Monday, 31 December 2012


Beer and your feet up in front of Graham Norton! (Sorry- to the left is slightly dark where my scanner cannot cope).

Just going to celebrate with bubbly, so Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog. I'll have some interesting sketches tomorrow when we do our annual visit on New Years Day to the Phoenix Pub. Everyone goes with their old cars and yes, gets rather drunk....again.

Sunday, 30 December 2012


I am determined to go to bed before midnight! So I will load up my sketch tomorrow plus my New Years Eve sketch. I'm afraid it's Scrabble night for us and not a raving New Year party.

So here it is- a lovely one of JB!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

'Queen Holly'

I watched one of my top five films- 'Love Actually' while sketching Holly lounged out, taking up the whole of the sofa. I sent her to bed half way through and finished watching the film in peace. I will load up my sketch tomorrow since it's past midnight and I am too tired!

So here is the sketch of 'Queen Holly'. How she manages to get away with taking up the whole of one sofa all evening with two brothers and a couple of parents, God only knows.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Reading Canal

A sketch of Reading Canal as you walk along towards the centre. It's very interesting to observe the contrasting new office type buildings and new flats next to old cottages which have been there for over a hundred years.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Girlie night in and the 'Sad corner of the room'

Holly and I had a girlie night in front of the TV watching a film in our pyjamas! Please have a look at my sketch tomorrow.

I have called this 'Sad corner of the room'. It's an old TV stand with some old mangled crackers as sad decorations and scattered 3d glasses; oh yes, and a solitary Christmas card in the middle......

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Holly on Granny's sofa

Holly stood on Granny's sofa to take a picture of all the mess and havoc created after the ritual of Christmas present unwrapping.

Christmas Lunch Gossip

Helen, (my sister) and Jack having a gossip at the table with Holly in the background.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Cadbury Garden Centre

On the day before Christmas Eve we went to Cadbury Garden Centre since it was pouring with rain. There is an 'Pet' section where the children love to have a nose at all the different pets you can buy. Here Sam is having a chat with the Mynas Bird, (Spelt wrong on the sketch!). It's only £1,600 to buy.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Xmas Holidays mean...

Xmas holidays mean you can sit on your bed with you iPhone, laptop, Facebook contacts, webcam, YouTube, anyway it does for Holly...

Saturday, 22 December 2012

School Holidays

Now it's the school holiday this means we are allowed to go on the PlayStation all the time.....dream on! Mum's behind you and just about to tell you boys to come off and do something more creative instead. Am I unrealistic here?!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Wrapping, all finished including the sketch!

I have an excuse - I have spent the entire evening wrapping presents! This sketch today will have to wait until tomorrow. Only four more sleeps until Christmas!

And here it is, a very quick sketch of two bags loaded up with wrapped presents!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Greyhound, Finchampstead

Out to The Greyhound in Finchampstead, Hampshire tonight. Before children this is where JB and I used to live. They have totally revamped the pub with a lovely extension added and excellent interior design. I drew these blokes in front having a good chat while JB and I discussed how great it would be if this pub was in walking distance to our house. I said we would end up spending too much money!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

My Tutor Group Xmas Party

Have a look tomorrow for a sketch of my students enjoying their Christmas party....

So here they are, my lovely group of Extended Diploma students, although some are missing. It's a small vibrant group, always up for a party, very chatty, mischievous, some very loud, but ok most of the time. Max, the one with the hat and my 3D artist, made a ginger bread house (in the middle of the table), he looks quite chuffed with himself!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Techniques and Processes Workshops

More experiments with Extended Diploma students. We were using the sewing machine to layer different textiles, papers and even plastic; we also used the machine to 'draw' with. The boys quite enjoyed this technique!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Felt Making at College

Workshops with the college students. This piece involved felt making and then sewing in to the felt with thread and beads. As you can imagine the boys loved it....

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sports Personality of the Year

No it wasn't Jack who was Sports Personality, he was engrossed watching it.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Xmas Tree

A little sketch of the top of the Xmas tree....Will need to load this up tomorrow since it's getting late....ZZzzzz......

So here it is. The left side has come out blurred. So may rescan at a later date. However, I cannot excuse the rather odd decorations, handmade by little children over the years and religiously put up every year. The 'thing' on top of the tree is actually a fairy. But if they are 'filed' away someone will notice.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Greenfield's Xmas Concert

Jack was performing in his Christmas Concert today. He's just under the armpit of the lady conducting, playing his guitar. To his left is Zoe who has guitar lessons with him. I tease Jack saying she must be his girlfriend; I wish she was, she's quite bossy and would certainly keep him in check making sure he was more organised and didn't forget everything.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Old Sketches

On the back of my 'colouring in' activity from yesterday, I have decided to give more of my old sketches a new lease of life. So here is one of Sam and Jack rock pooling two summers a go. Doing this has given me an idea to take a closer look at these drawings and after inflicting some colour on them maybe use them to inform some larger paintings.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Some colouring in!

Back from work, fed boys and straight out to watch Holly in her school production, 'Les Miserables'. Excellent!  Back and my rather heavy cold turning in to a nasty cough have to go to bed, so watch this space tomorrow....

I've been colouring in some older sketches in past sketchbooks. I had given up on this sketch originally but now feel I have given it some life!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Watercolour Workshop with Extended Diploma students


My cold and I soldiered into college and I managed to do a reasonable watercolour workshop with the year one Extended Diploma students. Here are examples of the two demonstrations, the first using watercolour freely making funny animal characters by using 'wet on wet' and bleeding watercolour then making a sphere, (I also did a cube which is not shown using paper dams and wet on dry layering).  In the landscape we tried to use some of the techniques learnt in the first demonstration, I also introduced the dip pen. Unfortunately the landscape sky did not copy so well, but hopefully you get the idea.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Calligraphy worksheet

So here is an example of some of the work I have been doing with the Extended Diploma students. We have been learning about calligraphy and using gouache paint with a calligraphy nib. We also looked at embossing, resist and decorative lettering. So despite my cold I think they have had a reasonable deal!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Jack watching X Factor Final

I had to do this sketch really quickly since a) Jack was fidgeting and b) it was near the end of the programme and JB and I had told Jack it was straight to bed afterwards!  I seemed to have lost Jack's right foot in the scanner.....

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Shopping in Reading

A sketch started in Reading Centre. I had to finish this off when back at home. Reading was so busy with Xmas shoppers, thankfully they were not interested in me or my sketch. Only just over two weeks to go before Christmas and a little more than that before I will have completed my 'Sketch a day for a year'!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Vector 4

So here are 'Vector 4' performing in all their glory, except Ted is hidden behind Jack. You can just see his leg sticking out; he's on drums. Ben, far right, is on base guitar and Sam next to Ben is on lead guitar. It was a Christmas concert in aid of charity, hence the silly hats! Watch out for the forthcoming album!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Jack's band- Vector Four

Jack's charity concert at school, so an important sketch of Jack in his band called, 'Vortex 4'. Tomorrow I'll do one of the whole band.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


More experiments with the students. I was encouraging them to produce an A2 sheet with lots of thumbnail experiments utilising different techniques and processes. We used acrylics, inks, scratched into surfaces, created different grounds and drew or printed on top and layered and glazed colours on top of one another. It was good fun and this is just one of my thumbnails. I have put the others on the studio wall as part of a display.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mixed media Landscape

I have been doing some workshops in an optional session running after college hours for students wanting to catch up with work or experiment with more techniques. So here is some mixed media work; we were creating grounds of collage and using dip pen and ink to draw on top.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Student ceramic work

This is a bit of a cheat, but this student has been producing these lovely sketches on small ceramic tiles, influenced by hieroglyphics of course, but with her own take on it. I would love to take some of my past sketches posted on the blog and transform them on to ceramic tiles like this, or in to a print technique like woodcut, linocut or stencil screen print. These students don't know how lucky they are with whole days to just experiment with processes and techniques, with great facilities at their fingertips. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A walk with the Boys

A Sunday afternoon walk with Sam and Jack. It really was lovely on the Heath, cold but bright and sunny. The two boys do make me laugh, saying they hate one another but couldn't do without each other.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Just Hols and me

I drew a lovely sketch of Holly as we sat on the sofa then fell asleep! 

I am glad to report Sam did well and came around half way down the pack out of 140 runners. An important race since it was against the whole of the country! It was in Bolton , so quite a long way from us. Unfortunately Sam has been injured and could not train so he did really well; he was disappointed to not do 'his usual' run since he had of course lost some fitness.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

At the Hospital

A quick sketch before Sam and I go in to have Sam's blood taken. I didn't even finish since we were in and out in no time! Sam was as usual, brave with the long needle and only needed a quick spray of the cold stuff to numb his arm. He said, "the spray hurts more than the needle!"

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

UCAS References and Parents Evening

Tonight has been the first wave of UCAS references for my Extended Diploma students applying for university courses next year. So I have been engrossed in writing these failing to notice how 'time flies when you're having fun'....supposedly. So I will load up my sketch on to the blog tomorrow.

English staff at parents evening in the school libray
It's on green paper since this is all I had at Holly's parents evening. It's actually the back of the map they give you! Holly and I actually went on Thursday 28th - so a bit of a cheat! The sketch is of the only male teacher in the english department. Lucky man!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Saatchi Gallery Visit

A second year Extended Diploma student sketching in front of an installation piece at the Saatchi Gallery, London.
Today I took all the vocational students to the Saatchi in London to see the recently opened exhibition of Russian art. It was quite an experience to see such a diverse range of materials, techniques and processes by a group of artists, which was great for the students. Parts of it were also quite shocking, showing the depression and life of the poor after the dictatorship of Stalin. The photography was extraordinary, documenting and showing Russian 'low life' in such compromising poses, naked and half naked, apparently paid to pose and undress by the photographer. Why? Well worth a visit if you are in London, the exhibition has had very good reviews.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The College Library

After a rather treacherous journey in to college today because of severe flooding around Dogmersfield and Henley, I eventually got to work rather late. But the A Level students were understanding and some of them were late due to delayed trains. I was then working in the library with the Year 2 Extended Diploma trying to teach them how to write an essay. I quickly drew on student, and yes she does look as lovely as the picture. Gosh, for many reasons I feel old today......

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Shells and Beach memories

We have a large collection of shells gathered at various times on holiday. At this time of year, when it's so dark in the morning and early evening, and especially with all the horrid rain we are having, memories of sunny warm days on the beach seam so far away!

Saturday, 24 November 2012


Nobody wants me to draw them today. So I had to do this sketch of Sam really quickly- actually I quite like it, particularly his feet! Sam wasn't impressed though and prefers more detail and shading.

Friday, 23 November 2012

More People

More characters. The little girl in the stripy top was too quick for me to sketch the bottom half of her. I suppose I could have imagined a skirt or trousers on her but I haven't so she remains 'legless'.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

People Sketching


I've been 'People sketching' over the last few days, so edited the better ones here.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

An evening at The Phoenix

I've sorted my 'blog apace'. Unfortunately I've had to delete some past sketches. However, it's just over a month before my year is up and to celebrate I am going to go through my 'Sketchbook Diary' and publish 'the best of the best' to celebrate. Than I need to think again what I will do after that!

Anyway, here is my sketch made last night in the Phoenix. We were celebrating JB completing his first MA assignment and me getting 'outstanding' in a lesson observation in our recent EQR (External Quality Review) at college.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Lovely Coffee Bars

Yes, my favourite place to hide. Such great characters to watch and draw. The art is to draw without being noticed.

Monday, 19 November 2012

College Students

I did a sketch today at college but then left it on my desk! So I will need to publish this tomorrow. Never mind, something to look forward to...

So here it is...College Students! I drew them from the window so they didn't notice.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday Ironing

Need I say more?  School night feeling........................................

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Sam's Imaginary Dragon

I was at college today doing another open day. I feels like it has been non stop college work for the last few weeks and little time to actually get on with my own art work! So Sam has drawn a quick sketch of an imaginary dragon for my blog today- just to help me out. How lucky I am to have an assistant artist.

Friday, 16 November 2012

It's Friday night.....

Well, what more do you need? Lovely. By the way, I drew this after a couple of glasses and before I had eaten tea, hence the 'wobbly skew' of the drawing. But I feel this adds to the overall character.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Woods and running

I love the woods in front of our house. After such a full on demanding week, it was lovely to go running up on the heath. I saw hardly anyone up there. I took my little sketchbook and stopped to sketch a part of the path and then had to stop before my hands got too cold. Now I feel better.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

QMC and then tea

Holly and I have just come back from QMC Sixth Form College's Open evening. A very quick sketch of Sam and Holly eating their tea!