Campground Map and Sign

I was staying at Camping Schoonenberg, a beautiful campgound set in woodland in North Holland when one of the staff members saw me painting a portrait. He showed a photo of my painting to the manager who asked me to make a new combined sign and map for the campground. Delighted!

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I started by making a rough map of the campground as I walked around it, using an aerial view from google earth as a template for the outline. The manager then helped me number the camping places and mark which ones had electricity.

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I then drew the full size map out on paper and added all the details and text (above). 

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Once the draft had been approved I traced it onto a piece of primed marine plywood which had been cut to allow a narrow unpainted border.

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Since the sign will be hung in a place which is sheltered from direct sunlight and rain and will be stored inside during the winter months when the campground is closed I chose to use acrylic paints which are water based. That makes the whole process much cleaner and odour free.

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IJmuiden Port from Forteiland

A quick sketch of IJmuiden Port from Forteiland.
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Amsterdam Sketch

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I recently went on a day trip to Amsterdam with the intention of sketching the classic townhouse, canal, boat and bike combo.

Job done!

It was a showery day so it took me a little to find a dry place to sit with the right view.

Lovely to wander around this beautiful city, even in the rain.

Retro Caravan Sketch

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This delightful, tiny 1987 model Eriba Touring caravan was parked up for a few days on the same campground as us.

The van’s been in the proud possession of the same woman for thirty years and her father painted the floral designs on the sides.

Cute as a button!

Lighthouse Sketch – IJmuiden

 

pen and wash, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, sketchbook, art, lighthouse, IJmuiden, Holland

I made this little sketch down at IJmuiden Harbour in North Holland.

It was a hot, windy day so I had to be very quick.

Merman – Do Not Resuscitate

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Here’s a photo collage of a recent pen and watercolour portrait I made of Rob (who likes to think of himself as my muse…he might be right!)

I worked from a photo I took of him lounging, the perspective was such that his enormous feet on the end of his crossed long legs reminded me of a fish tail so I drew him as a merman.

I took the liberty of editing his tattoos, which in reality cover his whole torso, because I wanted the focus to fall on the “Do Not Resuscitate” text on his chest. That’s my favourite.

Artwork in India (4) – Bikaner

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I only intended to stay in Bikaner for two days, just to visit the famous Karni Mata rat temple in nearby Deshnoke (weird I know, but I’m a rodent fan).

I painted the little pen and wash study below from a photo I took at the temple.

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Then I met a guy who offered me free bed and board in exchange for some painting work at the hostel he’s renovating so I stayed an extra three days, and had a lot of fun.

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I painted the frames around the doorways and windows behind my hostel buddies in the photo above, and below here’s me finishing off the stripes.

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That’s Auntie Gee in the background, she owns the place, directs the workers and delivers chai. 

Bikaner is beautiful in a dusty way and largely unspoilt by tourism. There are a number of guesthouses in huge hawelis in the old town which is where I stayed at the start of my visit. Then I moved downtown and took a lovely walk to the market most nights to eat street food near the stunning Bhandasar Jain Temple.

 

Artwork in India (1) – Udaipur

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I got to the train station in New Delhi early with the intention to draw. It was a little overwhelming but a kind man insisted that I sit on his blanket with him and his son which made drawing more comfortable. My train to Udaipur left bang on time at 7pm and I had a good 12 hour journey in a bunked sleeping compartment.

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This is the view across Lake Pichola from the roof of the Moustache Hostel in Udaipur. Rajasthanis have famously luxurious facial hair, hence the name of the hostel. 

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The hostel had lots of wallpaintings left by many guests so I offered them some cockerels…

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They then asked me to paint something in the space above the birds so I drew a design in my sketchbook inspired by a beautiful cow I’d seen on my first morning walk through the city.

holy, cow, sacred cow, holy cow, pen, watercolour, drawing, painting, watercolor, sketchbook, travel, India, rajasthan, udaipur, marigoldsAnd then transferred it to the wall (below) 

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Painting in the reception area was a great way to meet people, and the cow and cockerels got a very warm welcome.

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Here’s a pen and watercolour sketch I made at a little Hanuman temple in the street. The lady selling flowers next door kindly lent me a stool to sit on while I drew.

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This is Yogesh, one of the Moustache Hostel team. He asked me to draw his portrait so I worked in pencil from a photo.

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And here’s a quick pen sketch I made of a lady wearing a sari while she sat in a lakeside café. I’m sure she twigged that I was drawing her, she didn’t seem to mind but she did leave before I had a chance to add colour.

All in all a very enjoyable and creative first week here in India. I’m leaving the Moustache Hostel today to go and spend a few days with an Indian family here in Udaipur. 

udaipur, lake, rajasthan, India

Illustration Exhibition at the Presentation of the Play ‘Té Verde’

te verde, green tea, play, marcel snyders, arte vejer, exhibition, vejer de la frontera, castle, illustration, book cover, watercolour, pen and watercolour, art, drawing, painting, posterOn a rainy January afternoon my friend Marcel Snyders presented his play ‘Té Verde‘ (Green Tea in English) to an enthusiastic audience in the castle headquarters of Arte Vejer.

I designed the front cover for Té Verde back in October 2017 (you can read about the process here) so Marcel invited me to exhibit some of my art work during the event.

That’s Marcel (below) being interviewed by Paco Ariza Varo from Radio Vejer before Marcel interviewed me….

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I decided to keep the exhibition small and simple so I showed a selection of my sketchbooks with my painting materials (to demonstrate the process of illustration) alongside the finished illustrations for:

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I also displayed some of my fabric designs (my current favourite form of illustration!) and the dresses I made from them, as well as a selection of postcards and a computer slideshow of other artworks.

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abraham sevilla serrano, flamenco, musician, te verde, green tea, play, marcel snyders, arte vejer, exhibition, vejer de la frontera, castle,

 

 

The presentation was highly entertaining, Marcel served green tea (té verde) and cakes as people arrived, two actresses from Marcel’s theatre group read the first act of the play, the flamenco musician Abraham Sevilla Serrano improvised a song dedictated to Marcel and the play (right)…

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…then Marcel broke out the cava and presented me with my copy of the book

 

 

 

The Spanish version of the play Té Verde is now available to buy on the publisher’s website.

It’s a highly entertaining read…Good luck Marcel!

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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