Sunday, 31 January 2016

31/01: Time Wasting!

Well, I feel as though I've had a pretty unproductive weekend ... we are both a bit 'low' since we got back from sunny Fuerteventura last Sunday evening but I really am struggling with motivation today.

I had to have some nasty dental surgery on Monday with extractions and jawbone augmentation so am 'stitched up' and a little achey but the worst is over and the stitches come out in another week then I have to wait for 7 months for the bone graft to settle

We're going back to India soon so had to have our Hepatitis booster jabs on Wednesday and in between the medical appointments we've been getting things ready for that trip ... sorting out clothes/shoes/hand-gels etc.

I did daily Blog Posts during our last Indian visit and although it was sometimes frustrating dealing with slow/non-existent internet connections, the Blog was invaluable as a means of remembering where we'd been, what we'd done and matching up the photos - that trip was via an organised coach group with 1 week+ in the North and 1 week+ in the South of the country and it was very hectic - we didn't stay more than 1 night in any hotel so were forever packing/unpacking.   Friends could follow our progress and comment using:   Sue and David in India

However, Blogger in their wisdom have decreed that only people with Google+ accounts can follow Google Blogs now which is a bit naughty as not everybody wants to joing Google+.   I've tried using Bloglovin but am having difficulty finding any of my Blogs apart from Pencilpix on that site - does anyone else use this site?    Anyway I've wasted several hours and have given up on it.    I have set up a new Blog for the forthcoming trip and will just email the URL link to friends and they'll have to find posts that way!

I have got an interesting graphite commission to start tomorrow.    Its from a small, poor quality, photo/postcard but the subject matter is interesting to me ... so watch this space.   I've agreed to have a go although normally I'd reject something with this little detail to work from - hope I don't live to regret it

Over the last couple of days I experimented with my new Polychromos pencils - drawing a small dog I photographed a while ago in Corralejo/Fuerteventura.   I've been working on brown Pastelmat paper and really dislike the combination ... The pencil colours just seem to bleed into the soft surface so despite interim sprays of fixative the work has ended up looking clumsy and not at all what I wanted.   I love the pencils though but next time will stick to Fabriano or Derwent WC paper

I've given up with this now hence the half finished curly coat ...

this looks a bit 'washed out' so tried bringing up the contrast a little - still not accurate but I really need to do something useful now .... like open a bottle of vino!

Thursday, 7 January 2016


Well, its 10 years since I last painted stones - mainly because local Councils in Kent now ban removal of stones/pebbles from beaches (for very good reasons) so my source materials dried up.   I have just around a dozen old stones that have been waiting for attention.   The Kentish stones were quite smooth and easy to work on.

Here on Fuerteventura, the volcanic rocks/stones are much more pitted and porous, even those close to the shore where they get constantly moved around by the waves.    But I brought a few to our house to 'have a go'.

I bought cheap (poor quality) brushes and tubes of acrylic from one of the local 'Euro' stores and its very true that you get what you pay for!   The paints are thin and the brushes pretty awful but I persevered using far more layers than usual to try to get reasonable results.    

I'd forgotten how I worked previous stones so these are pretty much made up out of my head and although they're not the best quality I've had fun ..... They still need tails (the mice characters) and I started changing the cat from cream colour to ginger/tabby so he needs more colours.   All will need varnishing to withstand sun/rain as they'll be outdoor ornaments.       I probably won't do any more yet until I can find a proper art shop and buy better quality materials

It whiled away time on a showery day!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016


Hope the New Year is starting well for everybody.    We've been enjoying a few days in the Sunshine at our home on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.   My mum is house-sitting in England which has worked out quite nicely as her own flat was flooded just before Christmas so insurers have removed all the carpets and her bed and she's waiting for replacements.

Today the weather turned wet (but its still warm) so I've been catching up on some chores, practising making crispy parmesan baskets as we'll be having friends round for a cheese & wine afternoon soon and I wanted to ensure I could make these small enough.    I would have shown you some photos but 'somebody' ate them all (not naming him but bet you can all guess who it was)!

I've also painted a few stones/rocks with a base coat of black acrylic.     We are banned from collecting beach stones at my local beaches in Kent but here on Fuerteventura (being a volcanic island) stones are plentiful so there isn't a problem.    Mostly the rocks are too rough and pitted to use but we had a hire car for a few days and found a couple of beaches where the stones were smoother so I collected about 10.     It'll give me something to do on days where the weather isn't so good ... yes it rains even here in Paradise ...

This was the final picture of Fudge - she has been approved and I'll be posting her to my client when I get back to England