Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators (And More on Magnani Portofino)

May 20, 2022


After my initial tests with Magnani Portofino I tried different pen and ink only tests.

For today’s post I did a quick pen sketch of actor Mark Benton who stars in “Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators.”

It’s a fun mystery show set in Stratford-upon-Avon where everything is Shakespeare-related. Benton plays Frank Hathaway, and the wonderful Joy Joyner (who is too young beautiful for me to sketch—my style ages women as I’ve said before, and Joyner doesn’t have a beard) plays Luella Shakespeare. The two are partners in a detective firm. Patrick Walshe McBride (second sketch in today’s post) plays the pair’s receptionist, a budding thespian Sebastian Brudenell, who is always dressing up to go under cover.

The shows are about 45 minutes long. During which time quirky stuff happens, someone is murdered, the mystery is then solved. I watch the show because I enjoy the actors and their interaction. If you’re cynical you’ll believe that there is as much murder going on in Stratford-upon-Avon as in Cabot Cove, Maine. I’m cynical about a lot of things, but not my TV mysteries.

I watch the series on Amazon Prime with a BritBox subscription.

About the Sketches and “revamped” Magnani Portofino Watercolor Paper

While I can recommend “Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators” as an entertaining mystery series with fun characters to sketch, I can’t recommend the “revamped” Magnani Portofino watercolor paper.

In today’s post I have included a pen sketch made with the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen with a soft tip (Mark Benton sketch) and then one with the same pen but with a hard tip (the Patrick Walshe McBride sketch).

I found both pens were brand new and very inky, yet they were very draggy on this paper. I found it easier to work with the soft tip. 

The hard tip seemed very dry as well as draggy on this paper. In my faster strokes you can see that I have very dry lines. I suppose one could think of this as a “feature” of the paper. If you like drawing with pens that are drying out you can use this paper with a new pen and get that effect.

The trouble with that, however, is that the amount of drag is beyond my fun level. Maybe not yours?

And additional difficulty with using the fresh pen on this paper is that after I finished this sketch the pen was no longer fresh, but instead somewhat damaged by the drag of the surface sizing. 

I like to get more than one simple 9 x 12 inch sketch out of a pen like this.

Another Watercolor Example Before I End My Review of this Paper

This sketch was made from a Museum by Sktchy App reference photo.

Before I wrapped up my review of the “revamped” Magnani Portofino watercolor paper I wanted to show one more pen and watercolor sketch.

This sketch was smaller than the other sketches (about half the height, made on a half sheet). I used the soft tipped Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen, some Daniel Smith watercolors, and a Niji Waterbrush.

With the waterbrush and much smaller strokes I was able to work in a sort of tiny stroke approach, with very dilute watery washes that hold together because I’m not trying to work in a broader and more bold fashion with large brushes and brushwork.

If you have a tight style you might find that the disadvantages I find in this paper, specifically the water-resistance and heavy drag of the surface, might make this a useful paper to you. But please do try other watercolor papers first if you are learning so that you can enjoy some successes and not just struggle.

I’m off to other papers that have the qualities I enjoy working with. I don’t enjoy dabbing.

    • Kathy
    • May 20, 2022

    These are great! One of my favorite shows! Between Midsomer, Father Brown and S&H, murder abounds. And then there is Death in Paradise!

    1. Reply

      Yep, I watch Death in Paradise too. There is also on BritBox, Sister Boniface Mysteries and there was even a Father Brown walk-on in one episode.

      If you enjoy these British Mysteries (and it seems you do) Agatha Raisin is another. And there is one with a female detective and her 3 aunts but I can’t recall the title. Both are on Acorn. And also on Acorn if you are interested in Melbourne, Australia as a venue in the 1930s-40s there is the Miss Fisher Mysteries, and then a sort of sequel set in the 1960s Miss Fisher’s Modern Mysteries. I’ve reviewed a lot of these on the blog and if you click on Television in the categories they should come up. There are many, many more.

    2. Reply

      You might also enjoy this show Kathy
      And I did a quick look on Acorn and there is of course Brokenwood, Murdoch, and Queens of Mystery (is the one I couldn’t name).

      Vera, Dalgliesh, Whitsable Pearl, Mystery Road.

      If you like procedurals there are tons of those on Acorn as well. I’m particularly fond of Manhunt (with Martin Clunes).

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