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Archive for the ‘Sketchbook’ Category

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A few weeks ago the above meme popped up on my Facebook feed.  I shared it and the comments were great, and some of them tickled me so much I decided to draw them.  My personal favourite was Reservoir Potatoes.  Totally silly waste of a morning, but I did enjoy myself!  Potato Alone and Edward Potatohands have gone to new homes but if you’d like to purchase Reservoir Potatoes or Potatospotting then please get in touch.

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Commissions are always fun, and they’re especially interesting when they take me out of my comfort zone.  At the end of January a friend asked me if I could do an art nouveau style poster of her friend.  She found one she liked the look of and sent me that together with a photo of her friend, and said she wanted her ‘wreathed in bubbles’ and, if at all possible, for the phrase ‘I love it here!’ to be on there somewhere as that’s all her friend had said for her entire birthday weekend in Amsterdam.

Here’s how it went.

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I’ve been wanting to try this for quite some time, and it was worth the wait. It’s quite the most unusual gin I’ve ever tasted. The flavour is clean but complex: fresh, but with a distinct taste that is slightly… stony. It makes me think of pebbly shores. The mouth-feel is what’s so unique about this gin: it leaves a very soft, rounded, viscous sensation on the tongue. Most peculiar, but very lovely!

My tasting notes for Isle of Harris gin.  I’d been dying to try it for some time and it really was worth the wait!  In addition the bottle is simply stunning – I couldn’t stop taking photos of it, and then I decided to paint it.  Both paintings turned out beautifully, I’m really pleased with them.

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A fairly random painting, even by my standards.  We had some sad news in early January when a family friend passed away.  I think my strongest memory of her was from when I visited Indonesia five years ago and she took us for amazing satay.  Not just satay, either, but also tofu.  Those who know me well will know exactly how I feel about tofu…but this one was different.  Turns out it’s a regional speciality and I’m unlikely to find it anywhere else. Typical.  It’s tahu sumedang, and the restaurant can be found at Jalan Penjernihan 1 No. 5B, Pejompongan, RT.7/RW.6, Bend. Hilir, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10210, Indonesia.

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I’ve done embossing before: not much of it, but the results were good.  However up until recently I’d only ever used a rubber stamp to mark the area that was to be embossed.  It hadn’t even occurred to me that you can buy pens with the embossing ink in them, so that you have total freedom in design.  So I bought a Versamark pen and decided to give it a go last week on a postcard I drew to send to a friend.

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Doesn’t look very interesting from that angle, but…

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…bingo!  Not perfect, but not bad either.  The problem I had was that the ink seemed to sink into the paper really quickly, so the embossing powder didn’t adhere firmly.  I ended up having to go over areas again once I’d heated the paper and then going over it with the heat gun a second time.  I suspect this might be a problem caused by the paper (watercolour paper) being too absorbent.  So I’m going to try again, but do things a bit differently.  I’ve ordered a refill bottle of the ink (which you’d usually use to reink a stamp pad) and next time I’m going to try applying the ink using a paintbrush.  Hopefully that will allow me to get enough ink on that it doesn’t dry out or get absorbed before I can sprinkle the powder on.  I’ve also learned that I need to do something to the rest of the paper before I start so that it’s easier to tap/blow the excess powder off before applying heat.  You can see all the little flecks of powder that got accidentally embossed on this attempt!  I’m away from home at the moment so any more attempts at embossing will have to wait a couple of weeks, but in the meantime I’m going to come up with some designs.

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A little doodle from Friday.

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