Sunday, December 28, 2014

Flu Season ..

T'was the day before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring except for the dog and myself as I wandered around looking for Neo-Citran ;-(

Say it isn't true..but yes I spent the last three days shivering and sneezing.

Yesterday I couldn't stand it any longer and went for a walk. Having read 'Landscape Drawing in Pencil' by Frank M. Rines (One of the many books I received for Christmas) I decided to sketch our Covered Bridge (there were several covered bridge drawings in the book).

This is the on-site sketch on a grey, damp blustery day (much like my mood)
I was only out for an hour but by the time I got back home I was quite chilled.

After a dose of Hot Chocolate ;-)
I set about redrawing the scene with some of my other Christmas presents (Thanks Doug!).
Dip pens and RED W&N drawing Ink
Shadows made with dilute Noodlers Lexington Grey
Highlights with Derwent Chinese White
and a dash of  Derwent Venetian Red just because I have it..

 I'm not crazy about the grey and may use some of the Venetian Red to warm it up

I hope you are enjoying the 'Holidays' after the festivities ..


Sunday, December 21, 2014

For a long time I have been thinking about getting the 'Tan' toned sketchbook by Strathmore. 
I have had the 'Grey' version for over a year now!

Well at the latest sale put on by Curry's I broke down and bought one. This is page 2.

Inspiration came from the latest bout of crappy weather and a walk in the Ignatius Centre.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

End of the road ..

.. well the fulfilment of a journey anyway.

You can read the whole story here:

These are two quick sketches I made as I recorded the scene with my camera.

The first is a scene I have been waiting for for almost a year, yesterday the mist and fog rolled in..

This one was behind me ... another image just waiting for the right moment

Patience has it's rewards !

Enjoy the season


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Any loose change?

This ties in with my blog post :

The full story of my Saturday walkabout in Hamilton is there.

When I returned home I couldn't get one particular image out of my head.

No I didn't photograph this but knew I had to record it, so out came the sketckbook.

We all should be grateful for what we have.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Winter Sun

Yes it's me.. 
I did it ..

Don't ask why but when I took the photograph I knew this was going to happen.

Black Pentel Brush pen
Langnickel Graphite 6B and 2B sticks
SigNo white pigment ink pen for highlights

It's certainly different for me but there was an itch to be scratched... 
Did it work?

I think so, I'm quite happy with my first attempt

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yesterday I was at Fletchers Creek.  One of the things i wanted to photograph was the hide on the hill but there was so much visual clutter! I said to Patrick "I may as well draw what I see instead of struggling to get a decent image".
So i did... last night, from memory.
Actually I did two but I like the mood the grey paper intones .. kinda like the day :')

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pliosaur swims in an eternal sea 

Pterodactyls soar above our heads in silent flight

These last few weeks we have been discussing sketching indoors ( after taking a leaf from Larry's blog posts on the subject.. Larry Marshall's Blog )
As much as I love winter, sitting in one spot with frozen fingers and frozen ink doesn't cut it. So instead of putting the sketch books aside we began looking for 'warmer venues'. So a trip to the ROM was hatched and yesterday this old fossil sat amongst many more old fossils in the bones room ;-)
The place was packed with kids and frustrated adults the noise was at times overwhelming but the scratching of pencil on paper seems to drown all that out.
A great day out with some new knowledge acquired too boot.
It doesn't get any better than that ..

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Yesterday was a rainy day so we decided on a short walk in the UofG arboretum followed by coffee at Planet Bean. We secured a window seat with a view of the Guelph Old City Hall across the street ;-)

The paper belongs to Patrick who as I liked the 4" x 8" format but unfortunately the paper did not live up to our expectations but it was worth a try.

In a moment of madness I decided to "paint" the building with coffee. The door and flags were done with watercolour paint !


Looking after a new puppy takes a lot of time and effort.
Over the last (many) weeks I have been distracted but at one point I found an hour to myself and rendered a favourite photograph of mine as a pen and ink.

CSS Acadia in Halifax N.S

You can read about her here:
CSS Acadia

Sunday, October 12, 2014

On a fine Autumn day a walk in the woods was all that was needed.

Eventually we sat by one of the marshes, listened to the running water, the birds and the tree's who whispered "Autumns here" to all who take the time to listen.

I passed the time in quiet company, sketching..

The drawing was done on site, the colour was added later with watercolour pencil.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blue shadows and yellow sunshine

Recently I was chatting with my friend Constance, who likes to review my watercolour sketches. During the conversation she mentioned using blues for the shadows and yellows in the sun lit area's as base washes.

So in a quiet moment, which are rare now as we have a new-to-us 40lb Siberian Husky puppy who has to be watched constanlty ;-) ... but I digress...

In a quiet moment I sketched the arbor and the fast fading lilacs in our backyard to try out the technique..

Sunday, September 21, 2014

OX - our Saturday destination
After wandering the riverbank yesterday we decided to scratch an itch, sketching some of the fine buildings in downtown Guelph.

What better place to start than our regular 'watering hole', OX.

I should call this "without before within" because as soon as we were done we crossed the street for our reward of tea and croissants / muffins. 
We are all creatures of habit :-)

Pen (Micron 0.05) and soluble graphite.


Monday, September 15, 2014

This last weekend we were had our "First Annual Fall Getaway" to the Bruce Peninsula.
Arriving late on Friday staying up half the night talking and the threat of rain kept us inside until lunchtime on Saturday, so I took the easy route and sat in a comfy chair and looked out the window.. :-)

Rainy Morning - Through the Window..

When the rain eased off we ventured out ..

However Sunday was the day to be venturing abroad especially with a new sketchbook (Hand-Book Paper Co. Watercolour large Portrait) :-) ...

Tenacity - Halfway Log Dump - Bruce Peninsula

Many thanks to Doug and Lynn for sharing their cottage with us.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

A rain delay this morning and we decided to visit the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory .. because we miss the humidity ;-P

Apart from the butterflies, children and the humidity we managed to find a couple of spots where we could sit, relax and draw ...

Maybe it was a late start but the companionship and laughter made for a great morning, that stretched into a great afternoon :-)


Broken Pot - 5 minute Sketch

A continuing theme .. "I have no time to Sketch" 

Larry Marshall - Sketching when you have no time 

This was done in 5 minutes while I sat eating lunch and having a 'cuppa'...

Far from my 'normal' detail but enjoyable non-the-less :-)


Friday, September 5, 2014

Well I have begun my new blog, now in which direction do I point it?

My initial thoughts were to transfer over all the drawings, sketches and paintings that I had on my existing ajnphotography blog.

In the clear light of early morning I think that might be a bit redundant. So I will continue moving forward.

For any newcomers you can browse backwards through my previous blog posts here

So a quick overview as to what I have been up to and how I got here..

Recently I read 'The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be the Artist You Truly Are' by Danny Gregory

In the section under 'excuses' i.e ' I don't have time to draw' he says and I'm paraphrasing here, “So you get up in the morning, make coffee and breakfast and then what?
Well instead of just sitting there, draw your breakfast!”

Well I did and spent the whole day, I was on vacation, drawing and sketching. Was that because I started early?

I also started a daily (well supposed to be daily) Sketching Journal. Some of those pages will appear here, warts and all.

Recently I joined the KW Urban Sketchers group and tagged along on an outing to Doon Village in Kitchener.
Never heard of the Urban Sketchers movement?
Well here is their website:

I find my 'style' to be very 'technical' and detailed. The Urban Sketching style is more loose and free flowing so I am trying to expand my horizons in that direction too.

 The Surf's Restaurant-Balmy Beach Ontario
Waiting for dinner to arrive

This is one of my first 'Urban Sketching' attempts .. I still find my colours 'muddy' and this breaks the Urban Sketcher manifesto of complete it on-site, I added the watercolour when I got home ;-)


Thursday, September 4, 2014

A good place to start ..

Goldie Mill - Guelph - June 28 2014
A good place to start...
I have had my photography blog for several years but in recent times I have reignited my need to draw and paint. This caused a confilct with my photography so I have decided to give it its own space.
Why 'Happeninks'?
Well in trying to find a catchy name for this blog I used Wordoid, a nifty name generator.

I knew that the majority of posts would be pen and ink sketches so I used the tags 'pen' and 'ink' and hit generate and 'Happeninks' was born :-)

My visit to Goldie Mill in June was my first En plein air excursion, my coming out of the closet day so to speak, so it is fitting that a pen and ink sketch from that day should be the first post.

I hope you find inspiration here and return often to see where I have been, what I have been up to and where I am going with this...