It’s in the post!

I’ve been getting back to traditional drawing skills just lately, and doing some work in pencil and in ink. The West Norfolk Artists Association, of which I am a member, is organising an exhibition of drawings, so I have been working on a few possible subjects.

Pencil sketch of Thornham
Mooring posts at Thornham Harbour. 4B pencil, 9ins. x 6ins.

When I get stuck for inspiration there are two subjects that never fail to provide some suitable material – trees, and mooring posts! For this pencil sketch I dug out some photos that I took at Thornham Harbour, up on the North Norfolk coast. It would have been nice to go up there and sketch on site, but it’s just too, too cold! This sketch may form the basis of a painting in due course, or it may just remain as a simple statement in 4B pencil.

The West Norfolk Artists Association exhibition is called Drawn to Attention and runs from Saturday 27th April until Saturday 11th May at Greyfriars Art Space, St James St. King’s Lynn. You can find out more about the WNAA at

Heritage paintings

Following on from the painting of King’s Lynn Customs House that I recently did with my Thursday afternoon group, I asked the group members to choose a view of another Heritage building of King’s Lynn and have a go at it using the techniques that we had just explored.

Here are a few of their paintings, which show the variety of subjects chosen and the skill with which they were rendered in watercolour. I’m sure that some of these will find their way into a local art club exhibition in due course. Well done everybody!

Red Mount Chapel
Red Mount Chapel painted by Adie
Trues Yard
Trues Yard painted by Gill
Lattice House
Lattice House, Chapel Street, King’s Lynn painted by Jenny
Marriotts Warehouse
Marriott’s Warehouse, King’s Lynn painted by Jo
Dukes Head Hotel
The Duke’s Head Hotel painted by Paul
View of Pilot Street
Pilot Street, King’s Lynn painted by Liz
Another view of Pilot Street
Pilot Street, King’s Lynn painted by Tim
Hampton Court King's Lynn
The Entrance to Hampton Court, King’s Lynn painted by Pat
St Margarets Church King's Lynn
St Margaret’s Church painted by Mike

The Customs of King’s Lynn

My weekly watercolour group has been tackling one of the iconic landmark buildings of King’s Lynn just recently. The Customs House was built in the 17th Century, when Lynn was a much busier port than it is now. The Excise men have long gone, but the tourist Information Centre puts the building to good use these days.

King's Lynn Customs House painting
A view of the Customs House at King’s Lynn. Watercolour 14ins. x 10ins.

Often painted by local artists, I realised that I had never undertaken this view until now, so here is my own effort at it. It’s quite a challenge to draw accurately, but my students did well with it and used the resulting skills to paint their own choice of heritage building of King’s Lynn. I will be reviewing their efforts in the group tomorrow and will post some photos of them a little later.

A quick sketch

Margaret and I have been away for a few days, down to Kent. One of those trips that starts with “we’ve got a few days free, where can we go?”. After a bit of thought we decided on Kent, simply on the basis that we hadn’t been there before, at least not for many years. A few minutes, well hours actually, on the internet and we’d booked an hotel near Canterbury. The Pilgrim’s Rest at Littlebourne, which we can definitely recommend as being warm, comfy, and providing an excellent breakfast!

sketch of oare creek
Oare Creek near Faversham. Pen and Ink

We got out and about walking as much as we could, although the weather was pretty awful on our first day. But later on it brightened up and we enjoyed trudging the footpaths round the area. Of course, I had my eye out for interesting sketching subjects, as Kent is Rowland Hilder country and Rowland is one of my watercolour heroes. Hilder sketched and painted all around the area in which we stayed, and on the Sunday we found ourselves at Faversham, walking beside the creeks which abound in that area. I spotted some old posts sticking out of the mud and knew I’d seen them, or something very similar, in one of my Rowland Hilder books. It was pretty cold so I took a couple of photos and later did this little ink skech that you see here. I enjoyed doing it, and that’s the main thing, perhaps the only thing that matters. It may or may not become a painting later on, but it was fun. Never forget that!