We’re not going on an Autumn holiday – November 2020

Mrs P needed a holiday, so we booked a cottage on the Cornwall coast for this week. Lovely. Of course, that was before Lockdown – The Return. Or, as we call it; Oh no! Not again!! Holiday cottage cancelled we debated whether to take the holiday and have a staycation or not. That was a short debate. Did I mention that Mrs P needs a holiday?

Staycation. Hmmm. What to do… Ah, what we normally do, but without any of that pesky travelling. Of course we won’t see the sea, there will be no options for climbing and we will be living in the same house where the dreaded working from home office is but, we can still go out to play. We still have our outdoor toys and we are not afraid to use them.

Day 1. Saturday 7th November – Get up late, go for a ride. 36 miles on the road bikes. Lovely autumn colours and quiet roads. One of the lockdown silver linings.

Day 2. Sunday 8th November – Get up late (have you spotted a trend here yet?). Observe the 2 minutes silence at the local war memorial. Go for a walk. 7.5 miles (about 4 hours if you count sitting around eating sandwiches and putting the world to rights) in the Chiltern Hills. Started at the Warburg Nature Reserve near Bix Bottom (No, I didn’t make that name up) and quickly found ouselves immersed in the autumn splendor. If you like orange, then this is your time of year. As can be seen in the following photo. See if you can spot Mrs P. Who clearly likes orange.

She’s in there somewhere

A great walk. Once again quiet and so still. The silence is amplified at the moment by the lack of planes flying into Heathrow Airport. A true delight. Contentious perhaps, but long may Heathrow Airport remain mostly closed.

Off piste in the woods (don’t ask why) I came across this little stand of mushrooms.

Mushroomius Smallius (or, to give them their Latin Name – Madeupius Nameius)

Can you have a stand of mushrooms? Or, is that trees? Hang on, I’ll go check… Hi, I’m back. Better educated and ready to share.

Mushrooms that are in a close group, but not close enough to be called a Cluster, are said to be in a Troop. Mushrooms in a group that is a bit more scattered and irregular (loose discipline!) are said to be Gregarious.

MushroomtheJournal.com

This was definitely a Cluster, which is a shame because a Troop sounds so much more fun.

Day 3 – Yay! No work!! – Monday 9th November – I’m recovering from this Long Covid rubbish, so took the day off exercise to avoid a relapse. Long covid is rubbish. Silver lining though. I drew a picture. Always fun. Here it is…

Magic Mushroom

For those interested I drew it using an App called Leonardo on my MS Surface Pro.

Later that day Mrs P and I retired to our very own garden Hobbit Haus for dinner and an atmospheric evening of chillin’ out.

These Staycations are tough

Day 4 – Tuesday 10th November – Mud glorious mud! – Got up late (you knew that already though right?) and went for a 26 mile, VERY muddy and great fun mountain bike ride. I shall let the photos do the talking. But, before I do, here’s a mountain biker joke.

Q. How can you tell a happy mountain biker?

A. They have mud on their teeth.

Terrible and old jokes.groan
Mrs P shows how it’s done
Sandwich break beside the River Thames at Henley
Nearly home.

See if you can guess who got to spend an hour cleaning bikes while a certain other person had a bath? Go on, guess… Bath girl did make tea and wash the clothes though.

Tonight (Wednesday 11th) we are hoping that we may be able to do a very small adventure in Gandalf. Tune in to the next post for further details. Spoiler alert; we won’t be spending the night in our lovely, much missed camper van unfortunately.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – Remembrance Day

Inktober – Day 31 – CRAWL

THE LAST DAY OF INKTOBER!!!!!

Well, I managed to submit a drawing for every one of the 31 days of Inktober 2020. I exceeded my own expectations. I’m looking forward to a day off. Though I think I will miss the process of drawing every day.

Before I witter on about what I may do next I shoud really show you what I have done for my final drawing. The final prompt word is CRAWL. Baby crawling? Too obvious. Front crawl (swimming)? Nah! Mrs P suggested caving. I liked it but decided that I would twist that to crawling out of a tunnel to escape captivity. Perhaps during WW2, or perhaps escaping this darned lockdown that the UK is about to descend into. Yet again!

Here’s the drawing. I had fun thinking about the shading from the two candles. Let me know if you think I got it right.

Crawl – The Great Escape

I’ve learned a lot during this month of Inktober. It’s been great. Thanks to my friend Stevyn Colgan for introducing me to it. He has a blog (he has a Wikipedia page! He’s a bit famous) that you may wish to look at. https://colganart.blogspot.com/ Also, of course, thanks to the guy who originally came up with the idea Jake Parker. Finally, a big thanks to Mrs P for encouraging me and providing me with the time, space and encouragement to do it.

What have I learned? Here’s a list:

  • I’ve remembered, rather than learned, how to draw
  • I’ve learned loads of techniques from looking at the other submissions on Instagram
  • I’ve found my way round the Leonardo software that I draw with
  • I understand shading better
  • I’ve learned how much fun it is to do art every day
  • I’ve remembered that if you want to get good at something, you need to practice, practice, practice.

What will I do next? Don’t know. I hope to draw every day, but I think I will takke more time over a drawing and post maybe once a week. Who knows. Watch this space.

Here’s the final link to the Instagram page for #inktober2020crawl. I haven’t looked yet but I bet there are a lot of cats. Do cats crawl? Also included is the link to my Instagram page where you can see all my submissions so far.

Inktober – Day 30 – OMINOUS

Day 30 of Inktober 2020 and the rather apt prompt word, since it is the penultimate day, is; OMINOUS.

Once again, I couldn’t decide what to draw and, as usual, my mind wandered to the high mountains. Ah, the high mountains, that’s where the crevasses hang out. They are the epitome of ominous. So, that’s what I decided to draw.

I took my inspriation from a photo I took of Mrs P back in 2018 when we were on a 4 month climbing trip in the Alps. We were on our way down having summited the Gran Paradiso, 4,061m (13,323 ft) in Italy. Big crevasses on this mountain and a great photo opportunity.

Easy to draw. Until that is, I decided that it needed a bit of colour. Then, suddenly, the hours started to fly by. I reckon this one took me about 3 hours. Below are a series of images starting with the finished article.

Ominous
Close up of Mrs P leading the way through the ominous crevasse fields with only her shadow for company
The ink only version

If you want to see the original photo then take a look at the blog I did of the 2 days we spent on the mountain. Just follow this link – Days 68 & 69 – Ice Cathedrals and strange happenings.

In the meantime here’s the usual link to the Instagram page for #inktober2020ominous. Less cats today, more crows. Still a lot of cats though. Also included is the link to my Instagram page where you can see all my submissions so far.

Inktober – Day 29 – Shoes

Today’s Inktober 2020 prompt word is SHOES and I have gone slightly off-piste with regards my style. I’ve gone with the whole still life thing today. Gone are the cartoon interpretations and gone is the colour. All terribly serious ink drawing stuff.

As you may have gathered, I like a good hike. For those new to this blog here’s a link to an old post as though proof were required that Mrs P and I have done a few walks in our time [Link – Gandalfontour – What to do, what to do?].

So, for today’s image, I found a photo of some well used hiking boots hanging outside a mountain hut and, hey presto, I have my still life (although cheating slightly as I copied a photo).

SHOES. Well… BOOTS.

Once again I thought you might like to see the process, so the following image shows the 4 stages:

  1. Rough sketch
  2. Ink over rough sketch
  3. Remove sketch layer
  4. Add some shading to give it some depth.

Hope you like it.

How it’s done. Or at least, how I do it.

Tomorrow it’s back to a more cartoon style and a bit of colour with the word OMINOUS.

In the meantime here’s the usual link to the Instagram page for #inktober2020shoes and a link to my Instagram page where you can see all my submissions so far.

Inktober – Day 28 – Float

Today’s Inktober 2020 prompt word is FLOAT. I enjoyed doing this one. It was pretty quick too. Managed to do the whole thing last night. A whole day ahead! Float. What to do. I went straight for the theme that has permeated through other drawings I have submitted for this year’s Inktober, that of Space. The Great Void. The Final Frontier. I even managed a nod to Major Tom. For those who have missed out on the joy that is Major Tom, he is a fictional character mentioned in no less than 5 songs by the late, great David Bowie. Here’s a link to the most famous, Space Oddity (1972), for your edification. Enjoy.

Maybe you could look at the drawing I did whilst listening to the song? Could be fun.

And I’m floating in a most peculiar way…

Here’s a close up of ‘Major Tom.’

Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do…

I was going to post a picture of the ink only version of this drawing. It was pretty cool. However, due to a Layering error, also known as User Error, I lost that particular option. I’d say that I won’t be making that mistake again, but I’ve done it twice now!

The colour was too tempting. Mostly VERY dark blue and white. Great fun.

Parting question: Can anyone name the other 4 David Bowie songs where Major Tom is mentioned? No prizes. Just smug satisfaction for those who know.

As has become the norm, I’ve included a Link to the instagram #Inktober2020float page with nearly 2,500 submissions by people around the world who are also taking part in Inktober. Definitely less cats today. Though it is early.

Also included is a link to my Instagram page where you can see all my submissions so far.

Inktober – Day 27 – Music

Inktober 2020 Prompt word for the day is MUSIC. It’s difficult to explain how my thought processes went for this one. I started with the word, Music of course, where else? Then, as always happens, my mind drifts… and suddenly I’m in the mountains. I’m thinking how I usually climb more mountains in a year than I do drawings. However, this year it’s the other way round, as the pesky pandemic has totally put the kibosh on that particular past time. The South East of England is not renowned for its mountains, of that you can be sure.

Anyway, I try to bring my train of thought back to music but, really, I’m still up there, where the snow and rock are. And then, suddenly, I think Alpenhorn! As you do. And an idea is born.

For those who don’t know,

The alpenhorn, alphorn or alpine horn is a labrophone, consisting of a straight several-meter-long wooden natural horn of conical bore, with a wooden cup-shaped mouthpiece. It is used by mountain dwellers in the Swiss Alps, Austrian Alps, Bavarian Alps in Germany, French Alps, and elsewhere.

Wikipedia

This drawing today allowed me to immerse myself in my favourite of environments. The high mountains. No climbing this year, but at least I get to draw snow (and a marmot).

Alpenhorn & Marmot. In perfect harmony

Here’s a bit of close up action for you…

Marmot in Action

And a bit more…

Well, blow me!

As you can see, I got a bit carried away with this one. Spent the best part of yesterday evening on this. Some new techniques in the colour and shading areas. Let me know what you think.

For those of you who may be interested and as proof that Mrs P and I do actually climb mountains (we don’t play alpenhorns I’m sorry to say), here is a link to an old blog post showing Mrs P and I in action. Of psychology & free rides.

As has become the norm, I’ve included a Link to the instagram #Inktober2020music page with thousands more submissions by people around the world who are also taking part in Inktober. Once again, a lot of cats. What is it with cats!?

Also included is a link to my Instagram page where you can see all my submissions so far.

Inktober – Day 26 – HIDE

Today’s Inktober 2020 prompt word is HIDE. A myriad of ideas came pouring into my head for this one. Hiding to play a trick (too mean); hiding from the bogeyman (too scary); hiding from the bullets and bombs (too depressing). However, none stuck in my mind and revived as many happy memories as that good old childhood game of Hide and Seek.

So, here is a group of children, maybe at a party, playing hide and seek. I love the fact that the children seem to think, not unlike ostriches, that, if they can’t see you, then you can’t see them. My drawing is an attempt to demonstrate all the very worst places to hide. I also like the idea that, despite the pretty poor hiding places the players choose, the ‘seeker’ still feels the need to peek while she is counting to 100. Hands up if you EVER counted to 100. For me it was always something like this; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… 26, 27, 32, 33, 30 (again!?), 40, 46, 50… 76, 77, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100…

Hope you like the drawing and that it inspires you to maybe play a game yourself. No peeking allowed now.

Coming! Ready or not.

As usual, I’ve included a Link to the instagram #Inktober2020hide page with thousands more submissions by people around the world who are also taking part in Inktober. Not so many today so far (2,800). Perhas the artists are getting tired. Only 5 more days of Inktober to go.

Also included is a link to my Instagram page where you can see all my submissions so far.

Inktober – Day 25 – Buddy

BUDDY. That’s today’s Inktober 2020 prompt word. I kinda think that ‘Buddy’ is something of an American word. We tend to say ‘friend,’ or ‘mate’ in the UK. Or, perhaps I’m just a bit old for the word ‘buddy.’ Anyway, I’ve gone with the word friend. Old friends. How old do you have to be to be ‘old friends?’ I’m not sure you have to be so old. Just to have been friends for a long time. And ‘a long time’ is clearly relative, as can be seen by my offering today.

Buddys

As you can see, I’ve gone for a bit of colour with my drawing today. Our old friends certainly add a bit of colour. How long have you known your oldest friend? I’ve managed 52 years. One, who I have lost touch with, 56 years!

As usual, I’ve included a Link to the instagram #Inktober2020buddy page with thousands more submissions by people around the world who are also taking part in Inktober. Actually, there may not be thousands. I haven’t had time to look yet today. Busy, busy, busy.

Also included is a link to my Instagram page where you can see all my submissions so far.

Inktober – Day 24 – DIG

Today’s Inktober 2020 prompt word is DIG. I instantly thought of that subterranian paragon of digging; the animal that is the very definition of the word; the humble and much maligned mole. I’m sure if we had moles in our garden I would be less of a fan, but we don’t, so I think they are cute little critters.

I did however, wonder what they get up to down there. I thought I would portray a mole watching the TV, but how can a mole, with little in the way of eyes, get any enjoyment from watching the TV? So, I checked out the interweb for inspiration and got to wondering how come they always look so clean when they are constantly digging in mud? And that is where I got the idea. So, here at last, is the truth of what it is they do down there and how they always look so darned clean.

The documentary makers rarely show you the truth of what moles get up to underground

Here’s a close up of Mr Mole…

The truth about why moles always look so clean

Tomorrow’s prompt word is BUDDY. See you tomorrow my friend.

Once again, I’ve included a Link to the instagram #Inktober2020dig page with thousands more submissions by people around the world who are also taking part in Inktober. I’m certainly not alone in my choice of subject today.

Also included is a link to my Instagram page where you can see all my submissions so far.

Inktober – Day 23 – RIP

I noticed that some of the folk at #Inktober 2020 were interpreting today’s prompt word of RIP as R.I.P. or Rest in Peace. ‘Bit gloomy!’ I thought. I was more literal and went for the ‘Tear’ interpretation. Partly because I thought that was the right thing to do, but also because I thought it would be quick and easy. A simple tear in a piece of paper through which can be seen a drawing I completed for an earlier day of the Inktober 2020 challenge. Mrs P suggested a ‘Rip in the space-time continuum’ as a title, so I thought I would hark back to my drawing of the space launch on day 9 (THROW). Easy. Or, so I thought.

It is seriously difficult drawing a hole. The shading was a right… careful now, children may be reading… erm… pig. Is pig ok? Not too offensive? It’s certainly less offensive than some of the expletives I used when I was drawing. I shouldn’t complain though, It taught me some tricks and a bit more about layers.

Here I proudly present my rendition of a hole…

A rip in the space-time continuum

Tomorrow’s prompt word is DIG. I can feel another hole coming on. See you then.

Once again, I’ve included a Link to the instagram #Inktober2020rip page with thousands more submissions by people around the world who are also taking part in Inktober.

Also included is a link to my Instagram page where you can see all my 22 submissions so far.