Archive for the ‘Still Life’ Category


Sunday, August 28th, 2011

While I was on holiday with family in Cornwall this year my youngest niece came back from a day out with this lovely little cuddly pig. It is made out of a really soft plush corduroy with a really interesting texture. I couldn’t resist trying to capture this little character on paper.

This was quite a quick sketch. I started by blocking out the colour of the pig and it’s shadow using watercolours with a large brush. I then added the shade using pencil crayon and finally picked out the highlight colour and texture of the corduroy using a white conte crayon and using the rough grain of the watercolour paper.

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!

My headphones…They saved my life

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

I have had a go at detailed drawing using Layers Pro on the iPad. I was quite impressed at the level of detail possible with this app especially using a stylus. The stylus I use is basically a thin tube of metal with a bit of conductive foam stuffed into one end. It is not as precise as an ordinary stylus is on a resistive touch screen. With the capacitive touch screen on the iPad you have to use a fair bit of pressure for it to register contact and you have to zoom right in when you need to position lines precisely.

The result is that I found it difficult to get the shape of my headphones correct. The shape still isn’t right but I got it as close as I could.

I decided to draw my headphones as they are my favourite pair and I spend so much of my time wearing them. Lovely and comfy, though they are a little warm for this time of year, also lovely sound quality and noise isolation. The title btw is a song lyric but I doubt many people would know the song. Feel free to guess.

Welcome to Your New Home

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

First of all some obvious news…With help from Mat I have finally got around to to setting up a permanent home for my blog. I have also found a theme that I like and customised it a bit with some of my drawings. (although I did not know how to do a lot of what Mat showed me I was a little perturbed by how much I understood. I think over the years I have absorbed a lot more geekyness through proximity to Mat than I had thought! ;)

This is quite a boring post so I decided to decorate it with the original scans used for my blog banner:

Sketching kit drawn with materials shown

I have also been thinking about what else I want to keep on this blog. A couple of years ago I found a book cataloguing service through Facebook called Visual Bookshelf (provided by Living Social). I found this a very useful way of keeping track of the books I had been reading and keeping a note of books I wanted to read when I couldn’t afford to buy them straight away. It was also a great source for reviews etc. Unfortunately since I started to use it, Visual bookshelf has actually got more difficult to use and has lost functionality (iPhone app and blog widgets are no longer available).

Although I started this blog mainly to make sure I don’t stop sketching, I dare say I will probably use it to talk about books now and then as what I am reading, just like the music I listen to has such an effect on my mood.

Camera – pen and ink and watercolour and white gel pen

I really wanted to add some kind of widget to my blog showing what I am reading and the favourite books that I will read again and again. As visual Bookshelf no longer let’s you do this I decided to export my collection to a new service. But which one to choose? I had a look around and found that LibraryThing and Goodreads seem to do what I want (ability to import and export my collection, a customisable non-flash based widget to use on my blog, a facebook app and an iPhone app). I couldn’t find out much more from their websites so I decided I would test Goodreads for a bit and see how it goes as that seems to be more widely used.

Importing my collection was really easy and I quite like that you can add custom bookshelves as well as the standard, read, reading and want to read. I’m not convinced by the Javascript widget yet, it seemed to be broken when I first put it in, but it is now working (after I fiddled with it a bit and then gave up and asked Mat to sort the rest out for me) and I think it looks OK.

Headphones – Zig real brush pens and water brush and white gel pen

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.


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.

Here Goes…

Monday, June 28th, 2010

I have been meaning to start a blog for a little while but every time I sat down to type I couldn’t think what to post. However I finally have something to start posting even if it is only useful and/or interesting to me.

When I was 15 and had to choose what A-Level subjects I wanted to take I could not decide whether I wanted to pursue a career in something like Physics or Engineering or go down a completely different route to do something like Graphic Design. I decided to hedge my bets and take 4 A-Levels (Maths, Physics, Chemistry & Art). Towards the end of the lower 6th it became clear that I needed to make a choice. I was no longer keeping up with the science subjects especially Chemistry and I was no longer producing very good pieces for my Art A-Level and no where near the quantity of prep work that was expected of me. Something had to be dropped and I decided that Physics would be more interesting and useful and so the Art had to go.

I promised myself that just because I was giving up my course I wouldn’t give up drawing but I hadn’t realised just how little I was enjoying it (probably because I was trying to cram in too much).

Since then I have tried several times to start sketching again, but every time I tried it was like I knew technically what to do but I could no longer feel what would be fun to draw or what would look good put down on paper. Finally last month after nearly 13 years (and, I assume, as a result of following a few sketch blogs – in particular Urban Sketchers) I started to draw again and I started to really enjoy it. I now find myself walking around seeing things in a different way that I realise I have missed for quite a while.

I have decided to start putting a few of my sketches up on this blog in the hope that collecting them together in an easy to view way will keep me inspired to carry on.

Here are a couple of the first sketches I have done since 21st May this year:

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Amy Stace published on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Reading Now
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