"The artist...is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of a tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Kilnsey Crag Wharfedale

Kilnsey Crag
10 Colour Reduction Linocut.
270mm x 180mm.
Edition of 6.

Finished the print off with the final dark on the crag. This lump of shattered Great Scar Limestone with its massive overhang, stands close to the road as you travel up Wharfedale. The road, just off to the right of the stream, passes beneath the crag and infront of the farmhouse in the middle distance. Shortly after it divides; one branch bearing left to take the traveller up Littondale, the other continuing along Wharfedale behind the hill in the distance.

I was tempted to use black as the final colour, but resisted the temptation. Using instead a dark grey made up from the accumulated leftovers of previous colours all mixed together and saved in an old ink pot. I've pretty much stopped using black as I felt it was too overpowering against some of the paler colours. Even the final colour on the Raven print was printed using this dark grey mix.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Almost Finished

Colour 9, a darker green in a few areas, only the final details on the crag to add next and then it will be finished.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lime Hawk Moth

Lime Hawk Moth Mimas tiliae.
Pencil, watercolour and pen and ink.

A male I think, judging by its small size and strong colouration. However if anyone reading this knows better I stand to be corrected.

I found it dead on the path by the back door as I went out this morning. Possibly a victim of last nights strong winds and rain. A bit battered with its left antenna missing. It's the first one of this species that I have ever seen.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Kilnsey Crag Colours 6, 7 and 8

 Colour 6, the first green for the foreground grasses, and then colour 7, a darker tone of the same green.

Colour 8 below, a dark violet grey for the shadowed areas on the crag.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kilnsey Colours 4 and 5

Colour 4 is a pale blue green, mainly for the background fell, although some areas will also remain showing in the ripples in the foreground beck. It looks a little dark here but the additional colours should push it into the background.

Colour 5, a darker blue to finish off the sky and add further definition into the stream. The main structure of the crag is now shown although none of this colour will be used for the rockface.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Grey Mares Tail (study)
Mixed Media. 350mm x 270mm

I've been trying to do something with this waterfall for the last 12 months. I've made watercolour studies, I have an unfinished acrylic on canvas propped against the wall. I know there is a print here somewhere but I just can't get it all to come together in a composition that I am happy with. It probably needs another trip out to visit the waterfall and some more field sketches. So after a fruitless week messing about with it I finally started something else....

Colour 1. A very pale cream.

Then a pale violet grey

This should be recognisable for any rock climbers or anyone familiar with Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales.

And then the first pale blue.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Raven at Wessenden Head

Raven at Wessenden Head
Reduction Linocut, 12 colours. 190mm x 170mm.

Finally finished the Raven print. The view is the Wessenden Valley on the northern fringe of the Peak District National Park, looking down towards the Colne Valley. The print was made for the cover of the Bird Club 2010 report and done about half up of the report size. Hopefully it will make a striking image when reduced.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Nearly finished

Colour 11.
A dark grey brown, only the final dark to go now.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Next Three Colours

Colours 8 and 9.
A mid blue to finish off the lake. Then the final green in the foreground.

Colour 10 below is a darker blue for the highlights on the Raven and the hill on the far horizon.

Only two colours to go now.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Colour 7

Colour 7, the second green. So far so good, the print is starting to come together. The next few colours should bring the foreground out and give a nice feeling of depth looking down the valley. Well thats the intention anyway.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Next Three Colours

Colour 3 is a pale tawny colour for the moorland on the distant hillside on the far side of the Colne Valley. Some areas of this colour will be left as highlights in the foreground grasses.

Next is a pale green for the lower slopes of the Wessenden Valley around the reservoir.

and then a darker tone of the earlier tawny colour.

Six colours down, probably another six to go. I start every print with the intention of trying to limit the number of colours used. I don't know how or where the figure came from but I seem to have got an ideal of 6 colours in my mind. Try as I might I can't get anywhere near this. Infact, with the last few prints I seem to be going the other way and using more colours not less! Does this matter though ? Is the number of colours used important ?

Monday, 2 May 2011

More Report Illustrations

Another set of Pencil and Wash Illustrations. All 95mm x 135mm. The first two shown with the original field sketches on which they are based.

Field sketch of a Collard Dove pair, drawn as they perched in the top of the conifer at the bottom of the garden.
and below the pencil and wash illustration.

Above, field sketch of Black Headed Gulls drawn at Denaby Ings in black ink using a Rotring Art Pen.
and below Pencil and Wash Illustration.

Above : Juvenile Swallow
Below : Lesser Whitethroat

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Illustrations and a new print

It's been a busy week. With the 2009 Bird Club Report now published its time to start on the 2010 report. So here are the first set of drawings. All 6b Progresso Graphite Pencil with an ink wash and all 95mm x 135mm.

 Golden Plover


 Long tailed Tit



I've also started a new print which will be the cover design

 Colour 1 and the offset drawing gives the subject away.

 Colour 2
and then Colour 3

Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club Report 2009

Now available; well actually its been available for a couple of weeks I've just been a bit slow to post about it. Available by following the link on the right to the Huddersfield Bird Club.