Friday, July 31, 2009

Old factories along the canal in pen and coloured pencil on brown wrapping paper

Frog Island Factories and Canal, Pitt pen and coloured pencil on brown wrapping paper, Vivien Blackburn (crop 1)

I wanted to have another play with that brown wrapping paper sketchbook, so I worked from an old sketch that I'd done plein air.

I'd decided to limit the colours to browns - using the lovely Lyra skintones selection, along with a brown Pitt pen. At the last minute I decided to add a little icy blue in the sky, canal and reflecting slightly on the corrugated roofs - the coldness works well against the warmer colours I feel.

This is an area that is full of higgledy piggledy old factories and little overgrown branches off the canal to their old wharves - one is off under that cast iron bridge. Sadly it's ripe for development and further along there are new flats in place of the old mills. I don't suppose this quirky building has a long future.


Frog Island Factories and Canal, Vivien Blackburn (crop 2)


which crop works best do you think?

13 comments:

Jeanette said...

Vivien, I really like this drawing and the brown paper works well, providing additional atmosphere.

I have a similar sketchbook Earthbound by Daler-Rowney and love drawing on the brown paper.

I like the first image best, it seems to draw me in more.

vivien said...

thanks Jeanette - aah I wonder if this is the same book? it was sent to me so I don't know

I'm tending to like the first crop as well as it places more emphasis on the buildings

Rose Welty said...

This is another lovely drawing, Vivien. I agree, crop 1 - with the road on the bottom edge it somehow encourages the viewer in. The other crop I feel like I'm passing in a bus and I can't venture in.

Julie Broom said...

Viven, I do love the limited seia palette on this. It has a nice aged feel to it. The subtle blues help to break it up a little and add interest.

I actually prefer the second crop. I like the sense of space in the foreground, giving it more depth. Feels a little less cluttered, not that the first one is particularly busy, but I'm sure you'll know what I mean!

dinahmow said...

Better "balance" in the top, Vivien.

vivien said...

Rose and Julie - great, considered, reasons for the preferences in crops :>)and good points made

Dinah thanks :>)

Lisa Purcell said...

I like the top crop best. More balanced and has an intimate appeal to it.

Sydney Harper said...

I've seen several people work in these brown paper sketch books. I like them. I think I'm going to have to look for one.

I like the second crop the best for much the same reason as Julie. In the second crop, I feel like going down the road approaching the scene. There's a little more space and curve in the road to draw me in. The first crop feel a little more crowded to me.

vivien said...

Hi Sydney and Lisa

well opinion is equally divided on the crop at the moment! neck and neck :>)

my croft said...

This will be no help . . . I like the little bit more "air" over the rooftop in 2 and the little bit less road in 1. Taken whole, I think I prefer 1, without being able to articulate why. The color is more vivid -- warmer and deeper -- on my screen for 1, so that may be influencing my preference.

It's such a shame that these wonderful old buildings are being taken down. I can empathize with wanting to modernize, but still, not everything old is tumbledown. With enough time and bottomless pots of cash . . .

vivien said...

bottomless pots of cash sounds perfect! I'd like one of those :>)

Robyn said...

Vivien - this drawing reminds me of Van Gogh (in the best possible way) - beautiful. I prefer the first crop.

vivien said...

I think it's maybe the buildings? nice person to be compared to! I love his drawings