Sketchbook Sky Shanties

I have been working on a series of doodles, not quite certain where the impulse comes from but clearly it’s some kind of continuation of my new found fascination with architecture and home.

It must also be born out of a need for escape which I might usually experience with travelling, visiting friends and generally having a change of scene. Covid in the UK obviously means that’s not possible right now… so this helps. There are elements of Tuscany (one of my favourite parts of the world), industrial landscapes of the UK and – (from imagination only) Brazilian Favelas. Although the favelas might be more true of the model I am currently working on. Hope to be able to share photos of that soon. I bet you can’t wait now, huh?

Currently I am working on a model – I hope to be able to share photos of that soon. By the way, with the drawings – can you guess which drawings were sketched first?

Bridgerton Illustrations

A friend of mine has started writing a blog, and the first subject on her list to write about was Bridgerton. I have created some illustrations to go with her writing. I have been learning to use ProCreate and these are also the first illustrations I have ever created that are fully digital. To be able to sit on the sofa and sketch in full colour, to flit from ink, to paint, to pencil in the blink of an eye without needing to balance pots of ink on your leg, or stop the cat from knocking over your ink bottles and brushes on the coffee table – it’s an amazing app and a total revelation!

If you’d like to read some opinion on Bridgerton then my friend’s blog is at: https://nicolabarfoot.blogspot.com/

The illustrations I’ve created are below…

Allotment Shed

My latest imaginary allotment drawing. I’ve got a few of my allotment sketches (both imaginary and observed/drawn on location) on exhibition in Wivenhoe Bookshop during September. I’ll be honest, I’d really like to sell a few even though I am pretty attached to them! It’s no good just having your own work, in your own house.

I like this one despite the fact the cat should be looking at the bird! I have ideas to do something a little different with the next few, by introducing my fav material – various grey emulsions. I also wish to draw a crazy tree house, in a fabulous tree.

Allotment Sketches

Windy, sunny and rainy today. The light was constantly changing. I think I’ve managed to make the allotment look kind of threatening in this drawing. But I like it.

A pumpkin patch. I have to say it was lovely drawing at the allotments today. I met a expert ‘allotmenteer’ called Fred, he’s had his patch for 50 years. I came away with a box of purple beans, tomatoes, a cucumber and a commission to come back and draw his patch. Really decent bloke too. Makes me want an allotment.

The Garden

I believe a garden is an important space. I love gardening and I find it very good for my mental & physical health. I have been struggling to begin on a project that requires me to draw trains, so I procrastinated by drawing something I love – plants and gardens.

I have also included a few images to demonstrate the hours of work put into actually making a final image – an insight, hopefully, into the unseen work, planning, researching, sketching of related forms and structures. Of course, there is the quickly drawn thing (think Quentin Blake) but mostly – and at least for me – creating an ‘illustration’ (as opposed to an observational study) takes thinking about. Considering where, and how, to ‘bend’ reality.

Anyway I enjoyed this and I’m pleased with it. Gicleé prints are available. Currently you would need to order by contacting me, via e-mail. Commissions considered.

F**k-It Sue

Most recently I’ve been working on a model. I used to work as a model maker for Aardman, Bumper Films & Limbs & Things Ltd, so I guess it makes sense. I’ve made models before – but why now?

I have just chosen to end a particularly unproductive relationship with an agent. I was clinging onto that link to ‘success’ purely for the sake of my ego and it has been liberating to discover I have the courage to be un-agented.

Why make a model? I don’t know precisely. It has something to do with the development of the character but mostly because making things feels good. Handling materials in the real world, combining different media and skills, selecting the best material or method to make something – I find therapeutic and exciting. (Not to imply it was all just a breeze to make! See my next post to find out more about that).

So here are some pictures of the completed model.

And here’s a picture of the original concept sketch (quite a long story, drawn with my left hand).

Hopefully it’s a good story, to come…

Next post will be pictures of how she was made. I’m working up to doing YouTube Videos. Let me know in the comments section if you’d be interested in this.