Monthly Archives: May 2015

Drawing Something That Won’t Sit Still

Seagul Sketches

Sketching things that keep moving is quite a good way to quickly fill a page or two in a sketchbook. In the past I’ve done this with people but recently on holiday in Cornwall I just looked out of the window of the place where we were staying and drew the seagulls in my tiny Leuchtturm sketchbook.

They were almost always flying past the windows or landing on lampposts and rooftops. Sometimes I might have only drawn a head or a wing before they’d moved or flown away again. Other times I’d merge a couple of birds together because it was impossible to draw from just one as they swooped by.

It’s definitely a good way of loosening up my drawing too.


Creative Links #21: Creative Challenges, Noticing the World, and the Importance of Rest

Sea gull blue sky

Every week I share a few links to things I’ve enjoyed online. Here is my selection for this week. Enjoy!

  • Keri Smith is an artist who also writes about creativity and I’ve used her book, ‘How To Be And Explorer Of The World’ regularly for inspiration and ideas. Flow Magazine shared a short film with Keri, where she encourages everyone to take more notice of the world around them.
  • Danielle at The Merriweather Council suggests 5 Ways to Share Creative Work Without Setting up Shop, for people who want to create but might not want to sell their work.
  • Lisa Congdon was recently interviewed by Jen at Brand New Ways and talked about how she challenges herself creatively and her love of Bulgarian folk music!
  • Quite simply, The Importance of Rest and how to give yourself permission to just do nothing.
  • Courtney Carver suggests how to be more present and less scattered in day-to-day life.

London Bus Drawings

Digital drawing of a London bus Routemaster

I was away on holiday last week and fell a bit behind with Sketchbook Skool so my assignment for Lapin’s klass is still waiting to be done. I did a practise drawing for it but I wasn’t all that happy with the result and it wasn’t quite what the homework had asked for either so I’ve decided to leave that one for now and just keep going.

This week’s teacher is one of my favourite sketchbook artists, France Belleville Van Stone. If you haven’t checked out her blog since I last mentioned it, then you should do that right now!

Pen and ink drawing of a routemaster bus

I’ve been a huge fan of her work for a few years now and her SBS klass didn’t disappoint. The homework she set was to draw something on wheels, using 2 different media.

I went for a London Routemaster bus because I had a photo, which I used for reference when I did the black and white drawing, although I think I overdid the crosshatching on this drawing.

As well as different media she asked us to draw the same subject from a different angle and to draw it quickly the second time around. I used a photo found using Google images and drew the picture at the top of this post using the Autodesk Sketchbook app in about 15 minutes.

France recommends the Paper app by 53 but being an Android phone user and the owner of a Windows tablets I didn’t have that option (although I’m starting to think about maybe getting an iPad just so I can use Paper!).

The Sketchbook app seems like a reasonable second best though and I really enjoyed trying digital drawing for the first time. I think I might do quite a bit more playing around with that app.

Creative Links #20: 7 of My Favourite Photography Blogs


Every week I share a few links to things I’ve enjoyed online.

This week, following on from my list of sketchbook artists and their blogs, I decided to share some of my favourite photography blogs. Some blog purely about photography, while others write about different subjects as well as sharing great photos – and a few even teach online courses.

  1. Tammy Strobel lives with her husband and their two cats in their tiny house. Tammy writes on her blog, Rowdy Kittens, about living simply, shares photo essays and also teaches writing and photography e-courses. She also has a daily photo project on Instagram, which I’ve mentioned before.
  2. Joy Sussman writes about creativity and living a greener life on her blog Joyfully Green. She includes beautiful photographs of nature in her blog posts and teaches online photography courses, which, as an alumnus, I highly recommend!
  3. NY Through the Lens is a blog by Vivienne Gucwa, author of a book with the same title. On her blog, Vivienne shares a photograph of New York City each day and has lots of information about the photograph equipment she uses. She also has a travel blog that’s worth a look too!
  4. Another photographer who I mentioned in my Instagram Favourites is Tammy Lee Bradley. On her blog she shares one photo every few days, along with a quotation.
  5. Nikki at Art and Lemons writes about and photographs her everyday life, as well as sharing tips and inspiration to get other people taking more photos.
  6. Marie and Stephanie at 3191 Miles Apart live in Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon (hence the blog’s title). Every couple of days they share a diptych showing photographs from their morning(s).
  7. Catherine at Foxglove Lane describes herself as Contemplative photographer. She takes photos of the everyday small details that might otherwise go unnoticed (I can relate to that!) and was winner of the Best Photography Blog Ireland in 2013 and 2014.