Pre-Loved Fashion Drawings

fashion, high heels, handbag, leather, gloves, head over heels, bags of style, silky inside, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteerI recently moved back to London – a rather unexpected and initially unwanted development – but it’s actually turned out to be quite wonderful…

I was having a wander around my district the other day and saw a sign outside the Mary’s Living & Giving Shop in Bermondsey Street asking for volunteers. The Mary in the title is Mary Portas, ‘Queen of Shops’, and the 23 Living and Giving shops in London all sell donated new and pre-loved fashion in aid of Save The Children. So I signed up…what better way to contribute to a worthy cause, meet new people and hang out in a gorgeous place? Not to mention the beautiful pre-loved designer gear (no staff discounts!).

During my first shop shift I felt inspired to draw some of the delightful items on display so I signed them out in the ‘borrow book’ and took them home.

I started by making some sketches to test colours and layout, taking elements from the shop decoration (by Elno Art) to use as the border.

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I was pleased with the sketches but I wanted to develop them into more polished pieces which I could donate to the shop. I got the sketches enlarged by photocopy so that I could trace the layout onto lovely heavy watercolour paper without having to start the whole design process again from scratch.

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Once the pencil line work was complete I went over it with water resistant pens of various nib sizes

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Then with the pen outline finished I rubbed out the pencil marks and started adding layers of watercolour paint

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pied a terre, shoes, fashion, high heels, leather, head over heels, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

pencil, pied a terre, shoes, fashion, high heels, leather, head over heels, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

Obviously the shoe drawing is my favourite…the actual shoes are my size but those heels are really high and my knees are middle aged!

fashion, high heels, handbag, leather, gloves, head over heels, bags of style, silky inside, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

Finally I got the completed pictures scanned…

fashion, handbag, leather, bags of style, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

fashion, leather, gloves, silky inside, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

pied a terre, shoes, fashion, high heels, leather, head over heels, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

I will be so proud to have my drawings displayed in the shop and maybe even sell them – all proceeds to Save the Children.

Pre-loved fashion – sustainable, ethical and beautiful; reuse, recycle, donate!

Update: On 21st March 2018 my lovely friend Wendy came by the shop to buy ‘Head over Heels’! Thank you!

pied a terre, shoes, fashion, high heels, leather, head over heels, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

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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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, fabric design, surface design, digital printing

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!

Tapas Time

 sketchbook, pasta, ricotta, spinach, red onion sauce, la posta, italian restaurant, tapas, ruta de tapas, tapas por vejer, vejer, vejer de la frontera, vejer sketchers, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolor, sketch, illustration, food, pueblos mas bonitos de espana, drawing, painting, gamba, langostino, mercado de abastos, market, street food, fish, roe, mercado de san francisco, 4 estaciones restaurant

There’ve been two public holidays in Spain this week; Wednesday the 6th and Friday 8th December to mark the Spanish constitution and the immaculate conception(!) respectively.

So to celebrate, Vejer went into ‘Pueblo Abierto’ (Open Village) mode, flinging back the doors of her monuments and putting on a Ruta de Tapas (tapas route). 

During the Ruta de Tapas 12 restaurants put up their best little dishes for sale at 3€ (including a drink) and hundreds of people try to taste them all within the 8 hour over 2 days time frame. There’s a tapas route map which you need to get stamped in every establishment you eat at – if you get the full set of stamps you can vote for your favourite dish and enter a competition to win a computer. Tasty and hectic, start early!

The Vejer Sketchers arranged a meeting on Saturday so I popped into town with the intention of sketching (and eating) food in tapas form.

First stop the market (below)…not strictly part of the official tapas route but hey ho, the only place open when I started sketching. I didn’t eat this one, the roe was pretty but not gastronomically appealing so I gave it back unsullied to the fish counter lady once the sketch was finished.

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Next stop, La Posta for some yummy spinach and ricotta pasta in a red onion sauce (below)

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Then on to the 4 Estaciones (4 Seasons) for some delicious beef with Japanese flavours in a crunchy filo pocket (below)

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Confession time: I ran out of steam and didn’t draw the last dish I ate…the establishment was struggling under the weight of the hoard by then so it took a long time to procure said tapas, which although delicious was not pretty!

 

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.

sketch, layout, illustration, food, map, andalucia, andalusia, annie b, spanish kitchen, vejer, cadiz, jerez, sherry, cerdo iberico, queso de cabra, goats cheese, iberian pork, retinto, beef, tuna, atun, octopus, pulpo, flamenco, squid, calamari, lemon, limon, anchovies, anchoas, prawns, gambas, atlantic ocean, oceano atlantico, mediterranean sea, mar mediterraneo, solera, spices, vineyard, bodega, chorizo, olive oil, acete de oliva

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!).

pencil, outline, illustration, food, map, andalucia, andalusia, annie b, spanish kitchen, vejer, cadiz, jerez, sherry, cerdo iberico, queso de cabra, goats cheese, iberian pork, retinto, beef, tuna, atun, octopus, pulpo, flamenco, squid, calamari, lemon, limon, anchovies, anchoas, prawns, gambas, atlantic ocean, oceano atlantico, mediterranean sea, mar mediterraneo, solera, spices, vineyard, bodega, chorizo, olive oil, acete de oliva

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).

pen, watercolour, water color, drawing, painting, illustration, food, map, andalucia, andalusia, annie b, spanish kitchen, vejer, cadiz, jerez, sherry, cerdo iberico, queso de cabra, goats cheese, iberian pork, retinto, beef, tuna, atun, octopus, pulpo, flamenco, squid, calamari, lemon, limon, anchovies, anchoas, prawns, gambas, atlantic ocean, oceano atlantico, mediterranean sea, mar mediterraneo, solera, spices, vineyard, bodega, chorizo, olive oil, acete de oliva

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! 

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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Corredera 55

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, facadeI was delighted to be commissioned to paint a pen and watercolour sketch style ‘portrait’ of the facade of the beautiful Corredera 55 restaurant in Vejer de la Frontera.

I worked from photos as there was an element of surprise involved in the project.

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First I roughed out the composition by making a preliminary sketch (right).

The bike is part of the exterior decor!

Then I made a more careful drawing in pencil on 300gsm watercolour paper with deckled (hand torn) edges which I retraced loosely in waterproof pen (below).corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

Next came the watercolour painting…

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And here’s the finished piece…(click on the image to enlarge)

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

With a couple of details singled out below…

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corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

If you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself in Vejer at any time of year the Corredera 55 restaurant is well worth a visit.

The food is a clever and delicious blend of the homely, exotic, luxurious and healthy; the wine list is extensive and expertly composed; the staff are incredibly warm and hospitable while at the same time being efficient and savvy; the outside terrace is sunny, shady and breezy with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside (Vejer’s perched on top of a steep hill, 200m above sea level); the interior is cosy and gorgeously crafted from reclaimed materials (by Retro Nuevo) and houses an extensive collection of Vejer themed paintings by local artists.

As the sign says Comer – Amar – Vivir  =  Eat – Love – Live

This is a delightful place full of loving touches.

 

Aubergine Sketch

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Loved the way the deep purple-y-ness of this plump aubergine contrasts with the cool green of the plate it’s sitting on so much I just had to paint it!

Concentrarte Vejer 2016

Yesterday, Sunday April 24th 2016, was Concentrarte Vejer‘s annual celebration of all things arty and crafty.

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Arte Vejer encouraged children to let loose their creative spirits by painting in La Plaza de España and a few adult sketchers, me included, joined the throng.

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I concentrated on sketching a tiny bit of the fountain in La Plaza with pen and watercolour before the sun came round and burnt the back of my neck.

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Arte Vejer on the Move

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Arte Vejer has certainly had a busy few weeks. The community group which promotes visual arts and creativity in the Vejer de la Frontera region has really been going for it as you’ll see and read below!

 

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What is a mobile art exhibition? You might well ask…I had no idea before taking part on Sunday 13th December.

It turned out to be as dynamic, colourful and festive a procession through the streets of Vejer as the poster promised.

 

 

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Sol Muniain (right), a truly gifted artist and the inventor and driving force behind the Arte Vejer mobile art exhibition unlocks the door to the castle for a session of painting faces Picasso style prior to the procession.

 

 

face painting, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts

 

 

Sol paints the face of Ismael Virués, another dedicated Arte Vejer organiser and the banner bearing leader of the art parade.

 

 

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Having picked up the art works we were joined by a band of marching drummers and set off around town.

I was wearing a couple of my artworks as well as carrying one (right, centre); my cockerel skirt and my 2CV silk scarf

 

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The drive and energy exuded by the marching drummers was amazing, especially when the parade passed through the narrowest alleyways and the rhythm really bounced off the walls.

 

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It was also quite surreal to look back and see a view of Vejer within a view of Vejer.

 

 

 

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We made several stops en route, here we are in the Plaza de España for a photo opportunity…..

 

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arco de segur, exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade, flamenco dancers

 

 

 

…and enjoying being part of the back drop near the Arco de Segur within the old town walls for this, the first of several short flamenco dance ‘tablaos’ …

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…more flamenco dancing on La Corredera….

 

 

 

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….dancing to an African style drum troupe in La Plaza de San Francisco…

 

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…and returning to La Plazuela with tired and happy arms (and no, despite the crazed expression, I did not get arrested)….

 

 

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…before replacing the artworks on the walls of the Hotel Convento San Francisco where they will rest, for sale, until January 10th 2016.

 

I was delighted to have my artwork accepted for the mobile exhibition and feel priviledged to have taken part in such an extraordinary event. Many thanks again to Arte Vejer for the huge amount of work and good will which went into coordinating all the art forms so beautifully and happily.

Click here to see yet more photos of the event on facebook, thanks to Jackie Cornwall.

And there’s even more:

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On the 29th November Arte Vejer staged the first ever painting competition for young artists in Vejer.

I was honoured to be invited to join the judging panel and was really impressed by the high standard of the artworks produced.

 

 

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About 30 participants signed up to the competition in Vejer’s beautiful Plaza de España and then dispersed to various parts of the charming old town to work on their paintings and drawings for several hours.

 

 

Click here to see photos of the event and the impressive range of artworks; the overall winner has her painting included in the (previously mobile) Arte Vejer exhibition in the Hotel Convento San Francisco and the other prize winning works are currently displayed in La Bodeguita, a local bar.

vejer, vejer de la frontera, arte, art, community, organisation, castle, exhibition

 

The 6th December was pueblo abierto (open village) day for Vejer, which coincided with the ruta de tapas. Arte Vejer celebrated its recent allocation of a room in the castle by the town council by mounting an exhibition of members’ work there and including the non-prize winning works from the young artist painting competition.

 

 

 

water colour, sketch, pen and watercolour, vejer sketcher, castle, patio, andaluciaI made this pen and watercolour sketch (right) of the castle patio while sitting on the doorstep of Arte Vejer’s room and then went up to the ramparts to make an abstract watercolour sketch (below) inspired by the lichen which adorns many roofs and walls in the old town.

water colour, sketch, lichen, abstract

As well as an exhibition space the castle room will be used as a venue for creative workshops. I’m planning to host one early in 2016 for adult sketchers who are a bit rusty and lack the confidence to come and draw with the Vejer Sketchers group.

If that’s you, please get in touch!

vejer, vejer de la frontera, arte, art, community, organisation, castle, exhibition

vejer, vejer de la frontera, arte, art, community, organisation, castle, exhibition

El Teniente Seblon

poster, art exhibition, el teniente seblon

I’m very happy to announce my latest art exhibition in El Teniente Seblon, a lively, friendly bar in El Pópulo, the oldest part of the beautiful city of Cádiz.

14th March – 4 May 2014

The poster features the CD cover I designed for local band Mr Groovy & The Blue Heads‘ 2012 album ‘Jauja’ (meaning land of milk and honey) and shows Cádiz cathedral in the background.

Click here to see photos of the exhibition.