Lady of Avenel delivery passage, October 2022, Caledonian Canal

The Lady of Avenel is an 102ft square rigged brigantine. She was on the East coast of Scotland, and needed to be on the West Coast. So a group of us assembled to take her through the Caledonian Canal, from the North Sea to the Atlantic. This whole journey was about 190km or 120miles.

Route of The Lady of Avenel: Inverness to Oban, via Tobermory. 1st Oct to 8th Oct 2022

I joined the boat at Inverness. Travel to Scotland was disrupted by rail strikes. To be sure of arriving on time I arrived a day early. This gave me a chance to look around Inverness. There’s a huge river, the River Ness, and a castle and an Art Gallery. I stayed in a lovely hotel, Fraser House, on the river: recommended.

The Lady of Avenel was on the Canal at Seaport. The first Locks were Muirtown Locks, taking us uphill from the North Sea.

Here is the view as we entered Loch Ness:

Entering Loch Ness

I was making these sketches very quickly. The boat kept moving, the light kept changing, and then it rained.

The sketchbook I was using was a Seawhite A5 Travel journal.

The patterns on some of the drawings were made before the trip. They are relief prints, using the corrugated paper from a coffee cup, corrugated cardboard, bubblewrap, and the net from some oranges. Sometimes these prints really enhanced the drawing, sometimes not. Here’s one where it worked:

Duart castle, printed background from a takeaway coffee cup

I also made sketches on small pieces of watercolour paper, which I sent as postcards.

It’s a challenge to draw the rigging.

We had some shore leave.

The scenery of the Highlands, seen from the boat, was stunning. I tried to capture the light. All these sketches were made from the boat, which was moving, even when anchored.

It was an adventure.

I’ve sketched before on the Lady of Avenel, in the Outer Hebrides in 2016, and again in 2017, in Oban on a refit, and in Heybridge. I also made a series of postcards for the boat:

Shetland 2022 – Burrastow

Here is a drawing I made after breakfast:

After Breakfast, Burrastow, 9th July 2022

I drew some pictures indoors:

A glass of wine:

A glass of wine – 12 July 2022

An evening on the terrace….

An evening on the terrace, Burrastow, July 2022

Sketches in Switzerland – Spring 2022

Waiting in London City airport…

Breakfast…

Looking out of the window…

Walking around…

A rich cultural spectacle:

Photographs absolutely not allowed, but sketching was OK. It was very crowded, and great fun to hear the expert yodleurs. They sung in French.

Sketching on the journey back to London. Passports were checked four times: at check-in, at border passport control, and again at the gate in Geneva (shown below), and again on arrival in the UK.

The friendly passport officer at Gate B32 kindly agreed to add his stamp to my picture. You see his blue rectangular contribution in the top right.

Sketching on the plane:

In between all this sketching I did some work…..and went walking in the snow.

Near Sainte-Croix, Vaud.

Monument EC3, on a hot day

Le Pain Quotidien at Monument was open on Sunday. I found a table in the shade and sketched.

Back at home I added tone and an experimental print background. What do you think?

Drawing: waterproof ink and watercolour Neutral Tint.

Print: Plate made from cut cardboard. Printed using Schmincke relief ink: “Aqua Linodruck #19210 permanent yellow”. Printed directly into the sketchbook.

#Inktober2020

Here are my Inktober drawings for 2020:

Inktober 2020 prompt list

What is inktober? It’s a drawing challenge. There are prompts each day in October. The challenge I set myself is to do a drawing for each prompt, in ink, square. You can see the prompts here and on Inktober.com
Why do I do it? It’s different from my “normal” work. My urban sketches and other art generally take several hours, and are from life (non-fiction).
I do the inktober drawings quickly, in less than half an hour normally, and from imagination (fiction). Inktober jolts me into other worlds. It’s also a challenge, and enjoyable. I also like to see what other people draw, from the same prompt. The drawings are posted on instagram with the tag #inktober2020.

I did it last year for the first time. It surprises me that I can do it.

#Inktober 2019

I did Inktober for the first time this year. This is a drawing challenge, described on the Inktober web page. The idea is to draw a picture, in ink,  each day of October.

“Inktober is about the constraint of medium. You must draw with ink. When you sit down to do the challenge you don’t have to decide what colors you’re going to use, whether you’ll be rendering in pencil or watercolor. The challenge has stripped away all of these variables that can get you sidetracked or frustrated, allowing your creative energy to be focused straight into your drawing.” Jake Parker

I followed the official prompts:

2019promptlist.png

Here are my pictures. They are all done in black ink on white paper. The reason they appear in different tints and tones is that they were photographed in different light, depending on where I was at the time.

 

I used De Atramentis document ink (waterproof) and a Sailor Fountain pen with EF nib. For the tones, I diluted the ink with water.

Here’s what I learned from Inktober:

  1. I could do it. It was fun to do, and an achievement.
  2. The drawings are mostly small, 2½” square. “15” and “16” are 8″ square. If I do it again, I’ll use a bigger sketchbook.
  3. I used a sketchbook with quite soft, low quality paper. Next time: use smooth watercolour-quality paper, which will take the ink better and not buckle.
  4. I started doing drawings of any size. These get cut to a square when posted on Instagram. If I do it again, I’ll do all square drawings.
  5. It was a good idea to write “#inktober” and the day on the drawing.
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