Annie B’s Food Map

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The delightful Annie B of Spanish Kitchen fame recently asked me to paint her a map showing the eating and drinking delights of the area around Vejer de la Frontera, where we are both based.

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Annie runs sherry tasting classes and cookery courses as well as tapas and wine tasting tours in Andalusia and Morocco. I made a food and drink themed sketch style painting for her a couple of years ago which she used as a Christmas card (right) and she had the idea to turn the food map into her Christmas card this year.

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So the first stage of the map design was to work out the extent of the area which could be comfortably accommodated in the same card format.

I roughly sketched the map in coloured pencil (above) and then cropped it until Annie was happy with the layout; then we decided which food and drink elements would be represented and Annie gave me specific tips on how they should be shown. For instance the tuna fish needed yellow spines on their backs, the Retinto cow should be sitting on the beach and the Osborne sherry bull needed well defined ‘cojones’ (I’ll leave you to google that if you’re unsure of the meaning!).

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At this stage I got the posh paper out (Arches 300g cold pressed watercolour), tore it to the correct size and taped it to a board before drawing the finalised map carefully in pencil (above).

Once I was happy with the outline I drew over it in water resistant pen (above) and added colour in layers of watercolour paint (below).

The final stage was to add a bit of multicoloured ‘magic splatter’ by tapping my loaded paintbrush all over the map which I find makes the texture more interesting as well as unifying the image (below and top).

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The cards should be delivered next week, I’m really looking forward to popping in to Annie’s to collect mine with a nice drop of sherry on the side! 

Vintage Telefunken Radio

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I finally made time to return to Señor Angel’s vintage radio museum in Vejer this week…it had been a year since I made my last radio sketch.

The German company Telefunken manufactured this Capricho model in Spain in the mid to late 1950s. Angel told me that red radios were the most popular choice in Spain at that time….pretty! 

 

Cover Design – ‘Green Tea’

My lovely and very talented friend, the actor, playwright, voice over artist and photographer Marcel Snyders recently asked me to design the cover for his play ‘Té Verde’ (‘Green Tea’ in English) which will soon be published in Spain.

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Té Verde is a funny and chilling tale dealing with strained family relationships as a mother waits impatiently to die while being attended by her two daughters and two volunteer carers in a hospice.

Having read the play I laughed out loud and immediately agreed to take the project on.

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I roughly sketched out my initial idea of an aerial view of two tea cups a number of times (above) until I’d found the version which ‘clicked’.

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The rough full size layout of the chosen design is shown above.

The closeness of the cups represents the relationship between the two green tea drinking characters in the play; also, the angle between the cup handles and the intersection of the saucers at the edge of the image is intended to create a sense of tension. 

Marcel approved the layout at this stage and I drew the design out more carefully on watercolour paper, first in pencil, then in waterproof pen before adding layers of watercolour paint (below).

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Marcel was keen on an eye catching combination of green and red for the cover; they’re complementary colours which makes them ‘pop’ dramatically when they appear next to each other; an effect that further raises the tension of the composition.

Finally I scanned the painting into Photoshop, added the text and some ‘splatter’ effects to reinforce the violence suggested by the ‘bloody’ background  (below and top).

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Gurgle Jug

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A friend of mine recently bought himself a present – a fish shaped gurgle or glug glug or gluggle jug…so called because it makes an entertaining noise when liquid is poured out of it.

Wade first made these gurgle jugs in the 1870s and they’ve been popular ever since…how’s that for a design classic!

I loved the jug and saw its sweeping lines and surface detail as a fine drawing challenge, my friend’s partner took against it immediately he saw it.

Can’t please all the people…!

 

Waiting

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This is a self portrait of sorts.

I sketched my own foot in pencil to while away some waiting time, then inked in the outline later.

 

 

 

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Anthurium

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I drew this beautiful anthurium while I was staying with friends in London this month.

I love the contrast between the red of the flowers and the green of the leaves and the elegant sweep of the stems.

I started with a pencil outline which I went over in waterproof ink (below) before adding the watercolour layers.

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Tomatoes

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I made this quick pen and watercolour sketch of cherry tomatoes on the vine as they were growing in my mum’s greenhouse.

As always…they were so sweet and delicious!

Portrait of a Lady

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I was delighted to be asked to make this charcoal portrait of a photographer taking a photograph of a photographer. 

I worked from a photograph…

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…the stages are shown above.

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And here she is resplendent in a frame. 

Bar Día – A Love Story

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I was asked by José to make this pen and watercolour drawing as a wedding present for Blaise and Letitia, to celebrate their first ever meeting.

José wrote this poem to go with the drawing

Se dice que fue como un relámpago,
en cosa de un segundo,
segundo y medio a lo sumo,
un estallido de rosas cayendo de su pecho
al albur de unos ojos,
un traqueteo de piernas,
el suspiro de un miedo
y un miedo vencido con solo una palabra.
 
Se dice que alguien se enamoró aquel día
como tantas otras veces otras gentes
pero yo que he visto conozco esta historia
puedo dejarla escrita en estos versos
puedo decir seguro 
que mereció la pena.
 
Which translates as
 
It is said that it was like a lightning bolt, 
a matter of a second, 
a second and a half at most, 
an explosion of roses falling from his chest 
to the fate of eyes, 
a quiver of legs, 
the sigh of fear
and fear overcome with only one word. 
 

It is said that someone fell in love that day 
like so many other people at other times 
but I’ve seen, I know this story 
I can leave it written in these verses 
I can say for sure 
that it was worth it.

 

It’s a beautifully romantic project for a very lovely couple, I wish them all the best for their wedding today (11th August 2017) in Taiwan and their long and happy future together. 
 
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Obviously it was impractical for me to travel to Mallorca to draw the bar so I worked from a photo that José found on the internet, rendering the outline first in pencil then in pen (above left and right) before applying the watercolour (top).