Tuesday, 22 December 2015


I went to an art expo last week at Ploumanach to see an interesting display of textile inspired cards sent from around the world and of course I was inspired to have a go myself.  First I had to think of a theme and surprise, surprise, as I was in the kitchen and looking at my mushroom picture it came to me straight away!

I came home and had a rummage through my fabric stash looking for suitable scraps.  This piece of duster was perfect to depict the canterella and I used my writing programme on the sewing machine for the lettering.

This one was inspired by the inktense picture I drew a few weeks ago.  I used some of Luba's samples from her designing days, the black has lovely bumpy texture and the mushrooms are shiny satin with a bit of inktense added for the shading.
A handful of delicate mushrooms growing in the grass down the lane, already sketched and now depicted in satin and damask with some straight stitching for the grass.
This is my favourite, originally a sketch inspired by a photo taken by my sister in law Trish last year of an Amethyst deceiver.  Luba's fabrics came in handy again for all the autumnal colours, stitched onto satin and enhanced with some inktense scribbles.
We're off to England tomorrow for the holidays so I'll wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year.


Sunday, 20 December 2015


Here are the last few of my sketches from the telly sketchbook.  This news reader has a beautiful strong face and fortunately the programme lasts for half an hour so I have plenty of time to capture the likeness.

A costume drama starring Keira Knightly and Ralph Fiennes.

Beautiful costumes.

Intricate hairstyles.

A documentary about Henry VIII

Matthew McFadyen as Mr Darcy, yummy! 

I liked the costumes in this Agatha Christie series.

Difficult to capture  Benedict Cumberbatch, I'll just have to watch more Sherlock!

Recent series: a London Spy.

Saga, the detective in 'the Bridge,' she's such a moody character.
And finally, the sketchbook cover that attracted me in the first place with the 3 magic pencils I've used in the sketches.  My favourite is the one on the right with yellow, red and blue combined in the lead, I'm already onto the second one as I've completely used the first one to the end.
See you soon, hopefully in time for Christmas with my latest creations.


Thursday, 17 December 2015


Here's another handful of TV sketches, some better than others.  The only one I like from this page is Bruce Willis, probably because I didn't overwork it!

Richard Gere has fascinating sloping eyes so hard to capture.

The bearded man was fun to do, just lots of scribbles.

She doesn't look a bit like she should, does she!

A young Meryl Streep in Kramer vs Kramer and a very bad Tom Cruise.

I like the one on the right, I think it's Meryl again.

Daniel Craig went a bit wrong but I love Tom Hanks even if it doesn't look like him!

Paul Newman's nose is wonderfully hooked.

Monday, 14 December 2015


We've nearly come to the end of this autumn's Strictly Come Dancing series, a highlight  on Saturday evening television.

It's very difficult to draw the dancers as they move around and the dresses appear at many different angles.  I have been trying to memorise the clothes but it's a lot harder than you would think! 

It's easier with the faces as they come up again and again and it's possible to keep on adding to the sketch.  I loved Darcy Bussel in her Morticia make up and hair, it really suited her.

I'm planning to start a new sketchbook in the new year to concentrate on fashion drawing, using a lovely book Justine has given me as inspiration.  I am hoping to remember and draw all the clothes I have made myself over the last 55 years.

My figure drawing is seriously rusty so this will be quite a challenge, getting the proportions right and coming up with my own 'look'.

Next time I'll show you some of the film stars I've drawn, some recognisable, some definitely not!

Saturday, 12 December 2015


I've just filled another sketchbook, this time it's the one I keep on the coffee table with a magic multi-coloured pencil ready to use when I'm inspired to draw.  I bought it at Lidl in the spring for only 2 euros and it's got very thin paper which means that you can see the previous drawings on the next page but it stops me being precious about wasting paper!

The Last Kingdom, a series based on the books by Bernard Cornwell has just come to an end after 8 weeks  and we've been enthralled by the characters, the history and the closeness to the original books.

It's the story of a Viking who is brought up as a Saxon who ends up as an advisor to Alfred the Great.  There's a lot of mud and violence but plenty of passion and intelligence too.

Alfred is depicted as a sickly man but his charisma shines through and he finally becomes the victorious king we know him to be.

Uhtred of course is the star of the show played by an unknown actor, Alexander Dreymon who I am looking forward to seeing again!
Next time I'll show you my impressions of Strictly Come Dancing, my Saturday night favourite.

Saturday, 28 November 2015


After a couple of weeks drawing a collection of mushrooms from different sources as you have seen from the previous two blogs I finally put them all together in the big frame to hang in my kitchen.

I wanted a different shape for the middle of the picture so...
I re-cycled this ink cap drawing that I did a couple of years ago, cutting off the edge and re-doing the background.

Then I found this one and decided it would complete the set if I trimmed off the surplus and added a few autumn leaves.

I'm rather pleased with the result and I hope you like it too, it's a nice change to see something new in the kitchen when I come down in the morning!

Saturday, 21 November 2015


I've had  a lovely week drawing more mushrooms, this first one is almost the size of a plate, found in  the forests of Brittany by Luba and HervĂ© a few weeks ago. They picked so many in one day that she had to preserve most of them by freezing of drying and pickling in brine.
Here is a photo of their finds from one days foraging.  Lots of boletus and tiny chanterelles which were delicious in a tart she made for our supper one evening.

But back to Belarus and here are a pair of strange ones with yellow heads and speckled black and white stems. I  used my Derwent drawing pencils for this one, they are a lovely collection of earthy colours with muted greens and greys.  The leads are soft and creamy and work beautifully on the mi-tientes paper.

Last night I copied a photo taken by my sister in law Trish in her local West Sussex woods.  I drew it last year in my sketchbook and it was nice to do it again on pastel paper with Pablo pencils which are smooth and fine and lovely for mixing in layers.  I left the test swatch on the side so you can see the different colours I have used.  The light wasn't very good so I had to guess if I was using the right shade and it was a lovely surprise this morning to see it in daylight although I did have to erase and replace a bit of rather bright blue that had got in which didn't work at all! 
 In case you're wondering, the best way to erase coloured pencil is to use a putty rubber in a dabbing motion because if you rub you will spread the colour into other areas and dirty the colours.
Next time I hope I will be showing you the finished picture.

Monday, 16 November 2015


I've had a lot of fun this week working through Luba's mushroom photos.  Here is the first one I chose to draw in my sketchbook, I've used a bit of artistic licence with the colours and the paper just happened to be this gorgeous shade of raspberry at the end of my book!

Then I thought why not try to make use of these pictures for a larger painting as I have a framed print in the kitchen that's in need of changing and the frame is in good condition.  I measured up and worked out that I could put 12 drawings measuring 14 x 15 centimetres on one background.

I'm really not that comfortable with big paper so the idea of lots of little drawings appeals to me.  I sorted out a stack of different colours and started drawing.  This red spotty one I found while out walking on Wednesday was perfect to get me started and the green picture above I copied from a photo I took last week.

Here are Luba's forest ones again, drawn in Derwent line painters and a white gel pen.

This strange sombrero shaped one took a long time with all that stippling but I think it was worth the effort, especially as I had already drawn it once in the sketchbook!

And finally the finished page in the sketchbook where I decided to add the forest in the background as it was in the photo. 
I hope you've enjoyed the start of my new project and will visit again soon to see part 2!