Pink Pigs

Useful to have the option of next day delivery as I needed these Pink Pig sketchbooks in a hurry. It’s not that I’m short of sketchbooks but the new format for my Dalesman articles is A5 portrait.

I ordered a batch of Pink Pig’s Posh Eco sketchbooks with smooth Ameleie 270 gsm watercolour paper. Hope that the fresh sketchbooks inspire me to get back into regular drawing.

My friend John Welding has, so far, been out drawing every day for the Inktober challenge. He’s been using a Pilot Parallel Pen to good effect so when I spotted one in the studio, I thought that I’d give it a go. It must be one that I used for calligraphy as it’s filled with red ink.

I’ll stick to my Lamy Safari and Vista pens but it’s good to occasionally try different media.


Pink Pig

John Welding on Twitter

Pilot Parallel Pen

Pink Pig

Pink Pig sketchbook

I’m delighted to have made it into the Pink Pig catalogue (educational version) which has just dropped through the door. This is a sketch I made of the railway embankment in my Holly Green Sketchbook.

I feel it’s appropriate that I live just five miles from what might well be Great Britain’s biggest sketchbook factory, the rate that I get through them. On several occasions I’ve called there to pick up a bundle of a particular size of sketchbook, most recently I upgraded to their own brand of 270 gsm watercolour paper, Ameleie, in an 8 x 8 inch format which I’m intending to reproduce in print using one of the digital book printing services.

Pink Pig

If you’re sharp-eyed you might spot a couple more extracts from my Holly Green Sketchbook in the catalogue and by coincidence I’m sharing a page with fellow ex-Leeds and Royal College of Art student, John Ross. John spent most of his time at the RCA in printmaking, mainly in etching, ultimately producing The Biggin Hill Frescoes. My Royal College publication was A Sketchbook of the Natural History of the Country Round Wakefield.

John’s got as far as Andalusia but here I am still beetling away with my sketchbook in the country round Wakefield.

(That’s not quite the whole story because John recently spent a year in a project to restore the most Gothic of Huddersfield’s leafy parks, Beaumont Park).

Link; Pink Pig sketchbooks (they supply direct to the public but you might be lucky enough to find a stock of assorted Pink Pigs in your local art shop, which enables you to get the feel of them).

simply firesAnother link; my work also appears in a newly revamped website of Simply Fires. A small detail but I think it gives the site a warm and friendly look; which is just right for a family firm that supplies wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves!

The drawing of the coal bucket on their contact page was one I made when I stayed at Langsett Youth Hostel, which had just had a new stove fitted. Sadly, ten years later, the Youth Hostel has now closed, which is a shame because they would have been guaranteed a full house in ten days from now when the Grand Depart of the Tour de France passes within a hundred yards of their front door.


Black Bag

I’VE DRAWN this in dip pen and Winsor & Newton Indian ink then added a premixed ink wash. I used this method for my High Peak Drifter sketchbook, taking four small plastic containers of pale to dark washes with me.

This proved ideal for subjects in the Dark Peak in late winter and early spring, such as drystone walls and running water and places like Thor’s Cave but as summer approached it seemed wilfully contradictory to use the same monochrome treatment for wild flowers and butterflies. But I stuck with it to the final page, drawn one sultry early summer’s evening at Jacob’s Ladder, the zig-zag path that climbs up to the Kinderscout plateau.

I recently kitted myself out with a fresh batch of Pink Pig cartridge paper sketchbooks in a range of sizes and my plan is to have art-bags ready to go in a small (A6), medium (A5) and largish (A4) sizes.

I’m still looking for a bag that is suitably compact for an A6 sketching kit, perhaps it will all go into a wallet and fit into my pocket. My growing collection of art-bags tend to flop around the studio, usually getting parked on a chair, so I’ve attached a hook to the wall and hung them there, ready to grab one depending on exactly where I’m heading;

  • A National Trust organiser bag in natural canvas is ideal for what I intend to be my natural history sketchbook, an A5 landscape format spiral bound Pink Pig.
  • The black Timberland backpack, a birthday present from a friend last week, is the one that I’d use for more ambitious outings, perhaps to draw whole landscapes rather than smaller details. The bag is designed to hold a laptop, so there’s plenty of room for my A4 landscape format sketchbook and it has extra compartments so that I have the option to include some more ambitious media, dip pen and bottle of ink rather than my habitual fountain pen for instance.
  • Finally, hanging like a shadow behind the National Trust organiser in my sketch, there’s the black shoulder bag (described as a ‘fisherman’s bag’) that I bought at Marks & Spencer’s in Glasgow last year. This is my sketchcrawl around town bag, probably the one that I’ll take most on my errands and book deliveries. This fits my new square 8 by 8 inch holly green Pink Pig like a glove.

But the square page of the holly green sketchbook doesn’t accommodate long thin drawings; that’s why my A5 bag ended up hanging out of frame off the bottom of the page! (Pink Pig do some quirky long thin sizes, perhaps I should go for one of them for tall, thin subjects).