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Showing posts from March, 2013

Across the bay, approaching rain: graphite sticks and watercolour

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Across the bay, approaching rain, graphite stick and watercolour in Stillman and Birn Beta hardback sketchbook.
The weather has been what the Scots call dreich - grey. rain, sleet, cold wind, grim - and it seems to have crept into this work!

It's done from memory of watching the rain approaching across the bay, making the sea and headland almost disappear.   The foreground will soon disappear as well as the rain arrives but for the moment shows more clearly.

I put a few pale washes of watercolour down and then worked over it with a graphite stick from Derwent, something I haven't used in ages.   I really enjoyed the veils of tone and drawing back into it with an eraser.  

I don't know if you can read the elements in it?  (Sky, headland, sea, waves, beach)

The new XL tinted graphite sticks would be great for this, I can't wait to get them .  Has anyone tried them yet?


Derwent XL tinted charcoal sticks: winter dusk across the files

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A sketch of dusk across the fields, done with the new chunky XL tinted charcoal sticks from Derwent.

I've only got a few testers i earth colours and look forward to having the full set. They are really lush to use and I know I'm going to find them a very useful medium. Charcoal has always been one of my favourites when drawing. More work in these to follow :)

I had liked the tinted charcoal pencils and these combine with them beautifully but allow broader marks and big washes of colour/tone, ideal for working this size (A4) or on a much larger scale. Using the edges it's possible to get quite fine marks but the pencils can add even finer detail as required. Being able to put down large marks keeps the spontaneity in drawings.

Have you tried them yet?

15C packhorse bridge, winter sketch in watercolour and mixed media

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This is somewhere I've sketched before as part of the waterways/Leicestershire project. It's an old packhorse bridge over flood meadows where the river Biam meets the river Soar. It used to be 200 yards long but only 50 survive. A lot was demolished when the canal and railway were built through the site. The buttresses sticking out are cut waters, protecting the bridge from the pressure of floods, keeping it standing for 600 years.

Nearby is a field still showing the ridges of medieval strip farming, the canal and a railway track that is now a path for strollers and cyclists. It makes a route that cuts right across the city, joining with the canal towpath, through these meadows, industrial areas, through parks, the backs of houses, by my old university, finally reaching water meadows on the other side of town.

This started with watercolour and continued with ballpoint pen, art bars, graphitints and gouache ... The kitchen sink may be in there somewhere.  Watercolour alon…

Winter light: Fields, watercolour and mixed media

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Winter fields. watercolour and mixed media in A4 Stillman and Birn Beta hardback sketchbook
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The snow has gone and I wanted to catch that cool winter light, with the faintest hint of the sap rising and the colour starting to appear in the twigs at the tips of the branches.  Soon they will develop that luminious, almost apricot glow they get in early spring.

Done with watercolour, tinted charcoal and a little pastel pencil - Winsor and Newton paints and Derwent pencils.  Derwent have some lovely chunky tinted charcoal blocks out, that I haven't been able to talk about before their launch.   I used them here and in in some of the branches in the last sketches of the hedges, alongside the tinted charcoal pencils.  They are absolutely gorgeous!   More work in them will follow :>)

I am absolutely loving the S&B hardback Beta sketchbook.   The paper is incredibly robust and takes any medium I've thrown at it brilliantly .... and keeps colour brilliant too because of t…