27 May 2020

Woodblock Wednesday - the octopus

Two weeks ago I took home this jolly octopus drawn by a child who was soliciting donations for the NHS - you got to choose a picture when you donated - how could I resist! Suddenly it seemed a good idea to use it for a woodcut -
Having traced it down "wrong way round" I started again -
 and started cutting -

 Ready to print the first layer, but what colours to use? I tried out a few combinations, in watercolours -

This rubbing of the block, with paint added, made me wonder whether it shouldn't have been left "wrong way round" -
 A couple more attempts, with accoutrements -
an octopus's garden...

"must check my map, it should be here somewhere"
 First prints -
 More prints -
13 in all, most on paper from a hosho pad, with inevitably grainy results, whereas the other papers gave a good print.

This will be a reduction print of three or four layers. First, cut out the spots on the body.

 A couple more prints, with white spots -

 Adding a second layer, yellow over yellow and over blue -

 Still trying out colour combinations -

 Adding red, and a purplish blue -

The next layer(s) will make a difference. Of some sort!

26 May 2020

Drawing Tuesday - inside a cupboard or drawer

My kitchen has a vast array of cupboards and drawers to choose from; the ones at the top need a ladder to get to, and are essentially oubliettes -
So I chose the one that gets the most use - the fridge; the one that I would dearly love to be clear of all those jars and bottles at the back, kept "just in case".
Admittedly, this was not drawn entirely from observation of an open fridge - I took a photo, printed it, and mostly used that as reference, with forays back into the fridge now and then to check that the colours were "real".
And to start, I used carbon paper to trace the lines of the shelving -
Again, the question is, "Is this cheating" - and I'd say yes, except that I wanted to use the particular quality of a carbon-paper mark, more velvety and less likely to smear than pencil. And the placement of jars etc in relation to each other was a bit of a challenge in itself. I plunged straight in with the colours, rather than adding them afterwards. However the main advantage of starting with a bit of tracing is that it did get me started - I found this topic quite difficult at the outset.

From Janet B -  the lure of drawing in the garden proved irresistible. I picked a couple of items from a memory box: my son’s first pair of shoes from 32 years ago and the imaginatively named “Boy” from a few years later.

From Janet K - Things in my puppet eye box. The ends of plastic spoons make good eye shapes.

From Joyce -  I couldn’t get motivated today so here is one I did recently for an online sketchbook challenge. Hopefully I’ll be in the mood next week!

From Judith - The ‘Glory Hole’ under the stairs.

From Mags - Before an early lunch I did a continuous line drawing of the contents of the kitchen drawer . Afterwards attempted a watercolour which got very messy and confusing ( bit like the drawer really, it needs a good sort out !). The doodles along the edges of the page were the most fun , capturing the essence of implements.

From Sue S -  A difficult one to settle down to - drawers all looked so messy!! This is my sewing drawer: incl. upside down glass pots with assorted beads, sequins, nick-nacks!

From Richard - Watercolour on pencil sketch; why are nearly all my clothes black and white?
Caran d’Ache with some wet brush. In my crazed mind this looks like Surrealist-phase Paul Nash

From Ann -  I selected a memory group of a ceramic cat, icon and Japanese figurines and used new Faber Castell polychromos pencils which I'm so enjoying!

From Hazel - This is a view into my sewing box. I drew it using a brush pen and coloured pencils.

From Gill - Inside the tea towel drawer, drawn with pencil crayons. Since seeing how Marie Kondo folds everything I feel very calm when I now grab a clean tea towel instead of delving into chaos.

From Jo - Outside cupboard. Coloured pencils, HB and 6B pencils, Derwent Drawing Chinese white, candle wax, eraser.
Old hand-forks found in the shed. Staedtler triplus fineliner, water soluble pencils.

24 May 2020

Lockdown menus - last week's meals

Monday 18 May
Avocado and tomatoes on sourdough toast; yogurt, blueberries, orange

Salads and other bits

Cake treat!

English asparagus, orange and beetroot salad

Tuesday 19 May
Eggs, toast, fruit, coffee

Butter bean and courgette salad (cumin in the dressing)

Sweetheart cabbage, butter, rioja, apple, cheese, more rioja

Wednesday 20 May
Avo on toast, peanut butter and banana on toast, yogurt, blueberries

Sweetheart cabbage, toasted cheese sandwich on Vogel's bread

Pasta with a nice sauce and nice glass of wine

Thursday 21 May
A hearty brunch

The photo of the dinner has, like the meal, disappeared ...

Friday 22 May
Toast with muhumara, fruit salad and yogurt, cheese

Rather skimpy picnic lunch

Bountiful spinach salad

Saturday 23 May
Savoury start - lentilish curry with yogurt, toast, fruit

Chorizo-pasta lunch, followed by birthday loaf cake and coffee in the sitting room

Pork filet wrapped in parma ham, with lemony-minty courgettes, brown basmati
 Sunday 24 May
Omelette, sourdough toast, blueberries, yogurt

Spinach salad, with egg; coffee cake, orange

English asparagus and white wine, and a few grapes, it's enough