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’!
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.
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.
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!).
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).
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!
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!
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!