Thursday, 25 June 2009

Me, age 29

Here's the little doodle I did yesterday. I don't really look like this, but some days (particularly on birthdays and after a rotten day at work) this is definitely how I feel.

I'm not quite sure what I was doing with the arms, I've just realised they make absolutely no sense and the poor old lady would have to be some sort of contortionist or have fingers growing out of her forearm or something.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A postcard from China

This arrived today, all the way from China via Postcrossing. The sender says it's traditional folk line drawings, and in olden days, girls had to learn to copy established designs before they started needlework. I think this is so interesting - think I will have to do a bit of googling to find out more! And I think the card is really pretty. If you haven't signed up to Postcrossing yet, you should. It's fun to get postcards from strangers!

Oh and today is my birthday. I'm 29, which is ridiculously close to 30 and very scary. I drew a little doodle of how old I really feel, but left it at work - I'll try and remember to post it tomorrow. But I did get some nice presents, including some Maimeri Blu watercolour paints, and this book which is full of gorgeous examples of calligraphy (mostly copperplate) from the 18th century. That should keep me busy for a while. I'll be trying out the new paints tomorrow, but tonight I'm having a slap up birthday meal cooked by my lovely husband :)

Saturday, 20 June 2009

A big pink mess.

I bought some black drawing paper today and had the bright idea to mix up some pink gouache and see if it looked nice against the black.

Well... it probably would have, had I mixed it properly, but I just can't ever seem to get the consistency right, and I ended up with a big pink mess.

This side is bad.

But this side is worse.

Incidentally, I promise my calligraphy is better than that when (a) I've ruled some slant guidelines (it SHOULD be 5º for italic, 55º for copperplate), (b) I'm using ink/paint that is a bit thicker than slightly chalky pink water, and (c) I'm using my left hand to actually hold the paper down and stop it running away from me, instead of using it to hold a little bowl of gouache because it's too messy to sit it on the table :)

Oh and the orangey looking stuff is actually gold ink, but it's pretty much useless. It doesn't even come in a pretty bottle.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Sparkly is always good

Ages ago, I bought a bottle of Winsor & Newton iridescent medium. Like so many of my art supplies, it lay around unused till last night I finally dug it out to have a play around.

I was using pans, so rather than mix it with the paint, I waited till the washes had dried and then brushed the iridescent medium over the top, before painting the outline.

Here's some autumn leaves. (No idea why I got the idea to paint autumn leaves in June, but anyway...) if you click on the image to make it bigger, you can kind of see the glittery bits.

I did some butterflies too, but they didn't come out very well due to me not being able to remember what butterflies looked like. And it didn't even occur to me to look for butterfly pictures on the internet! I think the iridescent medium works really well for butterfly wings so I'm going to do more of these, and hopefully the next lot might look a bit more like butterflies!

Oh and I'm having scanner trouble again. The colours of the butterflies are a lot more muted in real life, somehow the scanner has done the opposite to what it usually does and saturated everything rather than washing it out. The colours of the leaves are pretty much spot-on though.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Postcard from a stranger

I joined Postcrossing a while ago. I love receiving postcards, but nobody ever bothers to send them anymore when they go on holiday. Today I received my first ever Postcrossing postcard, from Chris in Kansas City, USA. I like the cute horse. I hope he gets his phone call eventually!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Welcome Harvey!

See the little gnome in the sidebar over to the right? >>

That's Harvey. Normally he lives with Michelle but he's doing a tour of blogs at the moment and for now he's staying with me :) Isn't he cute? He's so excited to be in London that he's started looking for a job, and he's hoping he might get to meet the Queen.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Honest scrap!

I was tagged by Michelle from My Life on the XYZ List. The rules are as follows:

  • Link back to the person that sent you the award. See above :)
  • Display the picture
  • Tell 10 things about myself
  • Pass the award on to 7 more lovely people!

So here are ten things you might not know about me!

  1. I'm fighting a coke addiction. Diet coke, actually. I thought I had beaten it, but it's caught up on me again.
  2. I don't normally read much chick lit, but I have read Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy about fifteen times and am slightly obsessed with it.
  3. I am incapable of drawing with charcoal without somehow getting it ALL over my face.
  4. I learned to knit when I was about 8, but after a gap of about 17 years I had to teach myself again from scratch when I decided to knit Richard a scarf for his birthday. The scarf was too long, too wide and full of holes, but he loved it and to this day still wears it all through the winter.
  5. I wish I lived in Spain. Probably Andalucía. When (not if) I win the lottery, I'm moving there immediately.
  6. For years I thought I hated pineapple, parsnips and turnip. I was wrong about all of them. I'm trying to change my mind about olives next.
  7. I have three sewing machines and one serger. One of the sewing machines was bought purely because it was pretty.
  8. I want to be a calligrapher. Like as a job. But first I have to get much better at it.
  9. I'm a complete grammar nazi. I just can't cope with stray apostrophes and misplaced commas. I'm notorious for it at work.
  10. I cycle to and from work and class every day (unless it's raining very heavily) and every single day I shout abuse at the idiots who walk straight out into the road without looking and almost cause an accident. Grrr!
I'm supposed to pass this on to seven people but I'm thinking I'm too nosy to limit it to only seven, so if you're reading this consider yourself tagged! And if you post ten things about you, be sure and leave me a comment so I can read them.

Oh and here's a bonus thing about me that I didn't add to the list: It's 5:50am and I've been awake for ages. I'm not happy about this and will probably sulk for the rest of the day. Insomnia is not nice.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Some actual drawing - finally

(This one got accidentally trod on!)

I was having a complete drawing block. I couldn't think of anything I wanted to draw. So last night, despite being exhausted from a sleepless Sunday night (thanks Richard, and if you ever snore like that again I'm divorcing you) I dragged myself along to life drawing class. I was glad I went - I enjoyed it as much as I always do - but I can see that in the five weeks or so since I've been I've really taken a step backwards and I found it very difficult.

What made things harder was that the previous group to use the studio, a theatre group, had left a huge weird steel structure in the middle of the room. We couldn't move it so we had to work around it, and it obstructed the view of the model which was annoying.

This was a warmup sketch - we did lots of one minute poses but this was different because you had to use your "wrong" hand. So I drew this with my left hand in about a minute. I never tried to draw with my left hand before.

Some more drawings. I have to be honest and say I don't actually like any of them, but the important thing is I actually did some drawing and feel like the mental block has gone.

Friday, 5 June 2009

The reason I haven't done any drawing for a while

My dad will be 74 next Friday and here's his birthday present. Even though they're very simple, they took quite a while to make! But I think they turned out well and I hope he likes them.

The yarn was a Kaffe Fassett design for Regia and was lovely to work with. Best thing was that I bought three balls and only used one and a half, so I still have enough left to make some for Richard :)

Wallpapering my iMac

I was looking at a wallpaper site this morning, because I wish I could wallpaper the bedroom. Unfortunately I can't, because we're renting, but I saw some wallpaper I really liked that would match the bedroom and decided to wallpaper the iMac with it instead.

Here's the wallpaper:

Five minutes later and after some Photoshoppery, here's what my desktop looks like now:

I love it! Is it sad that I'm wallpapering my iMac to match my bedroom?

If you'd like to use this wallpaper to decorate your own screen, click on the image of my desktop above, it'll take you to my Flickr where you can download it.

Oh and the reason I haven't been drawing is because it's my dad's birthday next week and I've been spending all my time frantically knitting socks. I'll post a photo of them later.

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