June 2020 Sketchbook

These are the few sketches I did in June that weren’t of buildings on Mill Road. People, and flowers. Not buildings!

Mill Road Brookfields to Parkside (South side)

This sketchbook goes all the way down one side of Mill Road and Brookfields.

Mill Road, June 2021

Another month took me further down Mill Road, over the bridge. I’ll put all these together into one book once I got to the end, but I need to re-photograph some of the May ones first.

Mill Road, May 2021

This month I bought a new, landscape sketchbook and started working my way down Mill Road, starting from the pub called The Brook, which is actually on Brookfields. Here are the first pages.

May 2021 Sketchbook

A slightly longer sketchbook than April, May still visits the familiar themes of cars, violin practice and dirty dishes. Once again this book does not show me making sketchbook art every day, because I started the Mill Road project this month, and that has its own sketchbook.

April 2021 Sketchbook

April’s sketchbook features some Welsh sheep, cars on the street, and a few spring flowers.

Drawing Children

School invited me to add some illustrations to their upcoming cookbook. Wanted pictures of children, as well as food, that would look okay printed on a black and white laser printer. Some initial sketches, not shown here, revealed that I don’t know how to draw children. I knew that children’s proportions differ from adults, but I’d never really investigated how. So I did a bunch of kids faces from reference photos.

This felt a bit like #OneWeek100People all over again. But different. And afterwards I felt much more confident to draw children. Turns out not only are their eyes larger but also further apart with a wide flat area each side of the nose. Their jaws are smaller so their ears are relatively lower on the head. All great learning!

March 2021 Sketchbook

Here is the March sketchbook

On Size

The #OneWeek100People sketches from March have their own book. My daughter’s school is making a cookbook for which I made illustrations. Those aren’t included here; they have their own post.

Also this month I started Liz Stee’ls Watercolour Course. Most of that is excluded from this book, though the two annotated studies of Scottish hills on page 16-17 are from that.

All in all its a shorter sketchbook than some recent months.

On Quality

My new A4 hard-back sketchbook is slightly too big to fit into the “A4” scanner. The pages would fit but the cover doesn’t which pulls the spine up and makes the pages blur towards the edge. So I have been experimenting with photographing these pages. The results are a bit hit and miss.

March 2021 #OneWeek100people

8-12 March was #OneWeek100People, an online sketching challenge by Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel. I was too busy to blog these as I went along. Somehow I ended up doing direct watercolour studies and they were taking several hours. I was working from photographs this year, and I wanted to do full bodies. As you see I started with brush pen but quickly switched to line. The line wasn’t making me happy. I wanted to do this challenge with a brush. So I switched back to watercolour and ended up doing these rather fussy colour studies. I tried to simplify and be more loose. The image I chose for the cover is a good example of that working well (See if you can find him in the sketchbook).

Working from photos is a bit strange. I wonder how much my ability to choose a pose influences what I produced in this challenge. Working directly in paint means thinking in shapes. So it was good practice and negative and positive painting, and leaving white space gaps (though there are plenty of unintended runs). I think that might be mainly what I learned this past week.

February 2021 Sketchbook

This was a cold month, with snow, frost and grey uninteresting skies; lots of violin lessons, knitting, and zoom calls; parked cars and dirty dishes after a meal. I moved away from the yellow pages of the Tallens Art Creation sketchbook to pure white Stillman & Birn paper and, as the sun started to shine, I began to see the world in colour again.