Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rainy Day Sketching; distortions through a rainy windscreen, pencil in Stillman & Birn Epsilon sketchbook

Rainy Day, waiting.   Mechanical Pencil sketch in Stillman and Birn Epsilon sketchbook

Life is busy at the moment with not much time for sketching.   This one was done waiting while my mother went to a dentists appointment.  A day of heavy rain.

I thought it might be interesting to try to catch the distortions and reflections through the wet windscreen.

If I'd worked from a photograph it would have been a very different piece - clarity -  a frozen moment.   This, done from life, is very different, it's about the blur, the distortion, the wavering lines seen through slithering splashes on the windscreen, against the clear but shadowed shapes inside the car.

An interesting exercise.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sketches of people: Hospital waiting room, Mechanical pencil in Stillman and Birn Epsilon sketchbook

Hospital waiting room, quick sketch with mechanical pencil in Stillman and Birn Epsilon sketchbook

A couple of hours, nearly, in a hospital waiting room can be so boring - unless you use it as an opportunity to sketch.   The waiting patients don't sit still, they constantly look around but do return to the same position so it's just a waiting game.   This one didn't move his body at all but gazed here and there, so while his face was out of position for my drawing, I simply went back to sketching in the body.   The minute he turned his head again I'd go back to add more to that.

Funny hats

Despair or tired?   He smiled when called in to the doctor, so maybe just tired  (that's the top of his balding head with the hood of his coat behind, you couldn't see his face at all)

 resigned

 surfing or texting


So instea\d of a couple of hours of boredom, it was figure drawing practice :>)  and I need it!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another collage from sketches, Artbars and Inktense in the Stillman and Birn Gamma sketchbook

Edge of Charnwood, Derwent Inktense and Artbars in the Stillman and Birn Gamma Sketchbook


I do lots of quick demos of different mark making options with various media materials in my classes.   Some end up as finished pieces but others have elements I like though aren't complete in themselves.   This collage is made up from torn fragments with just a very little extra work - a few lines in copper oil pastel and artbar.

The rocks were once a stormy evening sky in a quick Artbar demo.

The Artbars and Inktense are lovely to use with their ability to create graphic marks as well as washes of colour and the S&B paper is thick enough to hold up to the collaged elements well.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stillman and Birn Gamma Sketchbook with collage and painting - recycling unwanted sketches

Rocks and sea in Stillman and Birn Gamma sketchbook, with Derwent Artbars and Neocolor II

I decided to try some collage in the Gamma sketchbook today while the class were working - tearing up old demo sketches,   The rocks in this one started life as undergrowth and tree trunks.   Marks in trees, rivulets in wet sand and the cracks in rocks can be so similar in pattern - turn them round and the subject changes.  :>)

The grass, sea, far headland and a few strokes of vegetation were added with a mix of Derwent Artbars and Neocolor II.

This book has the 100lb ivory paper, which held up to the washes extremely well.   I do rather like ivory or cream paper - it has character.   How about you?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Derwent Artbars in a Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook

Summer's End,   Derwent Artbars and Studio pencils in a Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook

This one was done with Derwent's new Artbars in an A4, natural white, Alpha series S&B sketchbook.   This one has 100lb paper, which took the washes very well, it seems to take all sorts of media without complaint - though I do admit a deeper love of the lusciousness of the heavy 180lb Beta and Delta series!   I have a 'thing' about nice paper :>)

This was done from a digital image I showed some time back, moving on, not just copying but letting the language of marks of the media make changes.   I'm really liking the Artbars.   There is a little glazing and line from Derwent's Studio pencils in there too - but mostly Artbars used wet and dry.

You can see a review of Artbars that I did here, with further work using them.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook with Derwent Inktense and Derwent Studio pencils: woods in autumn sketch

Autumn Woods: Derwent Inktense pencils and Studio pencils in a Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook

I'd heard about S&B sketchbooks from American friends but they haven't been available in this country - and shipping costs made them out of the question.   They will soon be available here and I've got some to try out.  :>)   This is one of the Beta Series.   Heavy natural white paper with a rough surface.

Curled up in the armchair, (it has been very cold here :>(   following a week of summer temperatures and sunshine) I decided to see how they behaved with my Derwent Intense pencils, with Studio pencils used over the intial washes and marks.   The answer was ...  so far, love this book!  The paper was delicious to work on, heavy and with a nice texture that didn't dominate the image but held marks.

I was using a waterbrush from Derwent so the washes weren't very wet but there was a fair amount of water sloshing about.   I like these for situations like this - I would have managed to tip a water container over or splash staining watercolour over the cream chair without a doubt, but the waterbrush kept mess to a minimum,

 detail

The binding looks secure and strong - I've got a couple of old A3 sketchbooks with this type of large ring binding from Fabriano, and it constantly unravels and I have to bend it back and re-thread the pages.   A lovely book but beccause of this I wouldn't buy another.   This feels stronger - time will tell.   Folding back on itself means it's possible to sketch in a limited space, where the hardbound books I have (and love) would be a nuisance.

You can see other work with Inktense here and work with the Studio pencils alone here.

I'll be showing work in this and the other books in the range - and more of the Derwent range too.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The postcard exchange ends and I've got a lovely collection of paintings by an international group of talented artists :>)


The postcard exchange ends - sniff - but what a gorgeous collection I've got :>)   for a closer look run the slide show below.


 So .........I've got a fabulous collection of small paintings and sketches from a group of very talented artists - this exchange has been so much fun.   Only Ronelle knew the order in which we'd receive our cards - so each month was a surprise, anticipation, wondering who our card would be from.  We only knew who we had to send one to.


Aren't they great?

And another exchange idea is bubbling so watch this space :>)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

More experiments with Artbars: soft pale colours

Pale, pearly morning, Derwent Artbars, Vivien Blackburn

This one was an experiment with Derwent's new Artbars to produce a pale, high key image rather than the vivid colours of some  works shown earlier.   They were equally capable of catching the subtle light of an early morning when colours were pearly pale and delicate.

There is a lovely range of pale colours, plus of course the deeper colours which, applied lightly and then washed, will give further variations of soft pale colour. 

Some of this was done using quite wet washes, some deliberately leaving marks, some dry crayon drawn through damp washes, some fragments dropped into wet washes, some at the end used dry and left dry.  Whatever was going to make the marks I wanted.

Further episodes of the series on essentials in painting and drawing to follow - I've been up to my eyes in family matters lately!