New Pencils… New paper…Old Friends

It’s been a long summer and quite sometime since I picked up, or rather used a *pencil to draw, and now that the family are [just about] returned to their various places of work and education, I can reclaim some space and time to draw.

First of all the point about  *pencils. During a very nerdy visit to Bartrums Stationery & Fine Pens in Hay on Wye whilst on holiday in August, I bought this very delightful box of Tombow H.O.P. Drawing Pencils – I’ve been dying to use them, and then again I don’t want to… I photographed the un-packing ritual so you can enjoy it as much I did! It’s not just me.

So, to put the pencils to a worthy job, I decided to revisit some of the drawings from my  Cock Robin project… I know this was ‘finished’ earlier this year, but I’m not ready to let it go yet and I wasn’t 110% happy with the final verse.

 All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing, when they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin.

This is how it ended in February – This version is A2 – I love everything in the landscape on the left hand side, most of the birds make me happy – but it doesn’t make my heart sing, I want it bigger, more  drama, more birds, ladybirds, more trees and foliage!

all the birds lowres

I’ve always had religious paintings in my mind with big skies, billowing clouds and god rays. So, armed with my handsome TOMBOW pencils and  a brand new roll of 200gsm Fabriano paper I have now drafted out version two!

This time it’s A0, a decent challenge for a pencil drawing, but has presented a range of interesting problems, not to mention drawing board wrestling – ‘it’ won round one yesterday by ripping a hole in my favourite dress!

I intend to blog the drawing  as it progresses … hoping that making this commitment to the ether motivates me to draw daily.

Day 1 – 5


Working at 1/4 scale, I drafted the landscape composition on layout paper and fiddled around with the arrangement of  birds on a tracing paper overlay. Then, after wrestling with, and losing round one to a laminated dark walnut panel leftover from the kitchen refit (5 years ago?) I used a grid to enlarge it to A0 – roughed out the landscape and will add all the birds before detailing the background.

First bird on today  – Blue tit –  I loved this little fellow on the original drawing so  I hope I can reproduce him!!!!


So here we go.




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