A change of direction

This week I am mostly sketching on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, but I know I can’t keep drawing the same old sea view. Downstairs from the apartment where I’m staying is a ‘Hundred-year-old Olive Tree’. Well, that’s what they call it here. It just means it’s so old that nobody really knows how old it is! I decided it might be a good subject for a sketch but felt self-conscious about drawing ‘in situ’ so I took a photo with my phone and returned to the safe confines of my balcony. This is the result. 

100-year-old olive tree
I then had a couple of busy-doing-not-very-much days before revisiting cartoons. I’d really enjoyed doing the faces a few days ago and decided to challenge myself even further by looking at the whole body. As usual, there was plenty of advice on the Internet so I had a go with a couple of the sites I found.

My first attempt was not very successful but I’m showing it to you, anyway, just to prove I’ve been trying!

cartoon boy
I did a bit better today, I think, even though the legs are a bit wonky (wonkiness seems to be my style!) and even managed to adapt the drawing to represent one of the characters in the Agnil’s Worlds books! Can anyone guess who it is?

Which elf?
I do have a bit of a problem. My eraser/rubber is almost worn out! I must be able to buy one around here!

A mixed bag

Continuing with my drawing diary inspired by Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell’s, Five Point Plan, again proved a little tricky over the past few days…but I’ve kept going, albeit not every day. 

 

Five Point Plan

Chris Riddell’s Five Point Plan


My first drawing is one that I set as a challange to myself. I have a friend who, along with his partner, keeps alpacas in the province of Cordoba in Spain. I wondered if I could draw one…here’s the result of that little experiment. A decidedly pensive/angry alpaca! 

alpaca 

Since the last time I posted, I’ve transferred to Spain for a holiday so my second offering is a sketch of the view I have from the balcony. The view is quite beautiful and I’m not sure that without colour I can entirely do it justice. I have simplified what I can see just a little bit, it’s not quite to scale and, like most of my other drawings, it’s a bit wonky! 

Cala Salions 

Yesterday, we were invited to lunch by some friends and the effects of a huge lunch, one or two drinks and the heat meant that the drawing of this ‘rustic’ chair is probably more ‘rustic’ than reality! Another decidedly wonky sketch! 

chair 

Today I decided to try something a bit different.  Having unsuccessfully tried to draw my granddaughter’s face and abandoning the attempt, I Googled ‘drawing cartoon characters’ and came across the TutsPlus web site. Following some very simple instructions, I managed to draw these two characters! I did have fun drawing these but I don’t think any of my illustrator friends need feel threatened!

boy  old man 

Highs and lows

teddy bear

A few days ago I decided to sketch daily for a month, inspired by Chris Riddell, the new Children’s Laureate and his Five Point Plan.

Five Point Plan - Chris Riddell

When my friend, Louise, started sketching daily along with her family, I decided to join this interesting journey.

I’m not going to blog daily but every few days I will upload what I have done.

The first sketch, the Love-in-a-Mist, I posted a few days ago so here are the rest I have done since.

My second attempt was another flower, a little viola picked from my garden.

viola

Pleased with my effort, I decided to tackle something more ambitious and remembered my beloved teddy bear. As old as I am, worn and scruffy, one eye missing and the stuffing falling out of his feet, this bear has been with me all my life. Overall, I’m quite pleased with it even though the proportions aren’t quite right, the head is a little too small, one leg is longer than the other and one foot larger.

teddy bear

My next sketch nearly got the better of me. This shell was a real challenge, even more so than the bear. The curves and angles were difficult and I hope it looks 3D. I sweated over this one!

June14

Today I decided to try to take a step back. I started one sketch and was very unhappy with it. It sits abandoned in my sketch book. I found instead a small glass tea light holder. Again, it was harder than I thought and it came out wonky. I’m a bit disappointed but I’m showing it to you anyway. It’s all about the journey for me, not so much the end result. This one shows that things don’t always turn out the way you hope, even when they appear straightforward.
I won’t give up though!

June15

Inspiration

Inspiration is an elusive thing; a will-o’-the-wisp that dissipates as you approach. But this week I feel like I’ve won the jackpot as I’ve managed to grab hold of that bright light not once but twice!

Tulilautta3

When I wrote my last post about attending The People’s Books Prize Awards, I said that I came away itching to start writing again. Well, it didn’t happen for a while. Maybe I needed to come down from that euphoric cloud I’d been on.  I’ve been researching my new book for a long time but the story and the characters have been trapped inside me not knowing how to find their way out. I was worried it would never happen. On Tuesday I went into Cambridge to do some more research. I came away not having found what I’m looking for, which is quite frustrating. That afternoon I heard a voice in my head – the voice of one of my characters! I knew who it was and I was shocked by what he said but I knew I had to write it down. The first 350 words tumbled out onto the screen. I’d made a start. The saying goes, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. I have several tens of thousands more words to write, but now I’ve ‘met’ my characters and know who they are as people, I can move forward and plan things out a bit better. I ought to say at this stage that it’s not another book in the Agnil’s Worlds series this time but something completely different. I shan’t give away too much right now as the seed is only just germinating.

The second inspiration came from the blog of my friend, Lou Minns, who, along with her family, is taking up an idea from author/illustrator, Chris Riddell, the newly announced Children’s Laureate in his ‘Five Point Plan’. Lou and her family are planning to do a daily drawing which she will upload to her blog for the period of a month.

Five Point Plan - Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell’s Five Point Plan

I haven’t picked up a pencil in many years but I do have drawing materials around the house left behind by my three highly talented and artistic children when they left home. When I read Lou’s blog I immediately dug out a sketchbook and discovered I had a beautiful chunky sketching pencil. What to draw, though? I happened to be sitting in the garden eating breakfast at the time so I headed straight for one of my favourite flowers, Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella). In the past I have loved photographing this amazing flower and have a whole set of them on my Flickr photostream. This is the first one I ever took.

Love-in-a-Mist

They self-seed like a weed around my garden but I leave them as I love them so much. I picked one and brought it over to the bench where I was sitting. Half an hour later I had drawn this.

11th June 2015

11th June 2015

Can I pledge to do a drawing a day for a month… or more? I don’t know, but I’m going to try. It’ll be difficult to post them every day so I may only do that once a week or so. It’s very therapeutic and a great incentive to move away from the computer screen for a while each day… though not for too long as I have a book to write! 🙂