My pen and watercolour wash drawing is just a couple of inches across. I soon realised that I should have had a better light on such a dark subject. When I bought the camera, I could have chosen the model in silver but, on the rare occasions when I’m photographing a subject behind glass, the black doesn’t show up in reflection.
Well, one French yogurt pot of pens and two treacle/syrup tins plus an olive and a baking powder tin of them.
A few years ago, I couldn’t walk past a stationer’s or an art store without going in to see if they had an interesting pen for me to try. Today I’m happy with my TWSBI Eco T fountain pen so I stick with that, which probably is Eco-friendly, as – locally for us – all those single-use pens can’t go in the regular recycling and apparently end up in an incinerator, although Douglas Adams put forward the theory that missing ballpoint pens slip through a wormhole into an alternative dimension.
As usual, I’m using Noodler’s waterproof ink and Winsor & Newton watercolours.
Printing booklets has been a cottage industry for me for the last twenty years. It took me all day to print a hundred copies of various walks and local guides, so it’s very labour intensive, however it’s satisfying to turn sheets of laser paper and card into A5- and A4-size booklets.
Surprisingly, there were no serious hiccups, other than the printer running out of paper and on one occasion running out of toner.
The September Dalesman magazine just dropped through the door and I’m delighted with how my Wild Yorkshire nature diary has turned out this month. The drawings have a bit more room to breathe than usual and the daisies and germander speedwells, photographed in Thornes Park this summer, give a suitably relaxed frame for my Pink Pig A5 sketchbook.
As usual the lettering and drawings were dropped in later, as it would be so difficult to get the exposure just right for each element.
Sketchbook v. Notebook
I’ve been using the sketchbook format in my articles for a year now but starting in the new year, we’re going to try something different as it so difficult to tell a story in the few paragraphs of hand-written text that can be comfortably fitted in amongst my drawings.
I’m hoping that I can still keep some of the quirkiness of the visual joke of popping a sketchbook down on the turf or on the beach, so perhaps I’ll go back to my regular text and illustrations for the diary but incorporate some element like a real feather or fossil resting on the page or a ladybird crawling across it.
A Curious Cat
September’s issue of the Dalesman is, as usual, full of all things Yorkshire: the Wakefield’s Mystery Plays, Leeds Library (wish I lived nearer, I’d join), the dolls houses of Newby Hall and bird of prey conservation.
And yes, also as usual, my sketches are upstaged by watercolours and oils from Yorkshire’s artistic talent –John Harrison’s Healaugh and Chris Geall’s Mallyan Spout – but my favourite image in this issue is Stephen Garnett’s double-page spread photograph of a back alley in Robin Hood’s Bay village.
How did he manage to find that comically curious cat which so perfectly matches the sun-dappled stone of the cobbles and cottages?