Archive for September, 2010

Trafalgar Square

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

A couple of weekends ago I was out and about and had a few hours free before I needed to be home so I decided to head up to the national gallery to have a quick look around before doing a quick sketch. Ever since visiting with school I have always liked looking at the impressionist collection in the National Gallery and now that I live in London I often take the opportunity to pop into one of the galleries and have a quick look if I am nearby. I have a feeling the free entry system may not last much longer so I feel I should make the most of it while it lasts.

This sketch shows the model of HMS victory in a giant bottle currently on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square by artist Yinka Shonibare

The perspective is all wrong and it looks more like a collection of objects rather than a tied together scene but I am quite pleased with parts of it like Nelson’s Column and the bottle.

Brush pen sketches

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

I’ve recently been playing with this black permanent ink brush pen. I have a more expensive refillable version from Pentel but I think I prefer the cheap disposable one from Muji. It is possible to get very fine strokes with this pen for detailed work or very broad strokes if you need them. It makes a fun pen to sketch with especially for sketching people. I just need to get brave enough to sketch more people in public. I find it very difficult to sketch someone without them working out what I am doing and people can react strangely. As you can see by the sketch of Mat I need a lot more practice!

Up on the cliff tops

Friday, September 17th, 2010

This is the last post from my week in Cornwall. I didn’t get out to sketch as much as I would have liked to but I did get time to walk up onto the cliff tops and do this quick sketch with conte crayon on pastel paper.

I like to see the old mine wheelhouses in Cornwall are well restored. You can see that these were very tough places to work and keeping them preserved serves as a good reminder of the difficult lives our previous generations lived so that we could live in such relative comfort. I remember my Grandad once saying of my generation ‘they really don’t know they’re born’, very true.

More Holiday Sketches

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

A couple more sketches from my holiday in Cornwall. I didn’t have much time for each of these hence them looking a little unfinished.

That said I still managed to get my left arm sunburnt while doing the first sketch. That is the second time I’ve got burnt while sketching, I think I just assume that there is no way the sun will be out long enough to burn in the UK. I will learn my lesson and buy a small squeezy bottle to put suntan lotion in that will fit in with my sketching gear.

I think the bird in this sketch is a kestrel. It kindly hovered and posed just in front of me for some time before suddenly diving to catch some lunch.

Summer’s Not Quite Finished Yet

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Face it, I’m English and am therefore obsessed with the weather…

Since the beginning of August my friends on Facebook and the Brits I follow on Twitter have been moaning that autumn has come early this year. I think this year has been a fantastic summer. We barely had any rain from around April to the end of July and then when the rain did come in August it was proper heavy quick hot summer stormy rain. As far as I’m concerned my summer is not over just yet.

This feels like the first year in a long time that we have had clear distinct seasons in the UK. Normally our seasons seem to range from a brief period of cold and dry, to an even briefer period of warmish, linked together by a whole lot of wet, grey and miserable. Maybe it is just because I have taken more advantage of the good weather to get out sketching this year.

We have taken the risk on the English weather three years running for our summer holidays and so far we’ve been lucky. We have had a few rainy days but these were all the better for hiding inside and catching up on the growing book pile (virtual book pile that is, it is far too easy to spend money on the Amazon Kindle). This year the weather was good enough that at least one evening we were able to sit out at the beach watching the sun set over the sea while drinking bottles of cold cider (yes we were sat on a park bench drinking cider straight from the bottle but the view made it classy OK?! ;)

Btw for an amusing take on the English obsession with the weather and more side splitting yet embarrassingly accurate observations of other English quirks please read the book Watching The English by Kate Fox I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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Amy Stace published on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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A Game of Thrones
Read Recently
Her Fearful Symmetry
Water for Elephants
A Week in December
Tickling the English
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
The Little Stranger
Thinking In Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
What Alice Forgot
Favorite Books
Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1
The Gargoyle
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Gentlemen and Players
Breaking Dawn
Midnight Sun
New Moon
The Hobbit
The Book Thief
The Matchmaker of Perigord
The Lollipop Shoes
The Day of the Triffids
The Subtle Knife
The Kraken Wakes