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Showing posts from June, 2012

Gouache and Artbars landscape in the Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook

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Evening Light, Winsor and Newton Gouache and Derwent Artbars in the A4 Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook.
Further experimenting with gouache, Derwent Artbars and Stillman and Birn sketchbooks.

This was a demo to students about the benefits of working on a dark background when painting moody scenes.   I scribbled various deep colours with the Artbars and then washed them into a streaky deep background.   Then with gouache I worked over it - thin glazes and thicker paint - then worked back in with the Artbars in places.  Leaving parts of that dark background as tree trunk, far trees, some of the field, scratching through to the darkness below for fine lines and marks.  The pale flowers in the foreground were done with white gouache, flicked from a bristle brush to keep the marks random and free.  The combination of media worked well with lots of  variation in marks possible.

New arrival, sketch of newborn baby

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New born: very quick sketch of Charlie at 15 hours old, pencil in Stillman and Birn Gamma sketchbook
This is one of the reasons I've been absent - new arrival Charlie, my youngest daughter's first child :>)

Other hospital stuff also going on with more sketches to follow and hopefully I'll catch up with the series I was writing.

How do you decide which size to work? and 3 abstract works in widely different dimensions

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Undergrowth: mixed media on canvas, 5ft wide x 2 ft tall
 Katherine Tyrrell asks an interesting question on her blog today questioning  the scale in which you work and whether you work to standard sizes.
She makes some very good points - but on conclusions I differ somewhat.   For me it's important to work to the size/format that suits you composition - and hang the cost!  (her first option in her poll)   Not because I'm wealthy - I'm quite the opposite!  Just because I think it's important that every bit of your chosen area matters.   I see so many good works ruined by an insistence on keeping the full size/format of the paper in order to fit existing frames :>(.  It means that parts of a composition are spoilt, areas sit there not earning their keep, destroying the tension of the composition.  Once students learn to crop to suit the work, and not their bargain frames, their work looks so much better :>)
You can always use that frame but have a mount/mat cut that…

Derwent new watercolour paper pads - experimenting with sketching in various water soluble media

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Trying out Derwent's inktense, watercolour pencils, Graphitint, Graphitone, Artbars and more on their new watercolour paper pads

Derwent Watercolour Paper

Derwent have brought out some new watercolour paper pads, perfect for their water soluble pencils and crayons.   It's 140lb which is heavy enough for the amount of water I'd normally use with these - I wouldn't normally have huge wet washes.

I tried out sketches of items from my sketching roll and various coloured pencils and crayons.  All worked really well, the surface was a delight to work on with colour flowing freely, with the potential to lose or keep marks as I wanted.

Products used here were 
Derwent watercolour pencilsDerwent InktenseDerwent GraphitintDerwent GraphitoneDerwent ArtbarsDerwent AquatoneDerwent Charcoal PencilRotring Art Pen ....  with sketches of their electric eraser, sharpener for pastels and waterbrush, just some of the things from my pencil roll of sketching materials.

Sketch in watercol…