Sword Dance

SWORD DANCERS or rapier dancers were once part of the Christmas festivities, going from house to house and giving short performances which included a lot of sword-fighting.

The shading on this might look a little different to my normal style. I realised that I’d drawn the swordsmen as left-handed so I’ve flipped the drawing horizontally. Now it looks as if I’ve drawn it with my left hand with most of the lines sloping top left to bottom right.

I did a preliminary little sketch to work out the poses of the dancers but I was happy to launch straight into a cartoon version of a Brown Rat. Notice that we’re back to to right-handed shading for the ground.

I had wild black plums on my ‘to draw’ list, so when we saw some that had fallen onto a grass verge, I selected a few to draw from life, taking a small leafy twig to help put over the idea that these are plums and not, as you might guess at a glance, black party balloons. Once again, I was able to go straight into the final drawing with no rough and no pencil construction lines. This is my preferred option considering that I might need 240 illustrations for the book and more if I decide to up the number of pages from 64 to 96.

The View from the Sofa

12.15 p.m.; There’s a sad tale behind this drawing of a semi-detached house. It looks as if we might have sold Barbara’s mum’s house (Betty died in January) and we’ve popped up there to wait for some relatives who have said they’d like to take the two small sofas.

As I sat on one of the sofas drawing the view across the road I thought of all the Boxing Day parties, all the afternoon tea and Betty’s homemade scones that we’ve enjoyed while sitting here but this is the last drawing I’ll be able to do sitting on one of the sofas looking out my mum-in-law’s front room.

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