Archive for June, 2011

Eden Project

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

I have just returned from a very relaxing week in Cornwall. Away from all mobile signal and although I did have access to the web and a TV I pretty much ended up avoiding both. I hadn’t planned to do this but I must admit it was nice to take a break and good to be back online again now :)

I haven’t been completely idle while I was away. I have recently finished a couple of larger pieces that I had been asked to produce for friends. These are larger detailed pieces and I will soon be selling prints of these and a few of my older pieces through this website and Etsy. I have been talking about doing this for a while but I have finally got around to doing my homework and I’m nearly there, so watch this space.

A while before we went away I checked to see if there would be any gigs at the Eden Project while we were in Cornwall and for once there was, so I got Mat and I a pair of tickets to see Primal Scream perform Screamadelica.

We decided to head down early and make a day of it as we hadn’t been around the gardens and biomes for a few years, plus it would give me the chance to get at least one location sketch done during the holiday. I set myself up on a bench with a good view of the valley for an hour or so to sketch. While I was there Primal Scream themselves turned up on the stage to sound test and played a few of their best known tracks.

I had to stop before I was finished, to go and see Robin Ince doing a short gig in the Mediterranean Biome. I was planning to finish the sketch from photos but on second thoughts I decided I quite like it unfinished.

I have wanted to catch a gig there since I found out that they use it as a concert venue some years ago on a previous holiday. It is such a beautiful peaceful place and the Biomes and gardens make for a dramatic backdrop especially after the sun sets and they start to light the place up. Check out my snaps below.

Apart from the main gig and warm up acts across three stages, a couple of other highlights of the day were drinking a baobab smoothy and when a lady in the rainforest Biome decided to complain to me about the noise of the sound tests and warm up acts and asked me if I agreed, ‘doesn’t it spoil the peace?’ I replied apologetically that as I had paid to see the concert, I couldn’t really comment. She then apologised to me, not sure why.

Pen Testing

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

I have previously mentioned that a while ago I was lucky enough to be sent some samples of Kuretake pens to try out.

For this doodle I used Zig brush writers and Zig Millennium 005 width (0.2mm) pens.

Zig brush writers are very similar to Zig clean colour realbrush pens in that they are water based and blendable and have real brush tips of a similar size. One difference is that the real brush pens seem to be available in slightly more colours though the colours in both ranges are very vibrant. The main difference though is that the brush writers have a large squeezy barrel that holds the ink. This can be squeezed to increase the flow. This can be used well for wet on wet watercolour like techniques, dripping ink into existing washes etc. Also there is a white ink brush writer available for mixing which can be useful. When mixed with the white pen the inks seem to dry with a slightly more glossy finish.

Zig Millennium pens have similar nibs to many other types of drawing pen like Faber Castel Pitt pens or pilot drawing pens. Zig millenniums’ inks are both archival quality and waterproof once dry. Also they are available in 9 different colours and 6 different nib sizes. A lot of the American bloggers I follow seem to hold Pigma Micron Pens in high esteem. I have been wondering what these are like for a while as they are not readily available in the UK and I finally managed to get hold of some this week. I have come to the conclusion that Pigma Microns are virtually identical to Zig Millennium pens except for the barrel and lid shape. The inks seem to be exactly the same except that the blues and reds are very slightly different shades (you have to look very hard to see the difference) and both sets of pens seem to boast the same properties (archival, waterproof etc). The Pigmas appear to be available in some extra colours in the larger size nibs but one less colour in the smallest nib size and the Pigmas are available in an extra nib size and a brush nib version. However, on the website I use, the Zig Millenniums come in a fair bit cheaper.

I am quite impressed with these pens especially the very fine line produced by the Zig Millenniums but I would love it if there was a darker sepia brown ink available for these the same as the pilot drawing pens whos nibs are not as fine as I would like.

East End Meetup

Monday, June 6th, 2011

A few weekends ago Drawing London on Location met up at Liverpool St Station for a sketch walk in Spitalfields, up Brick Lane towards Hoxton Square.

I started off with this very rushed 40 minute sketch of Spitalfields Market.


We then walked up to the top of Brick Lane. I had seen a couple of things that I fancied sketching but they were further back down the road. As we only had about 30 to 40 minutes and I was feeling too lazy to walk back, I twisted a couple of arms to get a few people to join me in a local bar to sketch a couple of quick portraits and so that I could drink a refreshing pint of cider ;).

The first is of Tom, The second is Andrew. This was the last spread in my Large Moleskine, finished around a year after I started drawing again.



After Brick Lane we walked over to Hoxton Square. We had planned to sit in the park there but it was closed for refurbishment so we headed over to the churchyard in Shoreditch. Most people chose to sketch each other (Adam’s sketch of me and a few others here) I chose to do this final sketch of the day of Boundry Rd in a new pocket Moleskine I have started, with the intention to keep it in my bag everyday in case I get the urge to sketch.

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