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Showing posts from March, 2011

Life Drawing in Charcoal

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Kerry, A3, Charcoaland compressed charcoal, 90 minute study

The first life drawing in years.

I worked in charcoal because it's so fluid and a brush of the hand erases and allows you to move elements around, lay down blocks of tone and push-pull until it's something like. It's done on grey pastel paper.

I could have used white - or better cream, which I didn't have with me - for the highlights but decided not to. Next time I may work on a warm cream paper.

It's a drop in session and I'm definitely going again.

Life drawing is such good practice for observation. There's no hiding anything lazy or wrong. There's definite room for improvement but practice practice practice ......

A 'style' of your own?

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A collage of paintings of Cornwall, mostly done plein air

Katherine over at Making a Mark has done 2 good posts on having your own voice, your own ideas behind your sketches and paintings, not being over derivative; although it's impossible of course not to be influenced by others, the important thing is to develop your own way forward. I did a previous post on 'style' here saying some very similar things so needless to say - I agree with her.

This montage is a variety of sketches, drawings and paintings I've done in Cornwall and I think they reveal what interests me - the light - the way it catches the water or wet sand, casts shadows in some areas leaving others brightly lit, the particular colours of the sea and sky - a sense of movement, of passing weather, wind, rain or sun, the way the waves roll in - the season - warm/cold/early/late - a sense of place and what it feels like to me.

I've attempted in these to catch the way that the waves rolled in at differe…

sketching moving people plein air or out and about

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pub terrace in Runswick Bay, watersoluble ink

Sometimes, when sketching landscape, people catch my interest and in the midst of something else I'll draw them. These are a random selection from various sketchbooks. All very very fast attempts to catch people moving, absorbed in what they are doing. That interests me more than doing a posed portrait.

At the National Gallery, biro and Lyra pencils

I worked in biro watching the crowds and added the colour later at home, keeping to a limited palette of warm and cool browns. They were absorbed in looking at the paintings, some wearing the headphones with commentary, one little old lady in an obviously very expensive suit with incredibly wide padded shoulders from the '80s.

Ros at Hartshill Hayes and passing dog walkers, pencil

Ros sketching along the canal, Wolff carbon pencil


Glen sketching , coloured pencil

Sue and Pauline on the beach - evening, getting cold, windy, water soluble inksmudged with fingers

Here 3 of us had spent the…

Still life: quick sketch in Pentel brush pen

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Still life: Part of the mess on my desk! Pentel brush pen, A4

I've been really busy so no finished work to show - but this is a quick sketch, really really quick, of a corner of the mess on my desk!

How much electrical/IT equipment we depend on - ipod, headphones, mouse, corner of the keyboard, external memory and the drawers with all sorts of useful bits in and the printer on top .... and that's just a fraction of it.

I'm enjoying using the brushpen, it's very freeing, no fussing with detail - just quick fluid scribbling. I was pleased with how easy it is to get a mid tone using the side of the brush. I'd been inclined to only use it for line in the past.

Collagraph and Coloured Pencil: Landscape

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detail 1: 4 inch section of Landscape, 14 x4 inches approx, collagraph with coloured pencil on Fabriano Rosapina paper

detail 2 : 3 inch sectionof Landscape, 14 x4 inches approx, collagraph with coloured pencil on Fabriano Rosapina paper
The whole image: Landscape, 14 x4 inches approx, collagraph with coloured pencil on Fabriano Rosapina paper

I came across this 14x4 inch collagraph in the 'do-something-with-this-later' drawer. I think it was an offcut from a larger collagraph plate, cropped before it was printed and then printed with the same inks that I'd been using (green and yellow), just to see what happened.

It had originally been vertical and part of a seahorses/underwater series of printmaking. Looking at it horizontally I saw a landscape.

Using coloured pencils I worked on it in warm rosy hues to contrast with the cooler green. I want to darken and cool with deep blue the area around the right hand tree a little before I'll call it finished I think.

After work…