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Pencil Drawings - 1

"The Lazy 'S'"
My first ever attempt at drawing with pencil. I spent a most memorable week with a very dear friend in this wonderful log cabin in Canaan Valley, Tucker County, West Virginia.

The Lazy 'S'

"Coopers Rock"
This view is of the Cheat River valley as seen from the overlook at Coopers Rock in Coopers Rock State Forest, Monongalia County, West Virginia. It is probably the most breath-taking view I have ever seen.

I find this pencil sketch much more satisfying than the watercolour version.

Coopers Rock

"Hazelrigg House"
One of the oldest buildings still standing in Northampton today is Hazelrigg House. It is rumoured that Oliver Cromwell slept here the night before the great battle at Naseby in 1645. Built in the Elizabethan period, it is one of the few buildings to escape the Great Fire of 1675.

Also see the watercolour version

Hazelrigg House

"Tess"
My beloved Tess, sadly laid to rest in September 2003. We rescued her from an animal shelter in 1987. Her Mother had been found in a ditch, badly beaten and heavily pregnant. Tess and her siblings were born at the shelter, her Mother dying soon afterwards. Tess could not tell her story but we quickly discovered that she cowered in fear at the sound of a chain, and she was terrified of men. One day we met Tess's brother on a return visit to the shelter and learned from his owner that they had just the same experiences. It was a slow and patient task to get her to the point of being able to play, especially to enjoy a bit of rough and tumble. Sometimes, if I overstepped the mark, she would suddenly back away and cower. Only Tess's Mother knows what pain they all endured ... oh, and of course the **** who inflicted it.

Tess

"The Gap of Dunloe, Co. Kerry"
A dramatic pass through the MacGillycuddy's Reeks accessible only on foot or by Jaunting cart.

The Gap of Dunloe, Co. Kerry

"Ross Castle"
Situated on the banks of Lough Leane, County Kerry, Ireland. I photographed this fine chieftains stronghold from a waterbus as we toured the lough.

Also see my watercolour and Oil paintings of this subject.

Ross Castle

"Muckross House"
Also close to Lough Leane, Queen Victoria stayed in this fine house as she journeyed through Ireland. Apparently the house owner was given 6 years notice of the visit, and spent all 6 years making preparations. The Queen stayed just one night.

Muckross House

"Farf and Sarai'"
These two lovely German Shepherds were owned by a friend. They both died under unusual and suspicious circumstances within 24-hours of each other in August 2005. "Farf" (full name 'Der Hund Farfegnugen') was a 7-year old male and "Sarai" (full name 'Madelyn's Süsses Sarai') a 3-year old female.

"Farf and Sarai"

"Sally and Tess"
Sally, on the right, was a wonderful Jack Russell. People have told us this breed is a bit temperamental and not good with children. Well I disagree. When our daughter was born we couldn't have wished for a more loving and caring pet. One day, when my daughter was about three, a large dog came galloping playfully towards her. Sally threw herself at the dog despite it being many times larger than her. The large dog ran away confused and no harm was done, but it was very clear to us that Sally was protecting our daughter.

Tess was just as loving. Some of Tess's story is told above. She was such a fast dog because of the Whippet in her. I could call her to heel then throw a ball as high and as far as I could. She would always be there to catch it when it came down. It's terrific to be able to see them together like this ... I wonder what they would have thought of each other.

Sally and Tess

"Singer"
Not a real person, this is a drawing of a bronze statuette that stood majestically in the center of the dining table in the log cabin in Wales in which I recently spent a very restful week.

Singer

"SPURN Lightship"
I discovered this fine Lightship moored in the marina at Kingston-on-Hull. I've allowed myself some artistic licence and placed it out at sea in a more realistic setting.

So taken was I with this fine ship that I also drew it in pen and wash.

SPURN Lightship

"ROSIE"
Drawn for a friend and taken from a photograph, I am particularly pleased with this portrait of Rosie. She was 7-months old and still showing some of her puppyish 'fluff' as she squinted in the face of the midday sun.

ROSIE

"Empire State Building"
Again trying something different. I didn't want to 'cheat' by using a ruler to draw straight lines but in the end that's what I had to do in part. I took a fairly casual and 'sketchy' approach to this one but I think the next time I shall try and be a bit more disciplined and precise in my approach.

Empire State Building

"Tentacles"
A friend recently produced this handsome looking guy using some new 3D software he has obtained and the image was an excercise in creating a 3-dimensional solid object. I couldn't resist trying to capture that mean threatening look.

Tentacles

"Contrast"
I copied this from a photograph taken by a friend. It is view inside an old Creamery in Wisconsin, USA, that has now been partially converted into a small Pizza restaurant. The strong contrast between the bright sunlight outside and the dark interior made this a very interesting picture to draw.

Contrast

"Stag"
On a recent holiday to the Scottish Highlands I saw a number of small deer, but nothing as majestic as a Stag. I used a couple of small pictures in tourist leaflets to act as a reference for this pencil drawing.

Stag

"Duchess Of Montrose"
As a young boy, I loved my train set, and my favourite engine was the model of The Duchess of Montrose. The Duchess was one of several Duchesses that made up the "Princess Coronation" class of locomotives. These engines were the largest and most powerful steam engines in the UK and were built specifically to compete with other railways for the lucrative business between London and Scotland. They monopolised express train operation out of the London Euston for 25 years.

Duchess Of Montrose

"Barn in Field"
Depending on which way you arrived at this picture, you may or may not have already seen the watercolour and Pen-and-Wash versions of this drawing. Though this does not compare to them in terms of being nice to look at, it was drawn mainly for the experience of trying to understand how best to draw foliage and grasses. I haven't done such a great job with this one ... but it was a useful exercise none the less.

Barn in Field

"Bricks"
When setting the first pencil drawing project for my forum, I thought a pile of nice rectangular bricks would be a simple task. I was wrong. The texture of the bricks, the shadows cast, and the perspective were all far more challenging than I had expected. Still, it was something different even though it isn't the sort of picture you'd like hanging on the wall.

Bricks

"Fist"
This pencil drawing of the back of a hand was a great exercise in shading and it was very interesting to notice how the darkness and degree of shading would make veins and other features appear more or less prominent.

Fist