Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Minibook

pages 2 and 3 ©Sue Pownall
This year, as part of my personal development, I am taking Sketchbook Skool's Expressing class. Last week's lessons were with illustrator Jill Weber and our homework was to write and illustrate a min-book, which we had to make. Our books had to share something about ourselves, so I chose to tell Degas' story.
Unfolded mini-book
My book is still unfinished, the final drawing to complete and the type to ink in, as I've had to work on a couple of other things. This is something very different from what I would normally do, hence the reason to do the course. I enjoyed the whole process but it's frustrating to have life interfere with getting it finished.
Front cover
Back cover
What do you think? Have you done anything similar? Why not share the link to your work below so I can see it?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

50th WWSketchCrawl: Colchester

Yesterday afternoon, I arranged for the Colchester Sketchers to sketchcrawl at the bottom of the High Street. Tucked down a lane is the Coffee Cube café, which is where we arranged to meet. After a week that saw sleet and rain, we were amazed to have a blue sky and sunshine, so half of us sat outside to sketch the castle.
First sketch underway.
Being the organiser, I spent more time talking than sketching at the meeting point, but did manage to spend half an hour on my sketch of the castle. Luckily, as the sun disappeared behind the clouds, it was time to move on.
My first sketch
 Our second location was Hollytrees Museum, which is a museum of domestic life and childhood. Several of us were attracted by the Alice in Wonderland temporary exhibition.
The Queeen's croquet game.
  Our final location was the new Tiptree Tearoom at the Minories Gallery. I think we were all so interested in each others sketches and having some tea, that nobody sketched there. I plan to return another day as the choice of teas and cakes demand a proper "sketch" visit.
Colchester Sketchers (minus Johnny) show off their sketches.

  Where did you sketch?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A new style, a new series

Over the last year I have been taking reference photos and sketching in woods whilst walking my assistant. Some of those led to some etchings and now those etchings are influencing my drawings. This is, potentially, the first in a series of woodland drawings called Solitary Wanders. Here's number 1, Memories of Summer and number 2 is resting prior to final tweeks.

What do you think of the loser style? Any comments/constructive criticism welcomed.
Memories of Summer, Pen & Ink, ©SuePownall 2016
On another matter, I apologise to everyone whose blogs I haven't visited recently. I am trying to rectify my neglect. Sorry

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Folk & coffee

Carys, direct watercolour.
 Yesterday, I arranged for the Colchester Sketchers to meet at the monthly folk session of SlackFolk. We had a great turn out, but due to venue limitations didn't manage a group shot at the end.
First sketches underway
 The music and atmosphere was great, so I spent a lot of time just listening. As usual, I also did a lot of chatting to the other sketchers too... 
2 acts in pencil
I still managed several sketches, of which I think the direct watercolour ones are the best. Do you agree?
What did you sketch this weekend?
Bex & Freda, direct watercolour

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas

©Sue Pownall 2015
It's been a busy week: apart from the normal seasonal things - shopping, Christmas lunch with my mum, decorating my new studio, etc. - I've done a few new sketches, started a seasonal drawing, and been playing with my new SLR camera. The first photo was of my assistant, of course, then I tried some still life setups with my Christmas cards, one is above.
Next Sunday will be my annual review. I wonder how I've done?

To everyone who celebrates I wish you a very
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tiptree Sings at Christmas

First, an apology as the autoposting to this blog hasn't worked for the last few posts. You can check out the missing ones here: Blog posts.

I love going to see choirs sing at Christmas, so last night I went back to Tiptree to see a friend sing in the choir she belongs to. The setting was St Lukes church, which I have only drawn from the outside, so made sure I had coloured pencils alongside my sketchbook.

My first sketch was of some of the female choristers chatting before the concert. They were very animated and seemed quite excited which I hope I captured in the sketch. What do you think?
Listening to the lovely singing, I sketched the top drawing showing a section of the choir and the church.

I forgot to take the proof of on-location sketching shot until the choir was about to start singing in the second half of the concert, but hopefully gives a little idea of my view.

Other news: I was very flattered when Simone Ridyard asked me to contribute to her architectural sketching book, Archisketcher. Yesterday, I received my copy and the whole book is fabulous! I would thoroughly recommend buying it for your shelves because of the fabulous content, not because of my contribution :)
Finally, due to logistics the Essex&Suffolk Sketchers have renamed themselves Colchester Sketchers. 
The FB group is here: Colchester Sketchers

Have a good week everyone.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Freshers' Week

View from Square 4 ©Sue Pownall 2015
Due to a cash flow issue, I am currently temping at the University of Essex. I only have 30 minutes for lunch but have managed to do a few sketches so far.
Tai chi demo in Square 4 ©Sue Pownall 2015
This one I did the week before...
Ivor Crewe lecture hall. ©Sue Pownall 2015
With a couple more weeks there, I wonder what I can do next.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Drinkdraw Chappel

This is as far as my first sketch got. ©SuePownall2015
My assistant.
The railway viaduct at Chappel has been on my "to-sketch" list for many years, so on Friday I arranged for the Essex & Suffolk Sketchers to meet at the Swan pub. With quickly failing light and the temperature dropping, I sat on a bench in the Swan's car park and quickly tried to paint it. It was difficult to tell the colours I was applying as the light changed and dropped. Above is as far as my first sketch got.

Heading into the pub to warm up, I think the guys having bar snacks got drawn by everyone. As usual, I spent more time chatting than drawing, so these two were all I did. Plus, Degas got bored and decided when it was time to go home.

I was sketching in an A4 Monologue sketchbook with Winsor & Newton watercolours & Inktense pencils.
Bar snacks. ©SuePownall2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Perfect Day?!

Spindle Drilling Machine
This weekend is Heritage Weekend in UK with many interesting places open for free. Yesterday, taking advantage of the lack of entrance fee, I went to the Museum of Power, Langford.

In situ in Museum of Power
The sound and sight of The 'Simpson' Belt Driven Workshop attracted my attention, so I decided to sketch there. With so many machines, belts, and interesting things I chose a small section to focus on and the above sketch is the result. Here is the in-situ photo. This sketch was done with a sepia Derwent pencil in A4 Monologue sketchbook. Whilst the afternoon sketch was Winsor & newton watercolours, Staedtlar Pigment liner in Daler A5 sketchbook.

After lunch, Degas and I went to Goldhanger for their Gala Weekend. With a karate demo going on in the churchyard, I took Degas down the road and walked her around the sea wall before heading into the village. As musicians were setting up in the Salty Dogs Tea Room, we headed there. It was the perfect afternoon: What's better than drinking tea (and eating carrot cake), in a beautiful garden, listening to live music, with your dog lying at your feet as you sketch?
Music, tea & cakes in a beautiful garden.
 It was a lovely day. What would make your perfect day?