Monday, 30 May 2016

A drawing a day - view from the sofa


drawings off the telly
© Teresa Newham 

Much of my regular sketching this Spring has been done from the comfort of the sofa in my living room.  A series of colds and sniffles - plus a lot of chilly weather - put paid to any outdoor sketching for a few weeks; but there's plenty of inspiration around the house if you know where to look!


a holly tree in the front garden
© Teresa Newham


Much of the time I found myself gazing out of the living room window or at objects on the windowsill. The blue glass vase below has been drawn countless times - in the process I've been reminded that a quick scribble can be just as effective at conveying a the essence of an object as a careful drawing.


yet more flowers in the blue glass vase!
© Teresa Newham


By contrast, I took a while over this sketch of a wall light - in fact, it was the play of sunlight on the wall which first drew my attention to it. Making a slow, deliberate drawing of an everyday item can become quite meditative . . .


even the light fitting provided inspiration!
© Teresa Newham


I've also had a lot of fun doing scribbles from the TV, not by using freeze frame but trying to capture the likeness of the presenters 'live'.   By their very nature, these have to be quick - often finished from memory, or left incomplete - but it's good practice for drawing people out and about (regular readers will recall the tendency for my chosen subjects out on the street to wander off at inconvenient moments!).


a quick impression of the weather forecaster
© Teresa Newham


Even the simplest bit of line can convey the energy of a character and this is something which I'd like to develop more.  So it's back to the sofa . . . !!


left and right profiles of a TV presenter
© Teresa Newham






Friday, 13 May 2016

McCarthy Mór Castle, Ballinskelligs


McCarthy Mór Castle, Ballinskelligs
original watercolour © Teresa Newham

I fell in love with McCarthy's castle on my first visit to Ballinskelligs more than ten years ago.  Ballinskelligs beach has become a fixture to visit whenever we are in Kerry - it's a great place for dog walking - and I have photos of the castle in sunshine, rain and mist.  It was the subject of one of my earliest watercolours - now mercifully consigned to the bin - so it was high time for another painting . . .


source material, and the painting blocked out
© Teresa Newham
The ruin is more properly known as Ballinskelligs Castle or McCarthy Mór Castle, but it's really a tower house built by McCarthy Mór in the 16th Century to protect the bay from pirates (and so that he could charge a tariff on incoming trade ships).

mountains & rocks appear . . .
© Teresa Newham

We were always frustrated that we couldn't get close to it because the causeway was cut off at high tide: to our delight, after the storms a couple of years ago this was built up, enabling visitors to walk there at any time.  But the sea is gradually eroding that possiblity once more.


. . . then the castle itself
© Teresa Newham

Ballinskelligs Bay is an atmospheric place, so I've chosen to portray it using just two colours - raw sienna and cobalt blue.  These have combined well for me in the past (remember Swan and Skellig Morning?) and I'm happy to say that they've worked their magic again!

grass added in the foreground to finish
© Teresa Newham