Tag Archives: Sketch book

Gifts

Gift from John

A few years ago John, our son, gave me a hefty 10 metre roll of lovely thick cartridge paper as well as a concertina sketch book with another 10 metres of drawing paper.

The roll of cartridge paper made me commit to that first long street drawing (you can look back on that here) but the sketch book has remained unopened until last week when I received another gift out of the blue from Laura – some Uniball pens. Now these are the pens I turn to first for my on-the-hoof street sketches as they are waterproof and lightfast and have a range of fine points giving pin-sharp lines.

Last Saturday was forecast fair so I took off to the historic market town of Leek, in the heart of the Staffordshire Moorlands, with my new pens and sketchbook. 1 Leek Church St

 

Leek has to be the friendliest town centre I’ve drawn in so far. It was a busy Saturday with a lot of people in town and although I was on Church Street, tucked out of sight of the main square, people still came over to see what I’d drawn and to pass the time of day with me. The sketches are pretty rough and ready but should help me get set up for the more formal drawing to follow.

2 Leek Church St Parker House
Parker House (16th Century), one of a number of medieval buildings in the town.

I’m planning on drawing a series of streets in Leek which I hope I will have ready in time to go up in a shared exhibition in November at the Foxlowe Art Centre when Staffordshire Artists Cooperative will be putting on a joint display of their work.

3 Leek Stockwell st Foxlowe
Foxlowe Arts Centre
4 Leek WHite HArt tea room Stockwell
White Hart Tea Room

I travelled light with my kit: a few Uniball unipin pens, a single ultramarine blue watercolour pan, a Pentel black ink brush and a waterbrush pen.  I go easy with the brush pens on this paper but it helps to add a bit of shading to the buildings by dabbing some of the ink into a jam jar lid (travel palette) to dilute it first.

5 leek Stockwell.jpg

 

urban sketch leek
Sketching on the go          
sky guys Leek
Not forgotten these two Sky gentlemen from my visit to Leek in 2014 – I will get round to including you on a drawing!

Thanks for reading

Ronnie

Porridge at Bill’s

Bills for breakfast
Starting the day with tea and porridge at Bill’s, Longacre

Last weekend we joined up with Crohns & Colitis UK fo their annual walk around London. It’s a great way to see our capital and better still, it gets the word out about the support that’s available for anyone who has Crohn’s or Colitis.

CkFv_QCWYAASh4S.jpg largeWe set off from Stoke Station in our purple tee-shirts. Once on the train, it wasn’t long before a lady offered us a donation; her sister was diagnosed 50 years ago, but back then it was something that wasn’t talked about at all. I found this a very moving gesture as I think that it is only in recent years that it is finally being brought to light and all credit to those who have worked so hard to raise its profile.

It was a day out for us and yes, I brought my sketch book!  I’ve had my head down recently gettting on with my icon diploma work as it’s only four months till our end of diploma exhibition in Shoreditch.

I enjoy sketching on-the-hoof and my favourite sketching has to be the half minute bus/train stop sketches….they’re  just thumbnail views of life on the go. Enough words – time for a few pictures!

train sketch 1
Train stop sketches
train sketches 2.jpg
Train stop sketches

 

london bus sketch 3a.jpg
Bus stop thumbnails

 

Whitehall
Skyline above Whitehall, London
whitehall old shades
Whitehall, The Old Shades, gable dated 1898
Lincolns Inn fields
Liquid lunch
no prizes
Opposite Condor bikes on Grays Inn Road

Thanks for reading,

Ronnie

Kindness of Strangers – Part Two

sketch of ice cream van
Perfect day for an ice cream

Only a few days after sketching my broken down car on the hardshoulder of the M6, I was sketching on the grass verge of Rosemarkie beach. Once again, I began to sketch a vehicle but this time it was Maureen’s ice cream van which caught my eye. I was lost in drawing so it took me by surprise when Maureen herself hopped out of her van to present me with an ice cream!

Following this kind gesture, my family were keen for me to sketch other eateries in Rosemarkie in the hope of free snacks for them too, but there is stiff competition from the local gulls.

Gull
Gulliver on the chimney of the Old School House, Rosemarkie

This is our sixth visit to Rosemarkie, a seaside village on the Black Isle, about 30 miles east of Inverness, full of lovely traditional buildings such as the Groam House Museum.

sketch of groam house Museum
Groam House Museum, Rosemarkie

For anyone interested in Celtic design, a collection of the work by George Bain is held here. He published the book ‘Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction’ in 1951, which did much to revive interest in the subject.

Beach Boule
Beach Boule, Rosemarkie

I will leave you with a sketch of the view from the Old School House.

Thanks for reading and keep on sketching – wherever you are.

Ronnie

sketch of Moray Firth
Moray Firth from the Old School House, Rosemarkie

Kindness of Strangers Part 1

pen and ink drawing of lorries on M6
Broken down but my pen is still working!

A couple of weeks ago, my car broke down in the midst of a tailback after a pile-up on the M6 northbound. It’s an alarming experience to be stranded in the central lane as the rest of the traffic began to surge ahead around me. As I rang the emergency services, a chap leapt out of his car beside me, beckoned to a few others and they pushed me over to the hardshoulder. It happened so fast that they were back in their cars and gone in a matter of seconds.

My heartfelt thanks to these strangers.

sketch of hardshoulder
View from the hardshoulder

Safely off the road,  I had my handbag, sketch book and pen so I got stuck into a few sketches. I never travel without these thanks to Sketchbook Skool.

sketch of weeds and insects
Scratching insect
drawing weeds
Spikey leaves and flowers
drawing feet
Feet make a good subject to sketch
drawing in sketch book of hands
Saddle Sore

Eventually, the recovery vehicle towed me back to the garage shortly before closing.  The AA man and Kwik Fit  lads pushed my car into shelter in pouring rain ready for Ryan of Rytech to work on it the following week. Thanks lads.

I was supposed to be collecting my American family from Manchester Airport and my husband was supposed to be going to his friend and colleague’s funeral, but none of this went to plan. This day could have felt a write-off  but with the kindness of strangers and a sketchbook and pen, I can reflect on it in quite a different light.

Thanks for reading.

Ronneie

Sketches from the North

pen and ink sketch of Loch Lomond seaplane
Waiting for our turn on the Loch Lomond seaplane

In between drawing streets and icon diploma course work, I love to sketch whenever I get a spare moment. It means that waiting for the dentist, or whatever, is now a great way of really looking at life going on around me. So waiting for our turn on a seaplane trip was one well worth recording. The flight was actually a present for Iain’s birthday back in February, but funnily enough, we ended up flying on my birthday!

We have just had a week on holiday up on Speyside in Morayshire, Scotland. It was wonderful but the best way of telling you about it is to share a few sketches.

Letterbox drawing
Enjoying a drink outside Sartis Italian Restaurant in Glasgow
Sartis glasgow sketch
Bottles on the shelves in Sartis Italian reastuarant, Glasgow
Willow tea Rooms Glasgow
Willow Tea Rooms, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. Beautiful details on this Charles Rennie Mackintosh building.
Gutters cast iron
Beautiful gutters
scottish delicacies
Taste of all things Scottish!
view from Loch lomond sea plane
Bird’s eye view from the Loch Lomond Sea Plane – stunning!

Thanks for reading! Stay well.

The Smallest Room

Notice board in the Pig and Pastry Bishy road York
The Smallest Room

Taking a slightly different view of the street here, but still drawing! The Bishy Road has a thriving and active community which knows how to greet the Tour de France and throw a street party. I am quite pleased that I have discovered one tiny corner which speaks volumes about the secret of this community’s success – a noticeboard tucked away deep in the heart of the heart of the Bishy Road where everyone can see what’s on – without ever needing to go online. I will leave it to you to guess where it is!

bishy road Pig and pastry notice board
Creative hub of the Bishy Road

The cards and notices give a cross section of life in Clementhorpe: life drawing, yoga for adults and kids, piano lessons, playgroup, spanish lessons, gutters cleared, theatre shows, garden services, plumbing, counselling, kids coaching, kids creative workshops, acupuncture, reflexology, music nights, photography, events organiser, fish and chips – all the bases covered!

Pen and ink drawing Bishy road york
Notice board in the smallest room – somewhere on the Bishy Road

I will leave you with a flavour of the Bishy Road dressed up for the Tour de France and their street party which followed.

Yellow arrows for the tour de france
Showing the way to the cyclists in the Tour de France
Le tour de france york Bishy road
Bishy Road Street Party for the Tour de France
Cycle Heaven Bishy road York
Cycle Heaven, Bishy road
Bishy road kids on window
Party on the window tops!
Bishy road Party cancer Support
Bishy Road Street Party
Drawing the street Bishy Road
Bishy Road Street Artists
ig and Pastry
Pig and pastry sporting a spotty toaster

And finally – the whole drawing!

Pig and Pastry Notice board
If you have read this far then I can tell you it is inside the door of the smallest room in…the Pig and Pastry!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Dougie Mac at Station Stores, Whitmore

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It is the big Douggie Mac Bike Ride today. It’s terrific to see all the cyclists out in their jazzy colours for such a great cause, all very chirpy and making an early start on their bid for LLangollen. I have been meaning to sketch some of the buildings close to home so, continuing in the spirit of Sketch Book Skool, I sat outside the Sheet Anchor and sketched Station Stores along with a few cyclists!

A few examples of the smiles, waves and colour below. Thanks for reading!Image

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English Kitchen, Brunswick Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme

No 7 Brunswick Street, The English Kitchen

English Kitchen
No 7 Brunswick Street

I’m back from a wonderful family gathering and one of the first jobs on my list was to MOT my car. I popped the car into the garage but this time, packed my pens and sketchbook as there is a building close by that I have wanted to draw for quite some time.

No 7 Brunswick street stands out as a reminder of what was once a street of elegant town houses. The building next door is shrouded in scaffolding at present but the English Kitchen was just the right size for me to complete in one hit, standing with my back to Jubilee Pool.

First and second floor of 7 Brunswick Street
Look up!

Thanks to my friends who have encouraged me to get out there and draw – I completed the line drawing on the street and applied the colour at home. Here is the final sketch. Thanks for reading!

Pen and ink sketch of 7 Brunswick St
No 7 Brunswick Street in full technicolour!

 

 

Sketching the Week

Half a Guinness and a Pint of Pale Rider
Half a Guinness and a Pint of Pale Rider

Some years ago, I came across a book called “Everyday Matters” by Danny Gregory. It’s a moving and uplifting book, all sketches and handwritten notes, a jounal of the everyday moments of his life. I’ve since bought several other books of his, noticing each time how his sketching changed as his skill grew from daily practice.

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I have just completed my first week of Danny’s online sketching school, six weeks and six different teachers offering their tips on drawing. Some 800 plus sketchers have signed up from all over the globe, sketching and posting our most ordinary but meaningful moments. I’m hoping that this will give me the practise and discipline to join that wonderful community Urban Sketchers, so I can really get into the ribs of drawing streets on the hoof.

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Let sleeping cats lie

Somehow, capturing our own everyday matters really helps us see our surroundings with fresh eyes, no matter what the subject is….

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Using the other sort of paintbrush

All these sketches took between 5 and 15 minutes.

Nina, our Chesapeake Bay retreiver, sunbathing
Nina, our Chesapeake Bay retreiver, sunbathing
cats on the wheelie bins
Sunbathing cats
Spring Daffodils by the roadside
Spring Daffodils by the roadside
Poundland site on Bridge Street, Newcastle under Lyme
Clearing the former Poundland site on Bridge Street, Newcastle under Lyme
Contour drawing of Norman and Ollie, our Burmese cats.
Five minute contour line drawing of Norman and Ollie, our warring cats.

Thanks for reading and more sensible stuff on the next post…Burslem in technicolour!