biros biros biros

Week 5, SketchBookSkool, Andrea Joseph, … biros and sketchbooks.
What do you need to make art?

  • paper
  • biro
  • something to draw

Did I miss something? … probably not …

So this is what I’ve been up to with a biro since Easter Friday.

  1. something blue (jeans)
  2. something new (Lamy Safari)
  3. something sweet (hedgehog … practice for a birthday present)
  4. a remote control
  5. my first 5D pic (my studio)
  6. my second 5D pic (watching an Ukrainian film on telly with wife)
  7. Life Drawing Class with a biro! (the text says: Lighthouse1917)

And this is only half of what I’ve been up to …


A Collection of Stuarts

Ed got me going with this one … I enjoy seeing his results and the progress he is making with his toolset ( Every now and again, he will upload a bunch of self-portraits. Now I’ve got into the habit of drawing, painting, sketching myself once or twice a week too. Here are the results.

I’m using different sketch books and scrap paper. I use different tools in no specifc order they are

  • a Lamy fountain pen
  • Faber Castell Pitt artists pens (S, F, SB (soft briush))
  • a dip pen (numerous nibs)
  • Pelikan wax crayons
  • F-C Polychromos colour pencils
  • F-C Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils
  • watercolours, with Kolinsky paint brush, or Koi waterbrush
  • biros (nothing special, just what’s handy)
  • pencil (very very very seldom)

The Lamy is great for on-the-go, I use it to jot down anything (e.g. telephone numbers) or sketch people. At home, I switch to biros or Pitt pens. It’s then nice and relaxing to use the dry colour tools (wax crayons, Polychromos or Abrecht-Dürer), but if I want something really demanding with the chance of achieving a sense of success (no, scratch that, it is always worthwhile), well, then I’ll get out the dip pen, Dirk Weber ink and Horadam watercolours, not to forget the Da Vinci Kolinsky brush. That reminds me, it’s time to spend a few hours with those lovely tools again and “ruin” a few pages of watercolour paper.

Lanzarote, February 2016

Or, “How much can you sketch in 1 week?”

I was on Lanzarote in Costa Teguise for 9 days and took along 4 sketch books.
I used 3.

  • 1 Hahnemühle DINA5 sketch book soft and rough paper (good for biros and colour pencils) 40 pages (10 sheets), I think it cost 1.99€
  • 1 Moleskine pocket size watercolour sketch book, 60 pages (12.99€)
  • 1 Moleskine DINA6 journal (cahier pocket), 96 pages (three for 6.90€)

I had a travelers’ pack of watercolours (12), a mixed hair paint brush, waterbrush, colour pencils, biro, Derwent Graphik Line Maker 0.1.

And I drew and drew and drew.

A Brace of Models

Stuart: Oh, look we have two models tonight!
Torsten: No, she made a mistake, it’s ok, she’s going now.
Female Model: Hi!
Stuart: Hi, Female Model! Great, two models tonight!
Female Model: Yeah, I don’t mind. But it’s too expensive.
Stuart: Well, if it’s only about the money … we have enough.
[Stuart approaches Torsten again]
Stuart: She’s willing to stay. We can afford it, can’t we?!
Torsten: Hmm, but some of our artists already have enough on their plate with one model.
[3 minutes later, Female Model is undressed on the little stage]
Stuart: Hey, Female Model, you can thank me for this!
Female Model: Yeah, you can call the poses!

Oh, I love my Life Drawing Classes, but tonight was my last one for months. I haven’t registered for the next course, because SBS and “daily” gesture sketching is taking up enough of my precious time.

But here are the results of tonight’s “brace of models” and also a sneak peek into my second week at SBS.

So, what’s this with the paper … looks like a calendar. Yes, it is a half price Moleskine weekly calendar. I wanted something that feels and looks great, but is not too “precious” and can still, just about take watercolours (it was still expensive, for half price: 10€) .

One last pic tonight in a small, absolutely lovely Moleskine watercolour booklet (10 minutes):


OK, this is the stuff I took to Life Drawing Class tonight:


Oh, look, there’s even a picture of me in there.

Now to SBS. Well, I am absolutely blown away. I can’t believe how much of my hidden creative seam has been mined in these 12 days.

I’ll just give you something of mine to look at from this last Klass with Jill Weber … it’s all about telling stories and making books.





The Tools of Kreativity

Well, the first week of SketchBookSkool (SBS) is well underway.

I’m very impressed with the channels of creativity it has already allowed me to explore. The videos are short, but wow!, they are incredible. I’ve had a sneek peak of Felix Scheinberger painting a little comical bird in 3 minutes with a water brush (and lighter!/Feuerzeug). I’ve been hand-lettering (thanks to Koosje’s lessons) at work during meetings.

I just sat down and did this (hey, why am I doing all that gesture drawing practice anyway?):


Tools in use:

  • pencil (B)
  • handcrafted (turned) nib holder (from the Siegburg Weihnachtsmarkt)
  • Heintze&Blanckertz “G” nib
  • “Dirk Weber, Bonn” Indian Ink wasserfest
  • Koi water brush
  • rag (old vest of mine, sorry, I was sure you wanted to know that)
  • Winsor&Newton Colman traveler’s watercolour set
  • 1917 Leuchtturm sketchpad

Since the course started on Friday, I sketched all of this:

I wonder what Ed ( will say about my interpretation of Hokusai … ?

Sick Left Hands

[Sorry, Ed (author of Six Left Hands)]

Back in the times before Paris … <interlude> … you know, I follow a few great sketching sites on wordpress … and one of those are Suhita Shirodkar’s sketchaway … </interlude> well, a few days before Paris, Suhita published a blog entry with a tonal study of her left hand.
And I thought, hey, I’ve got one of those (i.e. left hand and even a blog, too). Here’s Suhita’s left hand: hand_shadows.jpg.

So I continued running a few days with 30(!) second gesture drawings of other peoples’ hands… Then Paris happened.

Yeah, well, anyway, and then Ed published his six lefties and I thought, Stuart, the time is ripe again, are your hand skills up to scratch? … do a few more quick gesture drawings and give it a try.

Today, in every free 20 minute slot, I jumped to the challenge. Lamy fountain pen in hand. Sometimes standing in front of the mirror. So some lefties look like righties. Enjoy.


And here are some of the quick gesture sketches. You can see more of these gesture sketches in the gesture sub-menu.

Snow, Rain and Life

[Stuart arrives at Life Class]
[Outside it’s raining, snowing, and sleeting]
Richard: Hi Stuart, the tutor called, he’ll be late, but the model’s already here.
Stuart: No heaters? No Life equipment?
Model (teeth chattering): I need those heaters, I’m soaking, need to get out of these clothes.
Stuart: Well, bad luck, get on that stage now … 10 minutes ok for you?


[Tutor arrives]
Tutor: Ok, hi folks, let’s do a pose and then I’ve got an idea for you.
[Heaters are set up]


Tutor: Hey, the next half an hour, we’re drawing blind.

Stuart: Yeeees, this is what I’m talking about. What a great experience! The result isn’t important, but the act of looking at the model becomes so intense.
Tutor: Now see if you can use anything you learnt in the past half an hour.


Stuart: Well, I’m not complaining, that was really fun. Used my Lamy Safari “F” nib, Blue/Black ink, in a rough surface, 110gsm, A4 sketch book. The paper really soaks up that ink.

“Charging in” in Class

Giving my Lamy Safari and the watercolours another chance tonight at my weekly, evening class.

20150825_A-3 20150825_A-1

The “charging in” is a watercolour technique which means you continue an “activated”, washed area with a new colour.
E.g. you mix 3 washes on your palette (me, I mixed a green, a yellow/orange/ocker, and a greyish blue). You start washing an area and then switch the colours and let the new load of wash touch and mingle with the still active area.