On an unseasonably warm winter afternoon, here’s a quick sketch of some snow-capped conifers. I would say it’s like a half-finished Christmas card, but that would be an obscene suggestion to make in January so I shan’t do it. There’s really not much more to say in terms of rationale, but I will say that trees are good. I like trees. Hopefully, you’ll appreciate this little wintry blast. I’m off to change into shorts and T-shirt.
Whilst looking through some old school exercise books recently, I found a set of haikus about the seasons. Here’s what I came up with for winter:
Winter time, snow, ice Evergreen trees standing strong High above the rest
I was messing around with a pretty pixel landscape which didn’t get very far, so I decided to start all over again. Taking on board the lessons learnt from an earlier exercise, I just focused on a single element to begin with, seeing where that took me. It was greenery, again, but not confined to conifers this time, I can coniferm.
Attempting to cut corners actually seemed to pay off; I created a round scatter brush and started layering up colour very quickly, trying not to overthink. I like how they came out: fluffy, with a more painterly, dreamy quality than I’m used to. This might be the key to some bigger and better pixel landscapes as the style probably lends itself to a larger scale.
The quaint cottage I originally planned for the scene didn’t materialise – not this time – but last night I didn’t even get past the hedgerow, so I’m branding this a success, whether ya like it or not!
I’m taking a trip back to 2018 for this post which, yes, you guessed it, seems like a lifetime ago now. These geometric grid pieces were given the working title Summer Nights and attempted to abstract a warm vibe with vivid and electric colours. I believe the ultimate goal was to make letters out of them, but unfortunately they were not finished before they were abandoned.
However, revisiting these in 2021 created the germ of the ideas that have appeared in recent weeks, so they are now pertinent.
Indeed the new pieces were made on the same files as the 2018 work, hence the similar colours and style. Some do stick out rather, though; even more once I dragged them kicking and screaming into Photoshop for some filtering fun.
Perhaps it says something that, after all of this experimentation, I ended up going back to the very first idea and really found it to be the most enjoyable process. Maybe I will try and put some letters together after all, although saying I might do something on here seems to be the kiss of death for my productivity! Fingers crossed for an exception to the rule.
So there we are: what’s old is new again. if you don’t like it now, put it away but don’t bin it. You might need it in three years.
Ready to be picked. I don’t know who he is, but he was a lot of fun to draw and, after several false starts recently, this happened very quickly.
Thanks to Fearsome Beard for selecting the photato as Beard of the Day and bringing the subsequent inspiration. Do check out his site if you, like me, are fans of charming men with charming beards.
Also, wow. So this is the new WordPress editor that I’ve seen various bloggers struggle with and complain about for months. Argh! I can see why. It does seem rather daunting. Hopefully this post comes through without catastrophe.
With a swift spot of twitching this evening, I found my way to the cormorant. Expert waterfowl with a preference for coastal areas, you’ll find plenty perched about the Broads, using high branches as a lookout or settled atop the sails of windmills to dry their wings before the sun. Brograve Mill in particular almost looks wrong without its watchful residents.
My second drawing was referenced from a daylight shot, but I dialled it up somewhat and went for almost silhouette with saturated colour; trouble was, this led to further dallying and switching hues around. I couldn’t decide which to show, so here’s both of them – at least they are apparently enamoured with one another…
I’m sure there will always be room for more birdwatching, broadland or otherwise. Watch this space.
I don’t know about you, but I thought this as much sweet as utterly, utterly terrifying. This is the ginormous female Wolf Spider, devotedly piggybacking her many hatchlings – themselves unacceptably large – which she will happily do until they feel they are independent enough to go solo. She will essentially let them clamber all over her body, though they tend to cluster together on her back.
As long as she doesn’t ferry her little ones in my direction, I’m perfectly happy to admire her tireless parenting. I suppose when you eat the daddy immediately after sex, choices become limited.
But still: nature, there. A fascinating sight. I bet when they finally do fledge, mummy thinks to herself, “that’s a weight off the shoulders”.
To be honest, I’ve wanted to post for a couple of days, but really haven’t had any idea what to actually do, or talk about. I think Christmas and various bouts of overindulgence have wearied me somewhat. I can confirm that it is Monday tomorrow. I bet you didn’t know that – I didn’t, until I checked the calendar.
No worries about the staggering though, for I eventually found my way to drawing the magnificent and glorious grey wolf, one of my favourite animals of all. Not the wicked beast we have painted it to be over the centuries, instead the social, affectionate and intelligent creature that it really is. Leave the wolves alone, yeah? Yeah.
This is, I believe, the first drawing I’ve uploaded to this space which hasn’t relied on a photograph or reference image in any way. This was created completely by the mind… there were supposedly limitless possibilities, and this is what came of it! I don’t know what that says to you about my imagination. Well, I guess it begins to illustrate the thoughts of eeriness I mentioned a while ago when drawing Norton Marsh Drainage Mill, with what appears to be a hazy summer sky moving aside for a big-arse storm, just to make things extra scary… you don’t want to be out on the broads when a lightning storm hits, let me tell you from experience!
As it happens, I used to dream up scenes much like this as a child, often inspired by Sundays out with my family, which invariably saw us out on the broadland somewhere (These were the days when, being Sunday, it meant there was little else to do!). Using only a pen and whatever paper I could get my hands on, my mother knew it kept me out of mischief, so she would buy me no end of sketch pads, old diaries, anything… I wasn’t much fussed… I’d be out of her hair for a few hours. She would do that a lot.
I wonder if this ‘full circle’ of sorts has been spurred in any way by my recent return to walking. I’ve been out and about a lot over the past few months, indeed every single day since the start of August, as it’s widely reputed to be good for depression. It’ll do me the world of good, they all say. (And then I scream at hearing that tiresome bloody phrase on endless repeat.) I can’t say it’s had a massive impact in that respect – I probably got desperate and overestimated the effect it’d have – but I have found myself forcing myself to do it every day, so it must be doing something positive in there. I’m trying to increase my mileage with each week… maybe one day I’ll outstretch and bend time backward, to the pathways I explored as a youngster, which look a little like this one.