Monday, 14 August 2017

Sketching a beautiful secret garden in the heart of Norwich

The Norwich Urban sketchers met at Plantation gardens a wonderful idiosyncratic garden which was originally a chalk quarry. After all the rain we have had recently we were lucky to have the perfect sunny afternoon. The garden has many different levels surrounded by wonderful flora and fauna, a rustic bridge, a gothic fountain and wonderful decorative medieval stone walls. It was as if you were in a different world, dreams of foregone summers. There were people picnicking, a choir singing, children playing,  people hidden amongst the stonewalls, bridges and foliage, all having a peaceful and relaxed time. I got carried away with all the activity and setting. I tried to capture a sense of place maybe I got too excited with my pens!!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Sketching in Presteigne Wales

Just come back from a lovely holiday in the Welsh Valleys staying in a cottage in the quirky village of Presteigne.  The weather was pretty wet most of the time so I didn't get much chance to sketch apart from a couple of brighter evenings. A rusty old motorbike caught my eye parked against a wall by a cottage. Whilst I was sketching a lady came to put her bins out and saw me sketching. She said the bike was her husbands and she wanted to buy my sketch for his birthday which again was a lovely surprise. On the opposite side of the road is a wonderful wild garden in front of a large front door which I couldn't resist sketching.

Urban Art Fair Norwich- Sunday 9th July

Great day participating in the Norwich Urban Art Fair which was part of the Lord Mayors Celebration. I was selling prints, postcards and greeting cards mainly of Norwich but also some of London. As well as exhibiting my work I ran expressive drawing demonstrations with drop in workshops on urban sketching, There were lots of activities, people and architecture to sketch  and a great trio of singers called the "Nightingales". Sketching whilst listening to music was a relaxing combination. The Urban Sketchers Norwich met at the fair to document the event. A great atmosphere.

Derelict Water Pumping Station - 1909 Trowse Norwich

This is one of my favourite places to sketch in Trowse. I have drawn it a few times. It is very close to where I live so an ideal location to experiment with a large scale format. I took my A2 sketchbook,  inks and water brushes. Whilst I was sketching a couple from Sheffield were visiting a local brewery under the bridge and came to chat . They ended up buying a couple of my sketches which was a nice surprise. The sketches were still a bit wet!

Norwich Sketchcrawl - Eaton Park Sunday 18th June.

Catching up on News!  I have been sketching on a larger scale and experimenting with bleeding marks created by inks lately. These sketches were done at Norwich Urban sketchers meet up on Sunday the 18th June. It was a scorching hot day and we met at Eton Park in Norwich which is a magnificent historic park with a great pavilion bandstand and lots of activities. I focused on the Boat pond which is one of the finest in Europe. The bleeding ink create depth in the pond. Great place to sketch must go back.

Sketching Pitch and Putt from the cool shade of the trees which nicely framed the golfers.

Friday, 16 June 2017

#DrawingBreath Project

Great to be a part of a community of artists highlighting the vital work of VSO worker Andrew Sesay helping to save lives of mothers and babies in Sierra Leone #DrawingBreath.  Ninth Laurette Chris Riddell has made a wonderful video using live illustrations called Giving Birth in Sierra Leone

I experimented with various dip pens including my bamboo ones that I haven't used in a long time. It was much easier working in the studio with this technique. I Did try using dip Pens on location when I went to the Barcelona Urban Sketching Symposium but I made a huge mess and gave up. I really enjoyed using the ink in this project and will try to work out a way of taking them out again without too much mess. 

I made all the drawing separately and then scanned them in and composed them together using layer masks on photoshop. I was aiming to get the lighting to be quite dramatic to illustrate how difficult it is for Andrew as he tries to work under very poor lighting conditions often with only torchlight. I must say drawing babies was quite a challenge!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Sunday morning sketching - Pylon's in the landscape

Every time I take my dog for a swim along the banks of the River Yare in Trowse which is a small village on the edge of Norwich, this scene captures my eye.  I have been meaning to sketch it for sometime now and if left too long the pylons will be gone. 4.5km of overhead power lines and fifteen pylons are to be removed from the Norwich skyline by Autumn. These pylons have been here for decades.  The geometric patterns of the pylon structures  contrast well with the organic landscape and become part of it. I found great spot to set up under shady tree. It was quite a blustery day which added to the atmosphere.

Media used: water based markers, derwent inktense water soluble pencils, graphite pencil and derwent spritzer bottle.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Ink experiments - Garlic Bulb

My neighbour kindly gave me one of her first Garlic bulbs freshly dug from the ground of her allotment. The beauty of the shape, form and fresh aroma inspired me to draw it using my ink and bamboo dip pens.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

View of Salisbury Plain - Wiltshire

I spent last weekend with friends who live in Wiltshire and have the most wonderful view of Salisbury Plain from their living room french windows. Here are a few quick sketches of the scene. 

Spot the Bee Hive

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sketching Norwich Castle

Norwich Urban sketchers group met up at the Castle today. The sunshine was intermittent but lovely when out. I decided to sketch the castle from outside the front gates. I had lots of fun playing with my water spray bottle for the first time.  I used it to wet the paper first and apply inktense pencils which made them flow smoothly across the paper. Spraying my sketch after using a black non waterproof marker pen allowed the lines to bleed and create a more painterly effect. We finished the afternoon with a lovely blueberry scone and tea in the castle cafe. Really enjoyable day catching up and meeting new sketchers.   

Friday, 14 April 2017

Shortlisted for Sketch Open 2017 Touring Exhibition.

I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for the Sketch Open 2017 drawing prize exhibition at The Rabley Centre in Marlborough in wiltshire. There were over 500 applications from around the world and 100 sketchbooks selected for a touring exhibition at the following places. Great to be in the same company with James Hobbs. 

Rabley Drawing Centre, Marlborough,  21 May – 17 June 2017
Black Swan Arts, Frome,  22 July – 3 September 2017
Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth, 9 September – 6 October 2017
Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University, 20 November – 15 December 201

Monday, 10 April 2017

Old sketch from 27 years ago!

I was having a good clear out recently and I came across this lovely sketch I did about 27 years ago at a playground when I was on my degree in Norwich. I can remember sketching the little girl chilling with her granny.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Blustery day for the Norwich Urban Sketchers meet up at Britannia Cafe today

John Poole Sketching the view of Norwich.

Had a lovely afternoon sketching at Cafe Britannia which has fantastic views of Norwich. It is located around Mousehold Heath a great place for walking. The cafe itself has an interesting history. It used to be Britannia Barracks and is now a prison.  The cafe is staffed by low risk prisoners that have volunteered to learn new skills and make a fresh start. It was really busy and the cakes were delicious.

View of Cafe Britannia. Its much bigger than my sketch suggests.

First attempt at the view only capturing the lower half

View of Norwich Cathedral from Mousehold Heath

Spikey Bracken in the foreground.