Sunday, 10 April 2016

More drawing today

I've never seen a nuthatch in our garden but they appear regularly in Laura's.

They are a gorgeous little bird with an unmistakeable shape. I've drawn this in a sketchbook with much smoother paper than yesterday's crow drawing and I like the quality of line a lot more. Amazing to think how much difference the choice of paper makes.

The head joins the body with no discernible neck, just like a dart. I made the drawing while catching up with the omnibus edition of the Archers. Gripping stuff! I don't know how the cast are coping - I feel emotionally drained!

While I'd got the pencils out, and Sunday's bread was proving in the warm kitchen, I did a quick study of yesterday's market treasure. This involved scribbling graphite pencil all over the page and then using a battery eraser to remove some of the tone before working back in with more pencil to add detail. It's a technique Laura and I both love and one we share with our Creative Sketchbook students to encourage a looser approach to drawing. It's just not possible to be fiddly whilst wielding  an electric eraser!

Last week, during the holidays, we'd visited Blists Hill, a nearby museum of Victorian life. One of the workshops was producing little plaster of Paris figures. There were all manner of things but I couldn't resist the swallow.

The woman who makes them for the museum warned me that it was quite fragile and needed to be painted with acrylic paint. Here it is drying in my studio. I've added a little copper metallic to give the wings some lustre - it looked too boring painted dark blue. I'm hoping Laura will find a little place to hang it on her pristine new walls just as soon as the plasterers have worked their magic this week. Just above the swallow covered chair and next to the swallow quilt maybe?

So, that was my Sunday so far, how about you?

I'm off for a sit down and a gin and tonic!
Linda x


  1. The little swallow is wonderful. Nuthatches have got to be one of my favorite birds (actually there are few birds I don't like). I have tried to photograph them, but they are like toddlers after a big jolt of sugar. The are so much fun to watch. I always wonder why we don't have sunflowers sprouting out of our trees and shaggy junipers the way they hide their seeds in every nook and crevice.

  2. Do tell us some more about the drawing technique using the electric eraser!! Would love to see how it is done.

    1. Yes - me too. I need to loosen up with drawing. I'm shocking really. Any tips gratefully received.

  3. Hi Jeannie - I've given up trying to photograph our garden birds. Unless it's a robin who follows me around the garden the others are all too shy or too quick. Maybe I'll ask for a telephoto lens for Christmas!

  4. Hi Elizabeth, Hi Hilary - haven't we shown this technique on DMTV? It's a sad omission if we haven't. I'll talk to Laura who remembers these things better than me.

  5. On the subject of the Archers the Rob/Helen storyline has kept me glued to the radio for months. I quite agree - its strong stuff and am wondering how it's all going to pan out.