Tuesday 16 February 2016


We're flying to India on Thursday and David (bless) started complaining of an eye problem on Friday - seeing floaters.   I got him an opticians appointment on Saturday and he had a check up but was told to return this morning for more tests.  Today the tests were inconclusive so the optician tried to telephone the emergency eye clinic at William Harvey Hospital (Ashford) but they didn't answer their phone.   So ... he wrote a referral letter and told us to drive to the hospital for their 'walk in' clinic.   Its a 40 mile round trip through busy towns so I wasn't best pleased at having to drive (as he'd had drops in his eyes and driving is banned for 6 hours).

To cut a long story short, the 'walk in' clinic is not a 'walk in' clinic - appointments required, in addition to referral letters.    They took pity on us though and agreed to fit him in this afternoon.   Thankfully it was confirmed that he has PVD (posterior vitreous detachment) which is common as you get older ... there is no retinal damage so he has the all clear to fly.

Anyway, I hope to write a few blogposts and post some photos along the way when we have decent wifi coverage.    If you'd like to check in occasionally the link is:   http://clinxxii.blogspot.co.uk/

Between getting ready for India, sorting out my Mum's flood damage claim (still ongoing) and David's eye problems I've had no time for art.

However, I delivered the graphite drawing on Sunday and the client was very happy which was a relief.   Since he doesn't use a computer I wasn't able to send him work in progress pictures for approval or critique prior to finishing it.  

This was the final version alongside the original dark/faded photo.   Apparently my client's grandfather was about 17 or 18 when the photo was taken:

The picture was supplied with a double mount but I forgot to photograph it before packaging it - this is just a single mount laid loosely over the picture so I could work out where to add my signature.

Friday 5 February 2016

05/02: 'GO DARKER' .....

I was fortunate enough to attend a 3 day workshop run by a wonderful Graphite Artist, Mike Sibley, a few years ago.   What really sticks in my mind from that course is Mike's constant refrain of 'go darker, go darker' every time I thought I'd almost finished an exercise.

and ... he's right of course, lots of light layers with sharp pencil points, whether using graphite pencils or coloured pencils, to build up the contrasts, is the way to go ...

I had intended to finish this today, but got sidetracked dealing with the aftermath of my Mother's insurance claim for water damage at her flat .. so I didn't get much achieved before losing the light (and having to go grocery shopping)

Latest update:

This photo was taken in poor light and the 'grubby' mount is one I keep to hand to ensure I'm working within the boundaries of the mount/frame that will eventually be used with this drawing.   Of course I could simply tape off the drawing area but I'm always worried about the tape 'lifting' the surface of the support when removed (even though I use low-tack tape) ... I'd hate for that to happen just as I finish a drawing.

But ... it helps me to view the drawing like this and work out which areas need tweaking,  In this photo you can't see all the 'twiddly' bits of harness on the cart that I've tried to incorporate.   Trouble is the photo ref is so poor, and my knowledge of working harness isn't great, so am hoping I haven't made any major errors.

one more session will see this finished (pending client's approval of course)

and I'm very pleased to say that I received a lovely email today from the lady who received the portrait of Fudge as her 40th birthday present yesterday.     Fudge passed away recently at the grand old age of 18 years and the ref. photos weren't wonderful, so I was very pleased and relieved to hear that I managed to 'capture her perfectly' in the words of her Mum.

Wednesday 3 February 2016


I'm enjoying getting back to basics with Graphite Pencils ... not having to worry about colours for this one.    I'm not sure how old the postcard is but the young man in the photo is my client's Grandfather and I'd guess my client is mid/late 50s so its probably 80+ years old.

But I have got my work cut out trying to see detail in this postcard - the photo is 3" x 4½" and quite faded.  I've scanned the card and brightened the scan which has helped a little.  Anyway, I'm having fun and this is where I've got to after a couple of sessions.  I've left out the contents of the cart as I felt that 'unbalanced' the drawing a little

Size is approx 12" x 8" and still lots of detail to be added