Sketching in Crete 2019

The air in Crete was warm and damp. This affected the paper. See how the ink has spread in this pen and ink sketch at the airport:

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This is De Atramentis Black document ink on high quality watercolour paper, Saunders Waterford, in a small book 6″ by 4″ from the Vintage Paper Company.

After that, I used pencil and watercolour only. Here is a view of the Akrotori peninsula. The warship is lurking in the NATO base.

We lived with insects. At a hand movement, other movements occurred, in the air, on the kitchen surfaces, on the floor. Ants made their way across the breadboard, collecting crumbs or notifying HQ of the location of the honey drip. Beetles arrived suddenly, folded their wings and inspected the floor. I tried drawing them.

Two geckos made their miraculous appearance some evenings and early mornings. They emitted small squeaks.

These are images made on “sun print” paper, using plants, and cut-out paper shapes. The geckos are a species of nocturnal reptile: Hemidactylus turcicus or Mediterranean House Gecko. They are insectivorous, eating, amongst other things, moths. I wondered if they would like to live in the Barbican ducts. It must be quite warm in there, and they would be entirely welcome to devour the moths.

They stick to the walls not with suckers but with hairs on their feet. The feet of geckos are subject of intense scientific interest, I read, since these hairs are so configured that they get close to the wall on an atomic scale (10 nanometers or so). At this distance the molecules of the feet attract, rather than repel, the molecules of the wall. There is a whole compendium of physics effects which make this possible: quantum mechanical, electrostatic, surface tension.  There could be an entire undergraduate course on the feet of the Gecko.

Outdoors there is landscape…

…and a garden.

I am learning to draw clouds. There were a lot of them.

I am learning to draw quickly. Here are some very quick sketches from cafés.

The grass was cut around the lower buildings in ancient Aptera, revealing arches.

Arches make poetry in the Agia Triada monastery: a pre-departure pause….

…before the airport.

Technical details

Pictures done in sketchbooks:

Using Watercolour box 1:

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Sun print paper was from Cowling and Wilcox on the Kingsland Road. It is called “Sunography”. I printed it on both sides.

Strange Landscapes from Wood (2)

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Here’s a print I made at East London Printmakers yesterday.

It’s a continuation of the project “Strange Landscapes from Wood”, which I started in November 2018, before work for the exhibition and New Year Cards took over.

This print shows a dialogue, or perhaps an exploration. Are they perhaps looking down a tunnel? Or watching a sunset?

This is a chine collé print from a copper etched plate. The paper is thin Japanese paper brought to me by kind friends directly from “Paper Nao” in Tokyo. You can see how the plate was made on this link: Strange landscapes from wood

The plain print, with no chine collé, looks like this:

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The coloured bits are placed on top of the plate, glue side up. I’ve described the process on this link: The chine collé process

Here is work in progress:

Suffolk sketches

Here is a view of the lighthouse at Southwold. While I was drawing it, standing on the path by the sea, a woman came up and told me I was very gifted. I said thank you. Her husband said he’d told her to say that, because she’d seen me on the way down, and not said anything. He said she should express her feelings.

He had a pit bull dog. Because his mother was pure Romany. I was not sure of the connection. He said this was Kensington-and-Chelsea-on-Sea. He said that people here told him “you don’t have a London accent”. That’s because he’s not from Kensington and Chelsea, but from a different part of London.

This is the picture:

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Here’s a drawing from Southwold pier:

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This is a sketch from a bird hide in Minsmere. The two ducks on the right are Shovellers.

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This is the sunset at Walberswick:

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It was misty. I drew the Church, St Andrews. There is a ruined part, from 1493, on the right. And a more modern 18th Century part on the left.

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I drew the view up the river. Here it is in the mist.

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Here it is in the dark.

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We went home by train. I sketched the people waiting.

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Exercises – quick sketches

Here are some very quick pencil sketches.

It’s a challenge to try to make a drawing in 45 seconds – but somehow liberating. The artist has to loosen up and concentrate, both at the same time. As does the Model.