Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chewed stuff 1 - for Jana

In January, I read that Jana of JanasJournal had rescued a 5 month old pup. Since then she's been posting regularly on the things Millie chews, both allowed and not, and I have been sharing Degas stories in my comments. The other day she wrote "(it) would definitely be fun to see Degas’ finds, destructed bits and favorite chews as sketched by you".
So last night, I started to sketch Degas' purple Teddy. She has several as I bought them cheaply in the local supermarket. She always chews off the eyes and noses before either eating an ear or leg. Unfortunately, Degas came and took it away before I finished and had a quick chew at it, which is when I took this photo (I think the flash was on, so bleached it). Later, I went into the incomplete sketch with a waterbrush (top).

More use of inktense pencils, but I'm not sure about this Stillman & Birn sketchbook. I have been hearing and seeing many rave reviews of it, but the grain surprised me yesterday. I am used to sketching on smooth surfaces. Obviously as this is only page 2 of 124, I will have many times to either get used to it and/or find a way to work on this surface.

Previous drawn chewed items include Degas' blue teddy from the December post Catch up: A month of sketches.
This box is from the September post Boxes Beware.
 Finally, a teabag from May, in the post Snow in Oman (check out the post for why there was snow.)
Degas favourite things to chew are the plants in the garden. I haven't drawn any as I usually just evict them from the house, where Degas has brought them in through her dogflap.
Degas' favourite chew things are my plants.
Degas came into my life on April 1st 2013. The year has been fraught at times as she has grown large (and is still growing) and is both boisterous and wilful. I have replaced all my bedding as it's got holed through chewing. Degas continues to steal clothing: last night alone she has chewed through the straps of a T-shirt and has been chased this morning for a dropped item of laundry (although these events are rarer now). Despite training, she chooses when to return to me on walks and tows me down the beach to see her friends.
However, for every little negative she has enriched my life a hundredfold. I return from work to big greetings and cuddles, and regardless of my day all problems are forgotten as we step onto the beach. I may find it hard to work on my drawings as she gets bored and demands attention, but she is also inspiration for sketches from these chewed things to her beautiful face. I have watched her grow from a timid pup on the street, into a beautiful young dog who likes nothing better than running down the beach.
 I am truly blessed she chose to come home with me.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The end

Another strange shell. Inktense 21/3/14

Of another sketchbook.

Unusually, I've been using a lot of coloured pencils recently. Maybe because they give me the flexibility of graphite but without the option to rub out errors, as with ink.

Next, I am moving out of my normal comfort zone and not starting another Daler Ebony A5, but the A5 Stillman & Birn I got given at last year's Urban Sketchers' Symposium. I'll let you know how I get on.
Mine 14.3.14
Degas' 14.3.14
Have you entered my competition? Check out this post for details:

woo hoo it's back giveaway

Monday, March 10, 2014


Leucocoprinus birnbaumii Watercolour in A5 sketchbook.

What do you do when you find potentially poisonous funghi in the garden? 

Carefully pull them up, then paint them of course.

Have you entered my competition? Check out this post for details:

Friday, March 7, 2014

woo hoo it's back giveaway

To celebrate my website being back up I am going to give away TWO limited edition Fine Art Giclée prints complete with Fine Art Trade Guild logo.

1. You need to sign up to my newsletter on the site:

2. You have to like my facebook page:

The first print will go to the 1000th liker of my page.

To be fair to those who already like my page, a random number generator will draw the 2nd from existing page likers.

BUT to win you must like my page and be signed up for my newsletter.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Degas is a star!

Fishing shed & boat hoist.
This morning, Degas allowed me to sit for 15 minutes on this non-waterproof ink & watercolour sketch on our village's beach. My first urban(ish) sketch with my young dog. 
Below is the photographic proof :)

 Can you sketch with your pets?