buy myself a second Moleskine sketchbook (I know, I’m sorry, it would seem I am a fashion victim but I just like them). This time I bought the small size one as I just wanted something to doodle in, I really want these to be the things that I draw from memory, imagination or by combining reference materials. So far this has worked out OK. I have always thought this size was too small but it has turned out perfect for this type of drawing.

A Selection of Hats

Friday, July 30th, 2010

This should be the last of my Silverstone posts. Here are the selection of hats we purchased during the race weekend. Yes I was wearing the rocket red one for the race. I just had to support Button at his home circuit. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see a British win but Hamilton took 2nd and Button did well to reach 4th from 14th on the grid. Mat was sporting the rather more classy looking Lotus green and yellow and got to watch them overtake right in front of him.

British Grand Prix Race Day

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Here is my sketch of the view from the stand at Becketts during the race. The stand you can see on the right hand side of this drawing is the stand I sketched from overlooking the Loop on the first day (the stand we sat in at Becketts can be seen in my sketch from day 1. I was very surprised that only one person asked to have a look at any of my sketches during the weekend and this was after the main race had finished and most of the crowd had left, normally people seem to be a lot more nosey.

British F1 GP Day 2

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Below is a sketch I did during qualifying on the Saturday at Silverstone overlooking the new Abbey curve and a quick sketch In the campsite towards the end of the day. We decided to go for the ‘Lively’ camping tickets. We now know that this means that most of the people camping in this area stop at every motorway service area on the way and buy up all of the cheesy driving music CDs so that they can play them non-stop. Or alternatively they provide their own music by repeating ‘oh-oh-oh baby, ooh ahh, I wanna kno-o-o-o-o-ow if you’ll be my girl’ over and over and over and…..

British Grand Prix

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

I’m afraid it has taken me a little while to get around to posting this, been a bit busy having a new kitchen fitted amongst other things.

My lovely husband bought us tickets for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this year. We had never been before so we decided to make a mini holiday out of it and go from the Thursday until the Sunday. Mat decided to hire a camper van for us, as you can see from the photo below this was interesting to drive down the road in!

I also did some sketching while we were there. Below are a couple of pages I did on the Friday. The first are a few random quick sketches. The second is the view during free practice 1 from the covered stands overlooking the Loop, one of the corners in the new section of track. The whole weekend there was glorious hot sunshine and lovely blue skies. While sketching this I was sat in the shade drinking an ice cold cider and quite isolated as I needed to wear earplugs. By the time I had finished the sketch I felt wonderfully relaxed.

On the Way Home From Work

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

We’ve had some really good weather in London recently. A couple of weeks ago I decided it was too nice to go underground and travel home by tube as I normally do so I took a bus to London bridge and walked down the river and across tower bridge. On the way I came across a jazz band playing at the scoop. In the summer they often put on free concerts, performances and outdoor cinema screenings. I decided to stop and have a cider while I did a few quick and poor sketches of the band. I really need more practice at sketching people quickly.

iPhone Photos of Portsmouth

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

My weekend in Portsmouth was my first weekend with my new iPhone (Yes I was one of the idiots who queued for the iPhone 4). I have to say though, idiot or not I am very impressed with it so far. As a very portable point and shoot camera it is now not bad and the higher definition screen makes viewing photos lovely.

Yes I know, there have been much cheaper and better quality camera phones on the market for some time now. Some of those phones can do everything mine can, probably plus a bit more. And yes it does irritate me that Apple limit what I can do with my product and refuse to make it easy to sync with a PC trying to force me into buying a mac. But I can’t help it, I just love the way my iPhone works and as much as people hate apple you have to admit they spend a lot of time and energy on getting their products right. I can’t see how that’s a bad thing.

Oh and that last photo?…There was a bunk bed over our bed in the hotel so Mat built a fort :) Who says we have to be adults anyway? :)

Weekend in Portsmouth

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

A few weekends ago Mat and I went back to Portsmouth for a reunion with some of our friends from University. It was a very hot weekend and in the middle of the first night there was a fire in a substation that serves pretty much the whole of the island. This caused a power cut throughout Pompey that lasted most of the weekend (and knocked out the air con in our hotel room). Some shops and businesses had limited power (enough to run tills, beer pumps and kitchens) but vast swathes of Portsmouth had to stay shut.

We spent Saturday morning having a couple of drinks around Spice Island in Old Portsmouth (my favourite part of the city) and then decided to escape to the futuristic Isle of White (where they have working light bulbs, air con and cash machines) by hovercraft (prompting at least one chorus of ‘She’s got a ticket to Ryde’ from Mat).

Most of us had to leave early on the Sunday (27th June), so at the last minute I decided to let Mat go home without me so that I could stay and sketch. I decided to head back to Old Portsmouth and to the sea wall as it was such a beautiful day and the sea and sky were both a perfect lovely blue.

I chose a spot on a fishing pier and started sketching the square tower. While I was there several people stopped to have a look at what I was doing and made some very nice comments. Also there were several young lads climbing the railings next to where I was sitting and egging each other into jumping in. I overheard a couple of slightly older lads talking loudly with great bravado about jumping in from the top of the square tower. Sure enough a few minutes later they were standing on the top looking down (you can see them on my sketch) but they chickened out in the end :)

The sketch took about 3 hours and though I thought I had covered myself in suntan lotion I had missed bits so I ended up with burnt stripes on my shoulders and on the insides of my lower legs where I was sat cross legged.

The photo shows where I sketched from. I was sitting just to the right of the lamppost in the middle. Unfortunately the scan of my sketch is a little washed out so imagine more colour ;)


Thursday, July 8th, 2010

On 18th June I went to a special one off live show of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a clue at the Royal Festival Hall hosted by Rob Brydon as part of the Meltdown Festival (Thanks to my friend Naomi who let me have her spare ticket).

I am not a particular fan of the show (as Naomi is) but it reminds me of long car journeys with my parents, years ago, when they had control of the radio. I probably wouldn’t have admitted it at the time but this was one of the only radio 4 shows I quite liked.

When we arrived in the auditorium each seat had a kazoo waiting for it’s new owner. These, it was explained, were provided in recognition of the world cup, to show that the Brits have a musical instrument just as noisy and annoying as the vuvuzela (there was an England match that night, which turned out to be quite worth missing).

The Kazoos were used towards the end of the second half of the show. The audience were shown a song title and after being played in by a completely unrelated intro on the piano we then had to play the tunes on our kazoos for the panel to guess the song. We were instructed that if the panel guessed incorrectly the whole audience had to carry on playing the song from the point we had left off when they had buzzed in. After several not so musical interludes and a lot of giggling through kazoos they managed to guess the two songs correctly as the William Tell Overture and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (Although the latter took several attempts and finally a solo performance from one poor soul at the front).

This was the first time I had seen the inside of the Royal Festival Hall. I had not been sure what to expect from such a modern building but I found it rather beautiful. All in all this was a thoroughly enjoyable night.

Below is a little pencil crayon doodle I did of my kazoo.

View From Tower Pier

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

13th June was a Sunday and as we hadn’t planned anything else I thought I would take a little trip out to sketch. I couldn’t decide where to go, Mat suggested the Tower of London (I can get in for a quid as I live in the same borough). Seemed like a good idea but when I got there it was due to shut in half an hour and I knew that would not give me enough time. I had a little wander round and everywhere was looking a little too crowded for my liking. But then I saw the pier.

I walked on and asked the guy collecting tickets if I could just sit down to draw. He looked at me like I was crazy but pointed to the row of seats.

Apart from the odd river cruise boat mooring up in front of me for a few mins and the queues of tourists, who seem too busy looking at everything around them to notice that they don’t make good windows for the strange girl with the pad and paints who they are standing directly in front of, all went well… Until I had just started to add the colour, when the Dixie Queen (a huge replica paddle steamer, which seems to neither paddle nor steam) moored up in front of me and looked set to stay for some time. I had to move to one side which meant that all of the reflections off the glass buildings were at the wrong angle. But I was still very pleased with the result and had really enjoyed myself.

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