Archive for October, 2010

Hunterian Museum

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Last weekend I met up with the Drawing London on Location meetup group again for a visit to the Hunterian Museum. This is a museum of medical and surgical history, a collection of very strange gruesome exhibits including preserved dissected animal and human body parts many of which are deformed. It proved to provide some very strange but interesting subject matter for drawing. Seems somehow apt to be writing about this on Halloween.

Firstly I decided to try to draw the main room with all of it’s tall glass display cabinets which reach from floor to the top of the double height ceiling lining the sides of the mezzanine gallery. This was a very striking sight with all it’s brightly lit jars full of pickled body parts. However did not enjoy this sketch at all and once I had got about halfway through and realised I could not save it I rushed to the end to find something more enjoyable to draw. I then moved on to draw a couple of skulls. I remember my art department at school had a skull, there is something very satisfying about drawing skulls although you do find yourself wondering who they originally belonged to.

This was the first graphite pencil sketch i have done since I started drawing again. Very quick, easy and fun. Sorry for the poor blown out scan. I was using my A4 moleskine and a double spread will only fit in an A3 scanner. The A3 scanner I have access to doesn’t deal well with either colour or contrast.


Friday, October 29th, 2010

Last week I found a website that lists all the talks and lectures going on around London . I noticed that there was a lecture from Professor Frank Close about Neutrinos on Thursday that week at the Royal Institution. My friend Naomi, her partner Franc and I went along and had a very good evening rounded off with a very nice chinese meal in one of Franc’s favourite restaurants.

Neutrinos are tiny particles that are so small they have virtually no mass at all. As they are chargeless and nearly massless they are very difficult to detect but they are also very numerous, in fact billions of them are passing through your eyeballs as you read this. But this isn’t a Physics Blog so if you would like to know more the Wiki page is here

I did a quick sketch while the lecture took place and then added a bit of colour afterwards. I realised while I was there that this was the first Physics lecture I had been to since I graduated around 8 years ago.

Goodbye Jon

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

A couple of weekends ago Mat and I took a trip out to Bankside to meet a friend. I had a terrible cold but this trip had to be made as this was our last opportunity to see Jon before he flew halfway around the world to live with his partner Jo and their new baby daughter in New Zealand. Jon was one of our housemates and one of my best friends at university, he was also one of my bridesmaids at our wedding (don’t worry I didn’t make him wear a dress).

As I wasn’t feeling well I decided to keep my hands busy by sketching while we talked (so I wouldn’t be tempted to drink too much beer). I’m not good at concentrating on two things at once. I managed to keep up with the conversation OK but had to keep stopping. It feels so rude to talk to someone without giving them eye contact.

It was the last warm weather of the year so we were able to sit outside in the sun quite comfortably. I decided to draw Jon into the sketch to help me remember the day. (You can also see Mat’s Lap on the right, I think he is happier when I don’t draw him in).

I am very sad to be saying goodbye to Jon. Seeing him to say goodbye made me realise how little we had seen of him and Jo over the past few years and now we will probably not have the chance to see them again for some time. But I am also very excited for them starting this new chapter of their life together as a family.

Jon I’ll miss you! I wish you all the best and really hope we keep in touch!

Tate Modern

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Here’s the sketch I did inside Tate Modern. This took quite a while, I’m too old to sit cross legged on a concrete floor for so long. I kept getting dead legs. Otherwise it was quite fun.

I also had another play around with Autostitch on the way home, it’s by no means perfect but it’s so easy. I’m quite impressed.

Check Out the Angry Sky Over London

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

I had to work this morning so after I finished I decided to pop into the Tate Modern as it was close by. Check out the photo of the angry sky over the city. I took this as 2 photos on my iPhone then stitched them together using the Autostitch App.

It is very busy here today and everyone seems to be taking photos of the artwork. Quite annoying as I have to keep dodging out of photos while I try to look at work on the walls. I might sit and sketch for a bit before I head home as the heavens have now opened, as Terry Pratchett puts it – the rain is like the sea cut into strips.

Last Day in Northumberland

Friday, October 15th, 2010

On our last day in Northumberland Mat and I took a walk along the beach from Beadnell to Low Newton by the Sea. When we got there we sat outside The Ship Inn and had lunch and a couple of pints of very nice beer brewed in their on site microbrewery.

Mat decided that we couldn’t walk back ;) so his Dad came to pick us up. I did this 20 minute sketch of Dunstanburgh Castle using Conte Crayon while we waited at the top of the hill above the village.

This was my last sketch in Beadnell also drawn on the last day.

Alnwick and Bamburgh

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

A few photos I took at Alnwick Gardens, Alnwick Castle and along the coast between Beadnell and Bamburgh. I took the first 11 of these on my iPhone 4 and had a play around with the new HDR function on a couple of them (I’m quite impressed with it btw). The last 4 are taken on my DSLR using Mat’s lovely 10-22mm lens (I love that lens, I would love one of my own but can hardly justify it).

I’ve been trying to post these photos for days but just before uploading them I noticed an update to the iPad WordPress App and stupidly decided to install it. They have since released another update to ‘fix some bugs’ but even after installing that it seems to crash every minute or so. It is very buggy when uploading multiple photos, gets very confused over aspect ratios of photos especially when switching between landscape and portrait, it now doesn’t want to let me delete posts and won’t let me change the publish date. It took much longer to post this than it would have on the earlier version. The problems are so many and so glaringly obvious I really don’t understand why they rolled out the update. Very frustrating as I don’t really have access to post from a PC unless I stay late at work which I don’t want to do.

Beadnell Bay

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

I need to get caught up as I’m a little behind with my blog at the moment. A few weeks ago I spent a week on holiday in Beadnell in Northumberland with Mat and his side of our family. While we were there I managed to fit in a few sketches. This one shows Beadnell Bay in brush pen and watercolour.


Monday, October 4th, 2010

While we were in the pub after the meetup the weekend before last, Andrew introduced us to an amusing game similar to pictionary.

1) Everyone writes a phrase or saying at the top of a piece of paper.
2) Everyone passes their paper to the person to their left.
3) Everyone draws their interpretation of the saying under the phrase they have been given.
4) Everyone folds the paper over the phrase and passes their paper to the person to their left.
5) Looking at the pictures only everyone guesses the phrase and writes it under the picture.
6) Everyone folds the paper over the picture leaving only the guessed phrase showing and passes the paper to their left.
7) everyone draws their interpretation of the guessed phrase.
8) Go to step 4 and repeat until the paper is full.

Below are a couple of the results.

Drawing on Location Meetup Hackney City Farm

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I have been looking around online for some other people who sketch in London and I recently found a Meetup group who meet once a fortnight to go drawing on location around London. The weekend before last I went to join them at Hackney City Farm and then Victoria Park. Two places quite close to home, the first I did not even know existed and the second is a place I’ve been meaning to go sketching for a while. I had a play around in grayscale at the farm using three shades of grey Kuretake Zig Real Brushpens and then did a little conte crayon sketch of the Victorian water fountain at the park. We finished up in a pub to check out each others sketches over a few drinks. It was great to meet some other sketchers, all in all a very enjoyable day.

this piggy in the middle snored very peacefully the whole time I was sketching her

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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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Tickling the English
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Thinking In Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
What Alice Forgot
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