Florence sketch diary, day 2: a run with a view

Here’s day 2 of our trip. If you missed day 1, you can see it here.

Florence sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Florence sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Florence sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Florence sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Florence sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Now go to day 3 for stuffed courgette flowers and a long trudge to the suburbs.

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Totnes & Lyme Regis holiday diary, part 6: in which we break everything and go home

Totnes & Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

This is the very final episode in our Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday. If this is the first page you’ve seen, you probably want to start at part 1, actually.

 

Totnes & Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Totnes & Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Totnes & Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Ha! I only wrote that page (above) out a few days ago, and several new things have happened in politics. It’s as if someone has pressed the fast forward button by mistake.

This map (below) was available free, all over the town, for tourists to pick up — and it was drawn by Hugh, our B&B proprietor. Taking a proper look at it, it’s clear that there is still plenty to do in Lyme Regis, so we will have to return.

Totnes & Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

We were sad to come home, but drawing it all has, as always, helped me relive the holiday. Hope you’ve enjoyed it too!

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary, part 5: Beatrix Potter’s windswept hair

Myfanwy Tristram sketch diary - Totnes and Lyme Regis

This is part 5 of our holiday in Totnes and Lyme Regis. If you haven’t seen prior episodes, you’ll want to begin from the beginning, so start here.

We’re nearly at the end of the holiday now: just one more installment after this.

As before, click on any image and then click again to see it at a larger scale.

Myfanwy Tristram sketch diary - Totnes and Lyme Regis

Myfanwy Tristram sketch diary - Totnes and Lyme Regis

Myfanwy Tristram sketch diary - Totnes and Lyme Regis

The final episode is here.

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary, part 4: cows, worms, moles & other animals

The image at the top of this post is a happy accident which happened on Photoshop, as I was trying to clean up the picture of the bookshop that appears in the third page below. I like it better than the actual painting, so here it is as a header.

Part 1 is here, part 2 is here and part 3 is here. If you’d like to see the pages at a larger scale, click on the image and then click again.

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

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Totnes and Lyme Regis sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

Totnes and Lyme Regis sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

Totnes & Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Episode 5 is here.

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary, part 3: my baby steampunk gets a taste of celebrity

This is the third section of a holiday sketch diary covering a week in Devon and Somerset. Part 1 is here; and part 2 is here. Enjoy!

Click on the images below, and then click again if you would like to see them at a larger size.

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Part 4 is here.

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary, part 2: otters, steam trains and Ballardian dystopias

This is the second part of a holiday sketch diary in which we stayed in Totnes and Lyme Regis. Probably best not to start on day 2: you can read part 1 here.

As ever, click on the images below, and then click again if you would like to see them at a larger size.

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

More in part 3.

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Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary, part 1: one man and his gluestick

So, here it is! Every time we go on holiday I swear I’m not going to bother with a sketch diary — and every time, I end up spending more time and attention on it. I suppose I have to admit that there’s no escape now. This is what I do.

So here’s part 1 of 6, chronicling our recent family trip.

We started in a part of Devon we know well, Totnes, before a few days in Lyme Regis, which was new to us. As usual, the whole holiday was by public transport — well, it had to be since none of us can drive. :)

Click on each image, and then click again, if you’d like to see the page at a larger size.

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

Apologies about the next page; I know the wording is badly placed for reading – but it turned out to be difficult to fit it in any other way, so in the end I left it as it is. I hope you can still get the gist.

Totnes and Lyme Regis holiday sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

More in part 2.

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A week in Barcelona, final part: rainbows, closed doors and iconic pavements

Barcelona SagradaFamilia by Myfanwy Tristram

Here’s the final pages of my Barcelona sketch diary.
You can see part 1 here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

And part 4 is here.

As always, click and click again to see each page at a larger size. Now read on…

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

A week in Barcelona, part 4: giant heads, small press comics, and food colouring

This is part 4.

Part 1 is here

Part 2 is here

Part 3 is here

Click each image and then click them again to see them at a larger size.

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

That blue sketchbook ends up being the one I did my Clovember drawings in.

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Tomorrow: the final installment.

A week in Barcelona, part 3: flea market, Parc Guell and a gypsy’s arm

Click each page and then click again to see bigger.
This is part 3 – part one is here
and part two is here
Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Tomorrow: an incredible stationery shop and a nice bit of Miró.

A week in Barcelona, part 2: Gaudi, selfie sticks and a rainbow of shoes

Here’s the second installment of our holiday in Barcelona. Part one is here.

Click each image and then click again if you’d like to see them in more detail.

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram - page 5b

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram - page 6

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram - page 7

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram - page 8

In case you can’t see that very clearly, I learned that Peppa Pig is Peppa la Cerdita in Spain – Peppa Piggy.

Barcelona sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram - page 9

Tune in tomorrow for the flea market, Spanish sweets, Parc Guell, more friends and a hamster that stole Tabs’ heart.

Madrid/Freedom of Information sketch diary, part one

Did you know that in the UK, as well as in many other countries around the world, you have the right to ask for information from public authorities, and by law they must respond?

Wait, you’re thinking, isn’t this a drawing blog?

Well yes it is, and hold tight for quite a bit of drawing: my longest sketch diary yet, in fact, which I’m going to split over several posts in an effort to make it more digestible.

But as long-term readers will know, the reason I get to travel is often because of my job, working for an NGO. I’m extremely grateful for this, but I’m also just as grateful for the very interesting work we do.

Yes, that’s right, I said ‘very interesting’.

And I am indeed talking about Freedom of Information. If that phrase sounds dry to you, I really hope that you’ll read on, and maybe even change your mind. And if not, well, there’s plenty of stuff about Madrid, in between the FOI stuff.

Oh, one last thing: I probably ought to say that what follows over the next few posts is in no way an official account of the work of the organisation I work for, mySociety. It’s my own visual representation of an event from the point of view of an attendee – me.

Click on any picture to see it larger.


p1 Alaveteli sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

p2 Alaveteli sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristramp3 Alaveteli sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

p4 Alaveteli sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

p5 Alaveteli sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

See part two here.

 

Snippets of conversation overheard on the walk to school

Walk to school by Myfanwy Tristram

Walk to school by Myfanwy Tristram

Our daily walk to school takes just ten minutes, during which we join the stream of other parents and kids stomping up the hill.

Sometimes—well, quite often—I overhear little bits of conversation. I thought they were quite nice all collected together.

That’s all. I almost added a third page, which would be about the conversations my daughter and I have, but that started feeling like a different piece. What do you think; does this feel finished to you?

Drawing everything that was in my daughter’s Christmas stocking

Christmas Stocking by Myfanwy Tristram[Click to see larger]

Father Christmas did a really good job this year – it’s almost as if he knows my daughter personally.

Her stocking contained, amongst plenty of other things: a suffragette brooch, detangler spray for long hair, a glasses case – ideal for this newly-bespectacled girl – and patches spelling out her name. Well done, Santa.

People-watching and people-sketching on the Level

Sketches by Myfanwy Tristram

Have you ever tried to draw while your pages are gently splattered by the spray of a water pistol? Me neither, until last week.

Sketches by Myfanwy Tristram

Here in the UK, we’ve had an unusually consistent, hot summer, and for residents of Brighton, one obvious place to find some relief is at our new playground, the Level, where, every half an hour, fountains spurt up from the paving slabs.

They run for thirty minutes, and then, in some sort of energy-saving or equipment-protecting policy, they disappear again.

level sketch2sfw

You can tell when they start up, because there’s a ragged cheer and children run from every other part of the playground. Toddlers walk blithely through the columns of water; cheeky kids figure out how to obstruct part of its exit so that it squirts violently in unpredictable directions; hot kids just stand blissfully on top of a fountain and let it soak them to the skin.

character sketches by Myfanwy Tristram

As a sketcher, it’s a blessing of a subject but also an immense challenge. Kids, especially excited ones, never stop moving. And it was hot, which makes one feel lazy.

Sketches by Myfanwy Tristram

My friend Giuseppe – who happens to be an art teacher – and I sat in the only bit of shade, and we had a go at sketching  anyway.

I gave up on the actual children pretty early, and started drawing the adults around the periphery of the area instead – they were far more likely to stay still (well, relatively speaking.. under normal circumstances I’m sure I would have been complaining that they were moving too, but compared to the comet-like accelerations of the children, they might have been statues).

Afterwards, Giuseppe said that what he liked best were my small sketches showing parts of children before they had moved off. I looked at his sketchbook, and he’d managed much more complete compositions, including the actual fountains themselves – quite a different approach.

Sketches by Myfanwy Tristram

I think if I’d been less lazy that day, I could have made some composite children that wouldn’t have represented any single one of the kids who were really in front of us, but which took some generic stances and movements and put them together. Hmm, maybe next time.

Meanwhile, back at home, I have been doing some first exploratory character sketches in watercolour, for a children’s book idea.

character sketches by Myfanwy Tristramcharacter sketches by Myfanwy Tristram

 

More plants that grow by the sea

Seaplants by Myfanwy Tristram

Seaplants by Myfanwy Tristram

Photoshop is such an incredible luxury for illustrators – it’s no longer the end of the world if you make a blot, or a line goes awry.

Seaplants by Myfanwy Tristram

The one on the left is written over the top of a clapping game that my daughter came home reciting: it must be a fairly recent variant, as it mentions Britney Spears (not that she knows who Britney is; she actually asked if ‘spears’ meant hips, because of the action that goes with that line!)

Sketch of plants that grow by the sea

Sketch of seaplants by Myfanwy Tristram

Sketch of seaplants by Myfanwy Tristram

Click if you’d like to see it bigger

Scanning doesn’t do full justice to the white and lumnious yellow inks. But anyway. I enjoyed drawing something other than my comic strip.

I wonder if those blobby leaf shapes are under the influence of the Matisse cut-outs exhibition that we saw last Thursday.

More about sketch diaries – from Katriona Chapman

twitterheader

Since finishing my Chile sketch diary, I haven’t drawn a thing.

That’s partly because I am thinking through exactly what I am going to do for the Cape/Comica/Observer graphic story competition. For the first time, I am very consciously examining where my ideas come from, too – it’s hard work, creating a cartoon world out of nothing! No doubt I will write a bit more about that once my concept is a bit more fully-formed.

To make up for the lack of drawings, though, I am sharing a great post from someone else. I think I came across it via Twitter, and the correct phrase to use here would be relevant to my interests.

Katriona Chapman is a London illustrator who recently made a cartoon diary of a trip to the Scottish Isles with her mum. Not only that, but she published a post sharing her inspirations for the project, and thoughts about how she approached it.

Here it is – if you enjoyed my recent post on ‘everything I know about sketch diaries‘, you’ll love this.

Once you’ve read that post, be sure to go to the beginning of the Scotland comic and read it all. The photos are breath-taking too!

Scotland Comic b y Katriona ChapmanImage: Katriona Chapman

Lizzie Stewart travel diaries
Image: Lizzie Stewart

As an extra bonus, that original blog post also introduced me to the stunning travel diaries of Lizzie Stewart. Why, this holiday sketch-diary malarky is a whole movement! And a very inspiring one, too.

Santiago, Chile: sketch diary, installment 3

This is part three of my Santiago sketch diary: you can read the first installment here, and the second installment here.

Finally, after “just” three weeks, I have finished the Santiago sketch diary.It’s been a real eye-opener to see how much longer it took than the Bath diary- only because I had to fit it around normal daily life.

Click on each image to see it at a readable size.

Santiago Sketch Diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Saturday: La Chascona, house of Pablo Neruda

Santiago Sketch Diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Saturday: La Chascona, house of Pablo Neruda, plus surprise balloon release

Santiago Sketch Diary by Myfanwy Tristram

Saturday: Lunch and the flight homeSantiago Sketch Diary by Myfanwy Tristram

 

Was it worth all this work? Well, let’s see.

On the one hand, as always with sketch books, you’re not necessarily putting out your best or most polished work, which can be a frustration.

On the other hand, such diaries do force me to do a lot of looking at things – copying logos,  and depicting other people’s art, like the fish mural and the bird mural I drew above.

This isn’t something I do much of normally, and I can see that each time you do, you learn a little bit about other ways of approaching drawing.

Finally, I do think that a sketchbook full of memories is a lovely thing to have. Being able to share it on the internet is the cherry on top of the cake, but the object itself is also a fine memory to keep hold of – and maybe hand on to my daughter one day, to help her remember these times, or see where mummy went for that week when she was 9.