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Sketching in the Sun

Not been great at keeping this up-to-date have I? Well, the truth is I have been letting myself slide art-wise and haven’t been working nearly so hard as I should at it.

I think it comes from not getting a lot of work at the mo. It turns out I’m a pretty poor boss for myself, self-employed really isn’t my thing. Anyway, once you are sitting about too much without a purpose you just start losing interest in doing anything.

Today was the mother of all sitting about days, but I was at my mum’s in collieston, so you have an excuse for not doing much of anything. I had a good day though. I sat on the front step, put some music on and sat and sketched some random nonsense.

Ball-Jointed Troll

I’ve been making attempts at a ball-jointed doll again.  Again, because I think this is my third attempt.  One and two didn’t even make it off the starting line, pro tip- sculpey hates pipe cleaner fibres.  They repel each other by some man-made plastic force unknown to me.


She is a sort of troll girl.  I started with her head and threaded her very long woolen hair.  This is the best part as far as i’m concerned.  I’ve gotten as far as her limbs now and I find the prospect of making arms and legs very boring.  She does need some though…


The good news is I’ve strung her with elastic in sections and everything is holding together ok.  I don’t expect the elastic to be near strong enough to stand her up, but holding together and a little posing would be nice.

I love Gold, Mr Bond.

Gold leaf was surely sent to us by the devil.  It is shiny and beautiful, but it is the most annoying damned thing you will ever work with!

I finished a new scraperboard picture.  I used a reference for the girl from a vintage art photo, my favourite kind of stock.  My technique for the gold pattern on her dress needs a lot of work, and I was really just experimenting on this one.  Still, although the pattern didn’t come out quite as detailed as I had imagined, it did come out looking interestingly random, quite unique.  I like it!

Was considering putting this into a wee exhibition but not sure if it’s good enough.  I had a long break from scratch board before this and I think I was a little rusty; the scratch could be nicer.  Unfortunately this was my last big board.  My next lot of board to use are quite small, less than A5.   So not sure what they will be used for yet.


ACEO art cards FOR SALE

Yes, they are finished, polished, scanned and, to fully get in to the spirit of the ACEO card, stuck in pretty pockets to sell.

Onward to eBay!!

They are painted in gouache and inked, original character designs of the six player characters from the amazing video board game “Atmosfear”.

They are;

Anne de Chantraine the witch, Hellin the Poltergeist, Elizabeth Bathory the Vampire, Gevaudan the Werewolf, Baron Samedi the Zombie and Khufu the Mummy.

Buy them here

Project hopping

I seem to have hopped onto another project before I finished my last one.  Will have to get back on to my cards.

Meanwhile, I love cooking as much as I love drawing.  This weekend it was gingerbread.  I made it just before going to the cinema so I took some in with me to eat, omnom, then iced the rest when we got back home.  The love hearts are very mushy, yes, but I had red food colouring… so red and pink icing it was.  ❤


We saw tinker tailor soldier spy- grim, but good.

Hopefully will get those cards finished tomorrow.  Should be a good day for arts and crafts.


I Heart UTG

Acrylic, ink and card on canvas board. In that order!

This is from a photo taken on my graduation. Once the ceremony was finished in his majesty’s theatre, the whole place emptied out into Union Terrace Gardens under a rare but perfect blue sky for photos and farewells, hugs, excitement and cap throwing.

I had an official photo taken that day, but I much prefer the beautiful photos my mum’s partner Daryl took of us lot in the gardens.


Now the bit that made this occasion bittersweet- the man who doffed my cap at my grad ceremony was the chancellor of RGU – Sir Ian Wood. The same man who wants to turn this pretty little green space into a vanity project, digging up the ancient trees and replacing them with a concrete covered car park and bird poo covered glass-domed shopping mall.

I am not stupid or a romantic about this park, it isn’t perfect. With £50 million invested to improve it is could be astounding; the busy road at the bottom covered and steps linking to Belmont Street, A cafe and gallery with disabled access, reopen the really quite pretty Victorian loos!

Alas, that was never on the cards. It is imperfect park or concrete. Well, I choose the park.

Art Cards: First two finished.

Tah-dah! Turns out these six characters are from the board game “Atmosfear”.

The first two to be completed are Hellin the Poltergeist and Khufu the Mummy.



Still to come Anne de Chantraine the Witch and Baron Samedi the Zombie are painted but need some final ink, Countess Elizabeth Bathroy the Vampire is still being painted and poor Gevaudin the Werewolf still has to be re-drawn. It’s a curse, my anthropomorphs just go cutesy and furry. I want him to be mean!

More coming soon…

Art Cards

I’m working on some art cards at the moment.  Never tried these before, apparently the only rule is they have to be 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2.  I have bought some plastic wallets for them and cut these ones  from watercolour card.  I am leaning towards gouache for the colour.  Gonna do a tester on the one on the lower left, I want to redraw him anyway.




I will be very impressed if anypne knows who these guys are!  I will reveal and talk about that once they are done.  Then they will go on ebay at no reserve + 99p p&p.

Moleskine and Water Brush Review

So, I thought I would start off here by talking about a couple of recent art purchases of mine. First, a moleskine watercolour notebook- £9.93, Amazon.

Starting to fill the pages...

This is the first moleskine I have bought, and I realise there is a bit of the unnecessary pretension about them-*cough* claiming to be the notebook of Van Gogh while actually being made in China- but I have to admit I have fallen like so many others because it really is a lovely thing.  The paper is crisp and slightly off-white, with plenty of texture.  The little pleasing touches that make it a moleskine- rounded edges, flat spine and the elastic to hold everything in place – add up to create the kind of sketchbook I can’t wait to fill.

My second purchase, also amazon, was a set of water brushes.  (you can see where this shopping trip was going..) Pentel brush art set, £9.93.

I’ll say now I thought these were overpriced when I bought them.  However, my experience with them so far has been good; bearing in mind I am pretty green when it comes to watercolour.  These are very handy for quick work like filling in a sketchbook.  You can add a little colour to something in seconds if you have water in the barrel, but the best bit is no mucky water to constantly change.  The downsides- easy to pump out too much water, and therefore hard to control the strength of your pigment.

I still think £3.30 is too much for one brush.  I can only suppose it is the “no back-flow” valve that puts the price there.  For those interested, I have seen a different brand on sale in Hobbycraft as single brushes at ~£2.50 each. It might be a better option if you want to try one out.  Also, I could definitely get by without the middle size in this packet.

Lastly, something I’ve not been buying with all the no money I have.. I washed my watercolour pan.  This wouldn’t be worth mentioning apart from the fact I have never done it before.

I was given this pan as a hand-me-down by my granny, I’m not sure exactly when but I’d say at least 10 years ago, if not 15.  I was wee, that’s for sure, and I was told that it was a good one and not to make a mess of it and get all the colours mixed up.  I think I did ok considering it’s still on the go!

I was reading up on watercolours dry vs. tube and I came across an artists rant on people who never cleaned their pans.  Oh man, he made me feel guilty!  You should have seen this before I got the hot water and fairy on it.  It was textured and sticky with many, many years of paint clinging to it; I used to use the mixing pallet for acrylic as well, which is why I had to scrape at it.

I hope granny is happy to see her pan still in use.  I should probably think of replacing the colours in it?  I’m sure 15 years counts as vintage!

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