Reviewing the lacuna

June the ninth, was it – as long ago as that?

I seem to remember predicting at the very inception of this blog that regularity was not likely to be its foremost attribute and so it has proved. I can rightly claim to have been very busy during the period since my last post but I fear that doesn’t quite excuse an absence of almost three months. Any work I’ve posted during this time – and there has been some – has been via the more instant and, let’s face it, easier portals of Facebook and Twitter. My conscience has been tweaked though by the sight of my son setting up not one but two brand-new blogs in the past few days and putting his good-for-nothing old man to shame. It’s time to bring my Drawstring up to date!

It was back in May that I succumbed to the lure of the iPad and you may recall that I was anxiously awaiting its arrival prior to my ‘Residence’ at the Pop-up Restaurant during the Brighton Festival, where I was intending to put it to use. Thankfully it did arrive with a few days to spare and I had time to familiarise myself with the wonderful Ink Pad app, which is everything I hoped it might be, before using it to produce a digital image for the end-of-run auction. Here are a few try-out images together with the final piece I produced in situ (there was a 70s theme this year).

This is the first image I produced using the Ink Pad app for iPad

This is the final Residence piece produced on the iPad using the Ink Pad app

I was intending to include an account of my experiences with different styluses for the iPad but other online reviewers have naturally beaten me to it and in most cases have gathered together and compared more of these devices than I’ve had the resources or need for. This Macworld article is pretty thorough; for what it’s worth, my favourites are the Griffin, closely followed by the stylish Alupen. The sheer volume of work I’ve had to do in the last few months has prevented me from indulging in much further iPad experimentation but I’ll be going back to it in due course.

I’ve managed to squeeze in a few other extra-curricular drawings here and there, but not as many as I’d like. Here are a few:

These sketches were made during a weekend at the Cambridge Folk Festival:

Also found time to pull out the sketchbook during our family’s week in St Ives. It would be great to go there with the sole intention of working, actually; once you’re there it’s easy to understand why this small Cornish fishing village with its wonderful light has inspired so many artists over the years.

View from the top-floor window of Victory Cottage, The Digey, St Ives.

And then there have been the life-drawing sessions which, give or take a few insanely-busy weeks, I’ve managed to get along to on a pretty regular basis. They’re a real breath of fresh air amid the often stultifyingly-repetitive routine of illustration work. Here are a few examples from the past couple of months:

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