Friday, 24 February 2012

Slow Work Days

We all have them from time to time. Slow work days that is. And towards the end of my employment in my last job I had many of them. There simply wasn't enough work coming in to keep everyone busy, even after the company tried to run on a skeleton staff. So before the day of redundancy came, I spent my notice period occupying myself by carrying out what seemed like futile and menial tasks for the company's owners and secretly doodling in my sketch pad.

The latter part was great. I felt like I was finally getting paid to do something I enjoyed. It would have been even better if I wasn't doing it alone in a dark, windowless room measuring no more than 2 or 3 meters in either direction. (For some reason, the powers that be decided that seeing as we were to be made redundant, they might as well make the last few weeks of our employment there as unbearable as possible; separating everybody up, restricting our internet access and being thoroughly unpleasant at any given opportunity. I think they were hoping we'd walk and so save having to pay us...) But still, you can't have everything.

Below are a few of the sketches I did during that period, as well as some Whale-phant/Ele-Whale* doodles and a dinosaur flying a kite.

*a character I'm working on. More to come in future updates. Maybe.

The cat is my pet, Minnie, who I've sketched and painted before, viewable in earlier posts in this blog. The man is my Grandad. The horses were in anticipation of a painting I might attempt at some point. All were done very quickly (by my standards) with no real dedication to extreme accuracy, rather to being speedy.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Night Photography

I feel like I should apologise. For the third update in a row I'm posting photographs and not paintings or drawings. I'm not going to though. It's my blog, I'll do what I want, y'hear me! (I will post some drawings and paintings soon, I promise, I have some underway/completed already. I've just been enjoying the winter scenery a lot lately.)
These were all taken from about 4.30pm onwards and so there was very little light, particularly from the photo of the Knowle Locks sign onwards, where, other than the street lights, it was about as dark as it would get on that night. As such there was a lot of trial and error involved when it came to focusing and framing the shot because nothing could be seen in my viewfinder in the dead of night.
This was somewhat intentional, as I wanted to try out some more long exposures, having dabbled with them in the forest the other weekend. I figured if I waited until dusk, I could use the maximum exposure time allowed by my camera of 15 seconds and see what kind of effects this would create. So, with tripod in tow*, I set off to the nearby canal.
The resultant colours are exactly how they came out on the camera, with no post processing, bar a bit of cropping in 2 or 3 of the shots.
Rather amusingly, when taking the following photos by the road side, I noticed that the cars were driving a lot slower than they do normally, clearly mistaking me for some kind of speed cop. Now I finally know how Bruce Wayne feels.
*canal related pun

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Oh my God! SNOW!!! Quick, panic buy! Bread, copious amounts of bread, buy it. And milk. More milk than is humanly possible to drink before it goes off. Petrol! Mustn't forget the petrol, to fuel the car to carry out the bread and milk salvage. Snow chains too... Should definitely get some of those this year. I heard it's going to be 10 cm deep. 10 cm! Ten centimeters! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Oh, wait... it's melting already.

I love snow. Call me childish, but I always get excited at the prospect of snow each winter time. Especially when it coincides with Christmas like it did last year (here in Britain). It almost makes the season bearable. I just love the look of it. Even the most aesthetically miserable places are cheered up by its glistening white icey coating.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like the snow is going to be making a prolonged visit this year, which is why I'm glad I ventured out in it earlier with my camera. The sun was hidden behind clouds all day, so sadly there were no nice shadows or reflections to be taken in. Instead I messed around with long exposures and small apertures. As long and small as my camera will allow anyway, which isn't all that long or small as it happens. The ND filter however  helped to extend both as much as was possible in the available light.

As in my last post, the images were taken at Hay Wood, near Baddesley Clinton.