Pen mightier than pencil

Lesbury Art Group with Francesca Simpson.
Lesbury Art Group with Francesca Simpson.

Members of the Lesbury Art Group acquired a new skill at their latest meeting – using biro to produce drawings – thanks to help from a local artist.

Hipsburn artist Francesca Simpson showed the group how to produce stunning drawings using a simple ballpoint pen.

Francesca won the competition organised in conjunction with the Gazette to find the poster image for the 2012 Alnmouth Arts Festival, since when her career has gone from strength to strength.

Peter Hollins, who is the art group representative on the Lesbury Village Hall Committee, said: “We were delighted when Francesca agreed to do a workshop for us.

“She is such a talented young artist and is skilled in a wide range of techniques.

“We were particularly impressed by her drawings in black ballpoint pen on brown paper and she kindly agreed to focus on this in her demonstration using the Lesbury Village Hall as the subject.

“This turned out to be a stiff challenge for us all and made for a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable session.”

Francesca said: “Although I teach art classes regularly, I’d never taught biro drawing before, so it was challenging for me also, but the group quickly grasped how to build up the fine layers in a very light but controlled touch that the technique demands and they produced some excellent results.”

The Lesbury Art Group meet on Monday mornings from October to April in Lesbury Village Hall.

It is very much a self-help group with a range of abilities and several times a year they invite professional artists to run workshops for them.

For more about the Lesbury Art Group, visit www.lesbury and to learn more about Francesca, go to

The group and Francesca will be exhibiting at this year’s Alnmouth Arts Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22.

This year will see the popular event taking place for the 10th time.

The full list of artists exhibiting at this year’s festival is now on the event’s website and includes the 2013 Alnmouth Arts Festival poster artist, Jane Jackson, as well as this year’s, Katherine Renton, from Amble.

For more information, visit