Word Art

Fungi hand lettering

DalesI’ve been indulging in a bit of hand lettering, going through the opening Word Art chapter of a new free e-book from Apple Education,  Everyone Can Create: Drawing, On iPad. They suggest using Tayasui Sketches School, a free version of the drawing program, which is what I’ve used here.

decorated letterformsThere’s nothing too daunting but if you were to take your time to follow each of the suggested projects you’d have covered a lot of ground and you’d have thought a lot about different approaches to drawing.

The Everyone Can Create series of e-books is aimed at 5 to 18 year olds but it’s equally useful as a refresher course if, like me, you’ve been drawing for decades and you’ve settled into what could be a rather too comfortably familiar way of working. It’s good to get back to basics.

emoticonIf you can draw a smiley face, they suggest, you can make a start with drawing. I added a grey beard to my worried-looking emoticon.

Letterforms are a familiar way to get into drawing too, so they take you step by step through decorated characters, to 3D and inflated bubble lettering.

beans logo

Patterns and Lines

patterns

lines

As I’m so keen on observational drawing that I tend to forget that a simple line on its own can carry meaning, for instance horizontal lines can evoke calm and jagged lines action. There are a few simple exercises to get you thinking about line, pattern and shape.

Links

patternEveryone Can Create: Drawing, On iPad

Tayasui Sketches School

Bracket Fungus

hoof fungs

I’m not sure whether this is the hoof fungusFomes fomentarius, or a Ganoderma bracket fungus. It was growing on a softwood deciduous tree, probably birch, at Dubbs Moss Cumbria Wildlife Trust nature reserve, southwest of Cockermouth.

Hoof fungus, also known as tinder fungus, was once considered to be mainly confined to the Scottish Highlands but it is spreading south.

iPad drawing using Clip Studio Paint.

The Old Scouring Mill

Old scouring mill
The original drawing is an inch and a half, 4cm, across.

I’ve drawn the old scouring mill at Horbury Bridge several times this year, not because I’m particularly interested in the old buildings but because of the attraction of overlooking the mill, scribbling in my sketchbook as we wait for coffee and croissants at Di Bosco, just across the road.

Overlooking and scribbling . . . (with apologies for that terrible link) . . .

‘Scribbling Overlooker’

Arthur Pearson, a scribbling overlooker, worked in one of the woollen mills at Horbury Bridge until shortly before the start of World War I, when he started working for a large woollen cloth manufacturer in Freiburg, Bohemia. After getting into an argument about the Emperor and the Kaiser in the local barber’s, he was interned from March 1915 until December 1918, when he made his way back to Yorkshire.

Speaking to a reporter from the Leeds Mercury, he said that in Vienna ‘food and clothing were only purchasable by the very rich people; in fact, money at times could not buy food, and he had seen gold watches given in exchange for a loaf of black bread.’

Tea was selling at £2 per lb, salmon 30 shillings a tin, jam 25 shillings per jar and rice £2 per lb. A suit of clothes sold for anything from £80 to £120, but, Mr Pearson noticed, ‘the cloth was of very poor quality’.

Scribbling was the initial process of combing the wool prior to spinning it into yarn.

Casualty Lists

War Office Casualty lists for 8 October 1918, a little over a month before the end of hostilities, listed Private B Clark, 46532, of Horbury, who was serving in the Durham Light Infantry. In the previous month Private J Heald, 40981, of Horbury Bridge was listed as a casualty on the 10th.

In June two soldiers from Horbury Bridge had been listed as casualties, Private W H Osterfield, 48495, of the West Yorkshire Regiment and Private D Hall, 242319, of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

J Armitage, Dramatist

J Armitage
My first drawing using a vector pen in Clip Studio Paint.
Leeds Mercury, 7 June 1913, copyright Johnstone Press, image created courtesy of the British Library Board.

J Armitage was a dramatist, whose plays ‘received the compliments of many distinguished people’ according to a photo feature in the Leeds Mercury, dated Saturday, 7 June, 1913.

A Jesse Armitage appears in the 1911 census for Horbury; then aged 24, he was employed as a railway clerk. He lived in the family home, at 4 Mortimer Row, Westfield Road with his parents Sarah, aged 50, and John, aged 55, a railway platelayer. Also still at home, his younger brother Harry, aged 20, worked as a house painter and decorator.

Ten years earlier, in 1901, Jesse, then aged 14, was working as a railway telegraph boy. When Jesse started at school, aged 4, the family had lived on Queen Street, Horbury. In 1913 he married Amy Bower, aged 25 or 26, a dressmaker from nearby Tithe Barn Street.

There’s a record of the death of a Jesse Armitage, aged 40, in the Wakefield area, registered in the first quarter of 1927.

And that’s about all I’ve been able to find out about our local dramatist so far. I’d love to know whether he wrote dramas or comedies.

Leeds Mercury
Leeds Mercury, Saturday, 7 June, 1913, copyright Johnstone Press, image created courtesy of the British Library Board.

Drawing Harvey

Drawing a border terrier

Harvey is our joiner Simon’s border terrier, so I got another chance to draw him today as work on our new bathroom continued.

Harvey likes two things: to watch the world go by and to find a warm spot to settle down in, so our patio windows are a favourite for him; sometimes snoozing with head hidden behind the curtains for bit of extra seclusion.

Border Terrier

border terrier

HarveyAfter spending time drawing from photographs, it’s refreshing to get back to drawing from life again. Frustrating too of course, because Harvey the border terrier wouldn’t settle for long, however I think that attempting to piece together several poses gives more of an impression of the character of the real, live animal than a carefully studied photograph can.

Border terrier sketches