The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Friday, 30 March 2012

Sketching people...

Okay, so I found an un-finished Moleskine sketchbook in my bottom drawer and felt compelled to fill it before moving on to the new one! 

Right - So, how to fill it QUICKLY...?

© Sandra Busby

One of the things I avoid doing in public is sketching people! For that reason I have had very little practice!

Don't get me wrong, I can produce a nice pencil portrait of someone and with a very good likeness, when I have all the time I need to do it - but I'm talking about sketching people and sketching them FAST! 

...I'm talking about capturing people briefly in cafe's and bars, NOT drawing portraits...


© Sandra Busby

So, I decided to use the sketchbook to brush up on my people sketching skills, using nice easy models found on the Internet. Ones that don't move! And I'm talking NO more than five minutes on each one!

© Sandra Busby

The challenge here was to capture a reasonable likeness of the person as FAST as possible and in as fewer lines as possible. 

No pencil used in my sketches - It's straight in with a pen :0)

© Sandra Busby

The  most difficult people to draw were the women who have had fillers in their lips! Somehow they just don't read right on paper! 

...That should tell us ladies something shouldn't it? 

© Sandra Busby

Hmm.. aside from the odd case of wonky eyes I think I achieved a reasonable likeness of most of them.

It's interesting that the sketches I spent the least time on, turned out to be the most successful! 

Anyway - back soon! Have a great weekend :0)

Monday, 26 March 2012

A Snippet, an Ode, and a Story to Show...

Let me start by saying that Spring has finally sprung here in the UK and we have been experiencing the most beautiful, warm sunshine over the last week. I hope you are all enjoying the same :0)

Anyway - as promised, here is a very small (uncompleted) section of my latest bear painting...

© Sandra Busby

Hmm... I ought to warn you in advance that this is the best bit! 

This particular bear painting is proving to be an unexpected challenge, since there are issues with the composition that I didn't spot early enough, even despite my initial preparations.
Still, I am hoping that I will find a way around the problems, but it's not yet clear whether this particular painting will be a success or just a very time consuming lesson learned. 

Time will tell!

Meanwhile, I offer you some more speedy sketches, of which I always find myself apologising for! Until a new follower of mine, John, had this to say about them...

"you really shouldn’t call any of them ridiculous –  but rather, see them as actors, waiting in the wings, rehearsing and hoping you audition them to play a part in one of your productions"

And then John followed it with this little ode, which he wrote for me... 

Sandra’s Sketches,
Like actors in the Wings,
Each with lines unspoken
About unpainted scenes. 
Some just marking time
and sketching out the plot        

Well, what a refreshing way to look at them! :0D

John has a new blog dedicated to intricate and quite remarkable pen and ink drawings. Some of the stories behind them are fascinating.  They are most certainly worth checking out! You can see them here.

Meanwhile, in that case I make no apologies for sharing with you some more random and speedy musings of mine...

© Sandra Busby

I have very nearly finished this sketchbook. And the new one, which arrived in the post earlier this week accepts watercolour. So, soon my sketches will be all lovely and colourful!

© Sandra Busby

Just before I go, I would also love to share with you a short story written by my Uncle Danny, AKA George Elliott, just a few days ago, which I found really enchanting...

Taking Nono Out' 

It was a fine spring morning; it broke very silently and there was a mist floating in the valleys. The sunlight strengthened and the mist dissolved,  leaving lawns and gardens transparent with dew, even the very air was clean and sparkling. On this morning Robin Oscar and Will decided they would take their Granddad (who they called Nono) to an antiques fair at Herstmonceux Castle because they  knew he loved old things and magic. He had shown them many old things in his workshop and they remembered sword fights with his old swords that hung on the wall; he also had shown them magic and had told them "Those who do not believe in magic, will never find it."
   They arrived at the Antiques fair and were interested in an auction of artefacts. Nono explained that whoever offered (bid) the most money won the object that was offered. So they all sat and watched. They were interested that some antiques went quite cheaply, and some seemed lots of money.
 Then came an item that many people thought was of no importance. It was a battered old violin in an even more battered case, much like the one that their step sister Lucy played.
 The auctioneer asked for bids starting at £10 and every body laughed. So he said "Has anybody got an offer"? Somebody shouted £1 and everyone laughed again. Then an old man walked out of the crowd, he picked up the violin and handled it lovingly. The crowd wondered what he was doing and went quiet. He plucked the strings and tuned them. Then he took the bow and started to play. The notes were magic
they soared to the ceiling, and then to the floor, and then back again, such a wonderful sound that left one breathless and restored ones soul. The music was so wonderful and the whole crowd was absolutely silent and enthralled. Higher and higher the magic notes flew into the air. Finally the old man put down the bow.There was complete silence as he again lovingly caressed the violin and then laid it back in its battered case, and then disappeared back into the crowd.
The auctioneer returned to the sale of the violin. Someone bid £500 and then they kept bidding to own this violin. It was finally sold for a large amount of money. The children were puzzled. They said to Nono
"Why was it suddenly worth more money? what was missing before."
 Nono said, "what was missing was the touch of a master's hand."

© Author - George Elliott

I loved his story so much that I just had to share it with you :0)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Patience meltdown...

Grrr... I feel the need for a rant!

Rant number 1:

Is anyone else having problems with blogger at the moment? 
No? Well I AM!!

This morning, Blogger decided that it might be quite fun to wipe off lots of the images from various older posts of mine. My heart sank, as several lengthy posts seem to have lost the pictures that went with them!! 
Humph - I was NOT impressed!

I spent ages on 'Blogger Help', trying to figure out what was wrong, but no joy! Then I spent even more time trying to figure out which images they were so I could try to reload them. 
Anyway, after a couple of hours of trying - and failing - to sort it out,  I decided that I needed to take a break. 
And when I came back to my blog, all of the images had simply re-appeared!! 


Well, yes of course I was very relieved, but up to that point I had been tearing my hair out!

Rant number 2:

And - what is with the whole rDwo feTncviiaro...Gaah... odwR ftCiaoenvir... 'word verification' thingy? 
They are getting harder and harder to read and I never seem to get them right first time when trying to leave comments! The other day I actually gave up on leaving a comment after three attempts and still getting it wrong!

Blogger says, it is to make sure I am 'not a robot'. I can't help wondering how many little robots are sitting at computers trying to leave spam??? I mean, I understand that the likes of R2-D2 and Metal Mickey might be struggling for work these days, but really???

I've never had word-verification on my blog and in three years I have only had one bazaar comment capable of offending people... But I'm pretty sure that was left by a human being and not a robot (unless it's common for robots to worship Satan!) 
Besides, all I had to do was press 'Delete'. Easy-peasy!!

Phew!! I feel MUCH better now for letting off steam! 
I am now back to being all things jolly and marvellous again!

Thank you so much for being an ear :0D

Meanwhile, here are some more silly sketches I have done over the last three days (as always, you can click on them to make them bigger)...

 My boots, sketched as I found!

Exploring the human nose...

And here is a subject I have always tended to avoid where sketching is concerned!

I realised today that since I began this sudden, unexplained sketching spree on the 1st March, I have filled more sketchbook pages than I had in the entire previous two years!

So - Are you bored of them yet? 

As you can see on my side bar, I am so used to posting completed paintings, polished portraits and other serious bits of work! 
I will of course still be doing that, but I just thought it might be a fun way of keeping my pencil skills up and also keeping my blog more active between times.

Hmm, that will probably mean I end up with more things like this on my blog than my more serious pieces... Do you think that matters? I wouldn't want to chase my followers away!
Incidentally, I had a confidence melt-down when two disappeared last week - just as I had reached 180! 
It turned out that those people had closed down their own blogs, but for a moment I thought that maybe the sketchy thing was putting people off!

Before I go, don't forget to check out my interview on Carrie Waller's blog! You can see it here :0)

And - Since you were all kind enough to listen to me ranting on today, I think it's only fair to return the favour. So, instead of leaving you a random fact about my week today, instead, I'll ask the question and you can leave your own answer...

Q: What's ruffled your own feathers this week? 
I am all ears!!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

More Naked Nonsense...

Well, you asked for it!

More silly sketches from my world!

But remember, no pencils used here - These sketches are raw! 
Though I've paid some attention to shading on some of them, the outlines are put down as quickly as possible and come complete with mistakes...

...But I'm not worried about the mistakes.

The purpose of these sketches is to do them as FAST as I can, so in time I become more accurate, the first time around...

So, I will just keep on sketching...

...Because it's better to be sketching and making mistakes, than not sketching at all!


And I am comfortable in the knowledge that if I had have given my self whatever time I needed - they WOULD have been accurate.

This is SO much FUN! 

And that is all that matters :0)

I have never been comfortable with sketching.

It's the annoying perfectionist in me that has been fighting the need to sketch. And I do NEED to sketch!
Looking back, this was my very reason for starting this blog!

So - I am working towards feeling more confident in taking my sketchbook out in public, without breaking out in a sweat!

I have a few pages left in my sketchbook.

When I start a new one, I think I will start adding some colour :0)

I can hardly wait!

And now for today's random fact about my week...

Q: What's new?

A: Well,  Carrie Waller interviewed me for her blog and it will be featured this Friday! Don't forget to check it out!

I am honored :0D

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Naked Artist...

... Well, put it this way, this is the closest I could feel to standing naked in the middle of the street without actually taking any clothes off!

Let's face it - Most Artists aren't entirely comfortable with opening up their sketchbooks for all to see. I don't know why this is.
Perhaps it's the fear that our full abilities might be judged on these mere, sketchy morsels...

...Yes, I admit, maybe that is a big part of it.

 Anyway, now I am spending more time on each painting, I need to make sure that I keep exercising my drawing skills in between times.
This is often a problem and even more so since my hours at work have gone up again until the Autumn, so I needed to find a way around this.

It's not realistic for me to go out sketching on a regular basis while I am so busy and let's face it, that's never been something I have been able to do comfortably anyway. 
So, instead, a few days ago I made a promise to my self to sketch one simple thing every day. And I don't mean careful sketches with attention to detail. I mean very simple pen sketches of anything at all, captured in as little time as possible!

They can take as little as five minutes of my time and with that in mind, I am more likely to keep it up! 
And should I happen to have a few extra minutes to be a little more creative with some colour or text, then I can always do that too.

Having done this now for just a few days, I have already begun to really enjoy the freedom of going straight in with a pen and sketching with little thought to either the sketching process or mistakes I make. I simply leave it as it is because it can't be erased - It's really quite liberating!
And as cartoon like as they appear, the hand-eye coordination has still been exercised!

In fact, I think I could really get in to this!
So far I have found it to be a great way of scratching my creative itch between painting days.

 Flicking through the pages I can see how easy it would be to fill a book quite quickly. And the more I enjoy doing them, I am in no doubt that over time the more creative and interesting the pages will become.
So, the plan is to end up with lots and lots of sketchbooks, or rather, 'visual diaries,' filled with all sorts of quick sketches like this, that one day my children will find and hopefully love to look through.

Okay - so the next decision was that I should share these daily sketches on my blog every few days, however simple and however raw. 
This way, you get something to laugh look at, and I will also be posting on my blog much more frequently between paintings. 

That's if you all like that idea... What do you think?

Anyway... Time for this weeks random fact:

Q1: What is the worst thing that happened to me this week?

A:   On Tuesday, I crashed my car - or rather, somebody crashed in to me.

Q2: What is the best thing that happened to me this week?

A:   The  jolt I received from the collision, seems to have knocked some sense in to the right side of  my brain!


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