Saturday, 13 December 2014

A bit sketchy....

Well once again I have been remiss in keeping my blog, must make more effort next year.  

I seemed to have become a bit stale painting wise, so I decided to have a go at sketching.  Back in the mists of time this was something I found easy, but I seemed to lose the knack and with it the confidence.   So I bought a couple of 'how to' books,  and got out my pencils.   This owl wasn't my first attempt, but I love owls, so naturally I wanted to show  him first.    The books break the object down to simple forms like circles, ovals, squares and triangles etc, from there you start to add shape and form.   I was a bit gobsmacked with the owl,  never thought I would be able to draw one.   The other book I got was how to draw cats, well as a cat lover why not! 

Yes I know I've not got the face quite right.  I've been studying Harvey so I can make corrections to the next drawing.   I was pleased that I managed to draw a cat which was turning round,  and managed to do some shading.  This was one of my first sketches,  so I was getting used to drawing again and making very tentative lines on the page! 

Boosted by this I decided to go back to Hobbycraft for another book, a sketchpad and some coloured pencils.  Got the book, the sketchpad and what I thought was a set of 24 coloured pencils...   and headed for home.  After a nice lunch of cheese on toast (winter food),  two mugs of tea I opened the new sketch pad, got out the new pencils,  eh, what was this, they weren't coloured, they were a sketching set, charcola, pencilsl etc...  doh!   But I gave them a go and was delighted,  so it was a  happy accident! 

And this is why.   In amongst the pencils were some skin tones, which allowed me to draw this young black boy.  I was very pleased with this effort,  it was a get to know you session with the sketching set, to see what did what and what worked best for me.  By the end of it I had this sketch, and it was now getting dark,  Harvey was snoozing happily in his new bed...  and all was well with the world! 

Well almost.   I thought this year would be easier than last,  last year being the first Christmas without mum, but in fact this year has been much harder.   A friend came to stay and offered to get my Christmas decs down from the loft,  but my heart wasn't in it.   I almost backed out of putting any decs up, but thought that was a bad idea, so a neighbour came to the rescue and got the decs down.   I managed to put up the tree,  thought I'd mislaid the lights so bought some new ones, and of course the old lights were lurking at the bottom of the box!   I haven't put much up this year, my heart really wasn't in it.   I even let the cards pile up, couldn't face opening them, or even buying them, let alone making any.    I have now got some nice cards to send,  which I will force myself to do tomorrow.  

A friend who runs an FB group challenged us to come up with a Christmas drawing a day.  It seemed beyond me, but I had a bash, drawing this cat,  based on one I saw in Radio Times, but mine has a Christmas hat on him!   I spotted photos of the original 101 dalmations, the cartoon,   and decided to have a go, by george she managed it, but forgot to take a photo...    Buoyed by that I looked on line for some how to draw cartoons stuff, found a page and had a bash.  What I like about these sites and the books is that they just break it all down,  they are not intimidating,  a few circles, a straight line, a few curves and suddenly you have a picture.  You still have to do the work, but it is so rewarding, why wasn't it like this at school?   

So here is Rudolph, and all by my own hand, with some dodgy colouring in.  Going to draw him again and this time use my pro-markers.  He was just a few circles to start with, added a few spindly legs, a curve or two... then slowly he began to come to life. 

I'm still nowhere near being full of festive spirit.  I went to a garden centre today which has lots of lovely Christmas stuff,  I needed to get out, the weather has been awful here so I had no choice but to stay indoors.  But even surrounded by all the Christmas stuff I still felt incredibly sad.  I spotted a decoration, a twirly thing,  which had Mum on it, so I bought it, oh and an owl, can't resist owls.   I tried to buy a few bits of luxury food from the food hall but, nothing appealed to me.  I watched a load of soppy films today,  well half watched as I was also painting!   Yep my enthusiasm for painting has returned, but now I feel confident to use the basic tracings, but then add to it, as I have with the one I am currently painting, and I'm trusting myself to pick the right colours.

Distressingly this morning I saw my good neighbour being taken to hospital, he was in a bad way, so my thoughts and prayers have been with him all day.   I was disgusted by the ambulance crew who let him walk down a flight of stairs and then expected him to walk to the ambulance, the man has only one functioning lung!    My blood was boiling, back in my day we would have carried him down the stairs and into the ambulance to ensure his comfort.   When I broke my knee they asked me if I could walk to their bloody ambulance,  I said no, and then added that I'd been in the ambulance service, funny how their attitude then changed!   It still stank, but they had fallen far short of being a decent, and humane ambulance crew. 

Making no promises as to when the next blog will be....  before Christmas I hope.

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