Monday, 31 October 2011

Colour from the season - Acorn cup green

"By viewing nature, nature's handmade art,
Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow:" - John Dryden. Annus Mirabilis (1667)

Yes it is Halloween today - but thought I'd steer away from pumpkins as I sampled their fabulous two-tone orange last year - and instead draw the acorn, the fruit of the Oak, symbol of strength and longevity.
The Oak trees (here) are laden with acorns this year - so perhaps their decline over the past few years will be redressed. I hope so.

These rustic low contrast colours not surprisingly reminiscent of heritage and the National Trust - who use an Oak branch with acorns for their logo...

Last but not least...happy 40th birthday Graf xx!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Colour from the season - Calendula Orange

October's birth flower is the Calendula or Marigold. They flower all summer long and some are still flowering in full force near the end of October! A flower with both beauty and medicinal value and a radiant face against any grey skies...

Great to draw - dip pen and ink - no pencil sketch here - it either works or it doesn't.

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Colour from the season - Mussel shell blue

As long as there is an R in the month - Mussels are in season. (from May to August they're breeding, and not only are they rattly i.e. losing a lot of meat, they also need to be left alone to reproduce.)

Mussels remind me of times spent in Brussels, of days sitting outside the caf├ęs around Le Grand Place, eating steaming bowls of them with the best chips (frites) ever!

I'm going over a few of my early notebook pages to add a drawing or extend the colour range, either because I love the colours or because I want to draw the subject. Here it was for both these reasons. Their shell colours are saturated shades of blue and brown, echoing barnacle clad rocks and sandy seashores...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Colour from the season - Cob Nut brown

I posted a single colour for Hazel/Cob nuts last December, (my early colour posts were very simple!). Those were bought from the supermarket just before Christmas, these I gathered locally. The colour of the local nut is more subdued. Shown here alongside the other colours sampled from the husks and branch - gentle country colours (aggressive looking husks!)...

December (fully ripened?) Hazel nut brown.

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Colour from the season - Conker brown

Conkers - take me back to my junior school days in Bath. Lots of magnificent Horse Chestnut trees there and in September to October, the parks are strewn with conkers. Here, there's hardly a conker to be seen and when I realised that they must be in season, I had to search high and low for them. I nostalgically remember throwing the biggest sticks I could find into the trees to knock the conkers off their branches and the moment of the shell splitting open to reveal a shiny red brown conker against the white inner case set off against the mostly spiky and sometimes smooth protective cases...theres nothing quite like them...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Colour from the season - Cotoneaster Yellow

The berries of this Cotoneaster tree (Cotoneaster Salicifolius Exburyensis) are similar to the shape and colour of miniature golden delicious apples. We happened to stop under this tree on our way back from the beach last weekend. Though it was dark, I could see that the leaves were glossy and elegant and the berries an unusual colour, and when I got it home (the cutting not the tree!) I wasn't disappointed...

Last week I broke my palette which I was sorry about.
It's not that its such a special palette but I've had it a long time and it was a present.
So - sentimental - as a palette can be.

I remembered that I had some packets of Sugru.
So... I "hacked it better" !

(I used blue as a nod to traditional blue and white china)
Great stuff !

Lastly I came across this wonderful track/video today by Ben Howard called Keep Your Head Up and thought I'd re-post it - thanks to Sammy of Pachadesign for flagging it up on their blog or I wouldn't have seen it! How living in Devon can feel at its best - good to be reminded of it!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.