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Digital drawing

stream-1Ah, the stream.

It’s one of those natural spots where you could happily wile away hours at a time, watching the water trickle along. As transpired with the piece above, the setting is just as meditative to draw, which was just as well, really. I loosely referenced a shot of the rocky stream beneath Ashness Bridge of the Lake District, taken by my friend Mark. Not to peddle an ulterior motive, of course, but he’s a fantastic photographer – do take a look at his gallery!

bamill-3Obviously, another inspirational landmark is the windmill. Have I ever said that before? It’s enough of a link to justify bundling this in here as an extra! It’s just a little experimentation, really; I’d been tinkering with some environmental lighting and attempting to create a foggy view – the impressive Berney Arms Mill rising above the morning mist with her brand new sails.

BAmill0012Quite handily, it meant that I didn’t actually have to render that troublesome terrain! This could breathe a bit of life into the landscapes I’ve been modelling, so it appears both of these streams are flowing.

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dutch-mill-2I thought I’d have another crack at the painting technique touched upon with Wet Edge Mill – namely, the wet edge brush. Naturally, this meant another windmill, but we’ve leapt over to the Netherlands again – where the landscapes are almost exactly the same, yes, but hey, the sky’s different at least! And the mills there are rather pretty, as I’ve doubtless mentioned before. This one is drawn from reference, too, so it’s invited greater detail if not feeling quite so free. I’m afraid I know nothing of the actual location, so we’ll have to forego the usual history lesson. Hear the internet weep! I would rather like to live there, though…

With two wet ones down, perhaps I ought to aim for a ‘medium’, being a bit more daring with colour choices; I’m pretty sure there will be a next time, as the dynamics of the brush are fun to play with, and it has coaxed this out of a seemingly endless dry spell. Yay indeed. Vaarwel!

rhcpflea-2c“No matter what level you’re doing it on, playing music is an opportunity to give something to the world.”

While there have been several artists that have been with me since childhood, I think the Red Hot Chili Peppers were one of the first that I discovered myself, with a hunger to learn more and track down new material – the eclectic mix of hard rock, funk and soul makes them a truly alternative act, and one with proven longevity. Being that first major stop in the pursuit of musical discovery, finding my way back to their material is always a tremendous nostalgia trip.

Though all are hard to ignore, it was always the bassist, Flea, that grabbed me the most. The origin of the nickname is clear to see, for he bounds around the stage – typically wearing next to nothing and/or doused in neon paint – with such enigmatic vigour, all while slapping the guitar and making it sing. He’s a skilled multi-instrumentalist, but his work on the bass is quite rightly acclaimed as some of the best ever. A proper rock star.

All of that surely explains the rather pedestrian portrait of our man dressed up in a snazzy shirt. I just found this particular reference quite cute, and wanted to focus on that. Perhaps I’d better do another, more animated attempt which can do justice to the showman…

 

dominicthorburn-2aWell, it is the blog’s second birthday, I suppose – and, with any celebration, one should look both back and forward, old and new. That’s actor Dominic Thorburn, whom we have apparently sat in the corner to think about whatever it is he’s done. Hmm! I feel as though I should be doing the same, but, in my defence, I can say that I don’t currently have any more naked men left to share.

Currently.

He was actually quite a challenge, the angles of his legs and feet proving particularly tough; I can’t remember the last time I attempted to sketch someone sitting down and was rather caught out! It’s probably not my best facial likeness either – I keep getting a vibe of somebody else whose name I can’t place! – and some parts still look a bit off, but I thought it best to stop here lest I go the other way. A very fun subject, regardless!

davidpevsner-5-4AThat’s my David. An excited silver fox – what’s not to like?

I guess he’s a little perked up by the whiff of jubilation pervading this corner of the blogosphere. It’s two years to the day since I set this blog up and began wittering on to anybody who’ll listen. Yes, that has to be it. I’m stunned. It’s gone so quickly!

Within the first month I’d garnered inspiration from David, on a bigger (and nuder) scale than most that had come before. It began travelling, to my surprise, and reached him via social media. He was not only generous enough to drop in and pass comment, he also shared the work with his own followers. A simple click, but I was impossibly flattered, and it certainly encouraged me to keep going, to trudge through that rather awkward infant phase and press on in the pursuit of something worthwhile. With all that I’ve learnt and developed since then, I think it’s been a success!

I shouldn’t wish to make a tremendous song and dance about this date, but thought it correct to use it as an opportunity to return to Mr. Pevsner with the suitable gratitude. Of course, this feeling extends to you, too; whether you comment regularly or read silently, whether you’ve been here since the beginning or have only today hopped on board, thank you for all your inspirational art, your support and friendship but mostly just for continuing to put up with me – it’s no easy task, I know. Long may we continue, and sorry there’s no cake or fizzy.

(Party horn)

broads-bittern2Back to the thirties and Secrets of Nature, and through our time-warp binoculars we’ve spotted another broadland birdie: the bittern, described in the documentary as a ‘queer’ and ‘invisible’ character of fawn and brown stripes. Poor luv! Doubtless, such camouflage and the spear-like bill probably serve her well as she tends to her young.

Here’s the iconic boom of the male’s mating call, a frequent noise throughout the spring and summer, especially at dawn and dusk. One of my earliest memories of the Broads is being at Hickling Broad and hearing that curious sound – this seems even more special now, learning of how rare they are.

This was fun enough, but I’d like to try and focus more on that patterned plumage. I’ve something else in mind for the bittern, perhaps other birds too if I’m able to materialise the image. We’ll have to see!