Saturday, 24 November 2012

Colour from the Season - Medlar golden brown

These are the Medlar fruits, known in Medieval times as the Dog's Bottoms for fairly obvious reasons, although perhaps not the clearest of sketches to show this! They are so old fashioned hardly anyone knows what they are anymore (which included me). Not really surprising though as they have to be ripened to the point of rotting (a process called bletting) before they're edible - and are highly explosive at this stage! Given to me last week by friends who'd picked up some windfalls from Rosemoor (inspirational RHS garden in North Devon) and thought I might be interested in them (which of course I was!). Their Autumnal colours are like a Russet Apple - they are in fact a cross between an Apple and a Rosehip, but taste a bit like banana and caramel custard (apparently). If you want to find out how to make jelly with them, Nigel Slater has quite a bit to say about them here.

I've been printing these (and recycling a few frames I found).

as well as making these!

I've a last minute space to exhibit here next week (thanks Sarah!)
So do come along if you're in Wales, and please can it stop raining..!

(special thanks to Pete and Bec for the Pomaceous drupes :)
...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

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Monday, 19 November 2012

Colour from the season - Carline Thistle yellow

The tough and very prickly Carline Thistle (Carlina Vulgaris) can be found in sand dunes and dry banks and pastures around the U.K. Like most thistles it has pink/purple petals when in flower, which I think leave an even more attractive skeletal form and colours when the flower dies. Yellow and grey  look great together and these golden yellows and warm grey are especially harmonious, in fact they're colours I can really live with and I enjoyed drawing this thistle - great walk too...

Pencil Sketch, first page of a new sketchbook !

Carline Thistle, brushes, Hella Jongerius vase, inky drawing stick, empty beetroot jar(?!) and a Rook and Pheasant feather.

Saunton Sands last week. Over three miles of sandy beach nearly deserted in winter - Fabulous !

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...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The little things - Postcard from Monty!

The little things in life that make the difference...

....Bloomin' heck! my Monterey Cone has taken off with a life of its own and is travelling all over the world with a little help from Pinterest. I don't do Pinning as I'm told it's quite addictive(!) and it took me long enough to give up smoking.

So - even though I read Leo Babauta's post "Untrack: Letting go of the Stress of Measuring" (Zen Habits) only today and I am mostly almost fully (!) in agreement with untracking - has to be admitted that it did give me a bit of a warm feeling that it's so well thought of - 3,000 page views today! ..x

x (one more for luck)
...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Colour from the Season - Chrysanthemum Spider yellow

One of the reasons I'm feeling cheery is because the Spider Chrysanthemums I've been nurturing since May have just started flowering. These are like small explosions of yellow brightening up the greenhouse and that's just the start - I'm expecting orange, pink and even green Spiders right up until Christmas. I briefly considered drawing a real spider to go alongside these blooms as there was quite a big one in the sink at my studio this morning, but decided I'd rather not get that close..!

blow away the cobwebs  (British & Australian)
to do something which makes you feel less tired or bored, especially to spend time outside in the fresh air
Usage notes: Cobwebs are made by spiders (= small insects with 8 legs) and are usually found in rooms or places that no one uses very much.
A stroll along the cliffs will blow away the cobwebs.

(or..Drawing Chrysanthemums while watching outtakes from "Keep Your Head Up" - Ben Howard) 

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Friday, 9 November 2012

The little things - a new pencil

The little things in life that make the difference...

 I the only person who can't find a pencil when I need one? (unless it's a 3" stub or an H lead!)

So, I'm feeling very pleased today with my new clutch pencil :) which should always be the same lead and length (KEEP OFF)!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Colour from the Season - Schizostylis pink

The colour of this Schizostylis cultivar is an icy pink, quite a brilliant sight in November. They were in flower at Buckfast Abbey when I was there last week - (though this one came from my garden - honestly!)...

I was at the Abbey because I'm working on a number of illustration projects with Buckfast Media Studio leading up to the Abbey's Millennium celebrations in 2018. Buckfast is the U.K's only Monastery which still exists on exactly the site recorded in the Domesday book. It's a very tranquil and beautiful place - the name Buckfast meaning where deer can feel safe...

The Millennium logo - one of three logos I've designed for the Abbey and Media Studio.

Buckfast Abbey (photo by Luke Davies).

Autumn colour in the grounds.

Schizostylis in the Abbey gardens.

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...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Colours of the Month - October

These October colours were so easy to put together, it left me wondering if maybe I'd got it wrong. When things fit together without much effort, it can seem that something's missing, or it should have been given more consideration. So, I left it for a while to get a clearer perspective, but in the end decided that this selection and composition was exactly right.

Autumnal and quite retro browns from the conker, still one of my favourite notebook drawings; The grey of the Great Tit, reminds me of stormy skies on some of October's worst days and its feather yellow of the sun on some of its best; The deep red of the Planet Rose made me smile on just such a grey day; A little more yellow from the berries of the Cotoneaster tree and Acorns which remind me that "mighty things from small beginnings grow" (John Dryden)...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.