Today I made this quick pen and watercolour sketch of an orchid; it was dark and snowy outside so I decide to reflect that in the dark background which I also hoped would make the white flowers ‘pop’!
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.
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.
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’.
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).
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).
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…!
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.
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
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
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.
I had a lovely outing to Lassco salvage yard in Bermondsey the other day; not only do they have many interesting and beautiful objects which have been rescued from old buildings but there’s a splendid café there too.
I was particularly taken by the tap collection and immortalised this example over a nice pot of green tea.
My companion made a beautiful pencil drawing of another tap, both our drawings along with our models are shown below.
I’m delighted to have finally found a chumbera (prickly pear) with some lush new growth; the once ubiquitous and beautiful cactus is suffering an infestation of insects and slowly dying out here in Andalusia.
Moi from the gorgeous Ecléctica Deco shop in Vejer suggested that I sketch a chumbera a good while ago; he told me he’d seen a good one in La Breña national park so I set off for a hike on a really hot day search of it…needle in a haystack situation ensued. His next sighting was luckily closer to home and much easier to find.
I missed it in flower but hey-ho…the heart shaped leaf was a bonus…promise it was actually like that!
I have a collection of bones at home, a few of which are on display, including this sheep skull with its barbed wire crown.
I’ve been meaning to draw it for a while and this was the week…
The text translates as “…your poetic essence is still in the neighbourhood…” and is dedicated to a lovely chap from Vejer who lived just round the corner from me and who recently died.
I didn’t know he was ill.
If I had known that his presence was not a ‘for granted’ thing I would have made time to stop and chat over a coffee more often.
His observations were cheery, wise and gentle…his poetry is timelessly mysterious and beautiful.
Encantada de haberte conocido José Luis.