Music Studies

In case you thought I only drew swimmers and cats at the moment… you’d be about 95% right. A few recent drawings of musical instruments and people playing music. I use the term in its broadest possible sense as I have included the ringing of church bells*. And last night I saw, heard, and sketched the wonderful ‘Bare Bones’ trombone trio and iSax saxophone quartet. iSax sat down and there wasn’t much to really draw but i did my best, Bare Bones made for a much more lively drawing, though you had to be quick to catch them, and I…

Nudity!

I spent Saturday drawing naked people again. Life drawing is really excellent practice, but does mean that I end up with a lot of drawings, and not everyone wants naked people on their walls… however since, curiously, ‘nude pencil drawing’ is one of the most commonly used search terms for people finding my shop for original artwork on on Etsy.com, there must be some people out there who do. And some of these drawings I’m quite pleased with, so I’ve just put a few up in the shop here. This is not the same shop as the one with all…

Sketching Cider Apple Fairies

I have been Drawing Cider Apple Fairies! The sketch is now as complete as it’s going to get, next stage is to get it onto watercolour paper and get the paints out. This was done on a tablet – not as nice to draw on as paper but what it loses in tactile pleasure it more than makes up for in the ability to move and alter different elements of the drawing until they work together. You can’t see much of this process here, but there was a lot of faffing at the start once I had a pose for…

Ditch Dragons and the Westcountry Bestiary

A quick update: I have written and sent the blurb for my solo exibition at Ilminster in July, it is now definitely called ‘A Westcountry Bestiary’. So I need to steam ahead a bit and paint a few more creatures, beasties and denizens of the Westcountry.  This evening I am drawing Ditch Dragons. They are a thing, honest. Medusa is finished, and when I have time to stitch the scans together I shall post her but for the meantime, it’s dragons in the undergrowth…  

The Opium Fairies - sketch

Papaver Somniferum

There are gaping holes in my ‘Poison Flower Fairies‘ painting series. This suspicious selection of characters so far includes some toxic, medicinal and aggressive types of fairies, but I have yet to add two blindingly obvious ones. One of the omissions is Atropa Belladonna, a.k.a Deadly Nightshade, both notorious and medicinal, and this is partly because I don’t know anywhere hereabouts where it grows though it must be somewhere around, and I do like to draw a plant from life even if it’s sometimes hard to track down the fairies. The other one is almost so obvious you wouldn’t believe…

Witches' Knickers and Knickerless Witches - sketch 1

Progress interrupted by Witches Knickers!

Yesterday somebody told me the about “Witches’ Knickers”… a wonderful term for plastic bags caught in teees and bushes. It appears to be Irish in origin, and, living as I do in pretty unspoilt, knickerless rural Somerset, it’s not greatly fitting into my scheme of a “Westcountry Bestiary”. Still, I am not really convinced about my Silver Street drawings of my previous post, and now I am throughly distracted by drawing witches’ knickers… and knickerless witches. I think the idea might fly. The first three drawings also vaguely conform to the very witchy tripple-goddess Hecate as maiden, mother and crone….

Silver Street scribble 2

Every Street has a Silver Lining

Is it only me who has a bit of a thing over the name ‘Silver Street’? Ever since we moved to Somerset I have been noticing them. Actually I know it’s not just me, I cam across a rather exhaustive essay on the possible derivations of the name, several possibilities including Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian names, no conclusions were drawn. One website for South Petherton claims the origin of its street name was because there was a mint situated on the street, but that in no way explains the other 36 Silver Streets in my Somerset Atlas. The author Lindsey Davis…

Flying Pig 2

How Pigs Fly

‘If pigs could fly’ is of course the standard declaration of scepticism, however in my quest to document some of our local Somerset magical creatures, it has come to my attention that the little village of High Ham, a mere 3 miles from here as the pig flies, cannot have got its name for no reason. This being the case, how is it that we refuse to believe that pigs can fly? The confusion may lie in a misunderstanding of pigs’ wings, always shown in fanciful drawings as exactly like birds’ wings, stuck on a pig. This is of course…

Sketch: Pollarded dryads

Pollarded Dryads, and the Secret to Eternal Youth

How many limbs would you sacrifice for eternal youth? None? not even a few fingers, some little toes? Very wise, this only works with trees, but I bet some out there would be prepared to donate a digit or two… I am pondering some of our local Westcountry creatures – the ones you don’t usually see. The rhyne mermaids, ditch dragons, hedge trolls – more investigation is needed. However, one collection of creatures that I am sure are out there are the Pollarded Dryads. Dryads of course are tree spirits. And willows, like all trees, must have their dryads –…