Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bamburgh castle in mixed media in a Stillman and Birn Delta sketchbook

Bamburgh Castle from the dunes.   Watercolour and mixed media in Stillman and Birn Delta sketchbook

Another sketch from the break in Northumbria.   The view of Bamburgh castle from the dunes is great - it is huge, looming silhouetted on its headland above the sweeping beach.

The textures of the marram grass, thistles and other plants interested me equally.  Working fast was essential  as we only had limited time up there.  To get the textures, the luminosity of the sea and sky and the looming power of the castle, I ended up using watercolours, a little grey ink, a little gouache, conte pencil, white acrylic ink and some coloured pencil.

The first (very quick) sketch was from lower down and further back in the dunes, done where I parked the car, and done using grey ink and charcoal.  I used twigs to draw with the ink - it gives a lovely range of marks that are freer and looser than pens.  And they are free :>)

Bamburgh castle, grey ink and willow charcoal

More to follow ....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Northumbria, sketch with Derwent XL Graphite sticks in S&B Delta sketchbook

Heading back to Netherton across the moor, Simonside hills in the distance, last light, sun setting behind the hills.   Derwent XL Graphite sticks in an S&B Delta A4 sketchbook

I had a few days in Northumbria sketching with a friend.  Both of us were suffering with racking coughs but managed to get lots done.  This one is from a drive back across the moors in the evening in the last light.  

Done in Derwents XL graphite blocks and a little of their tinted watersoluble graphite pencils as well.   They were perfect for the wild landscape and time of day.   There is just a touch of W&N watercolour for the reds in the sky , but everything else is done with the coloured graphite sticks (very chunky and lush) and the graphitint pencils.

I took my S&B Delta sketchbook and almost filled it :>) using a wide variety of media - watercolour, XL graphite and charcoal, willow charcoal, ballpoint pen, gouache, conte pencil, ink and a mix of any and all!  A gorgeous book that took everything I threw at it ... scratching out, erasing, washing out  ....

\
more to follow .....


have you tried the XL range?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Edge of the woods, drawing with ink and twigs and a little pen



 Detail of the drawing

It's a long time since I did any drawing with ink and twigs.  They make such a lovely range of marks with different tones and textures, I should do it more often.

The drawing below was done mainly with twigs from the garden (image at end of post)  but also a bamboo pen, a shaped wooden stirrer from a cafe, a Tombo pen, a Sharpie and a very little black coloured pencil.  The Sharpie was a little too hard edged and doesn't gel enough with the fluid inks I feel but it was a fun experiment.   Using J Herbin Gris Nuage ink, I couldn't get the darks quite dark enough, which is why I tried the Sharpie.   There is also a little Daler Rowny FW white acrylic ink in there.

It was done in the Derwent Panoramic book, 16.54 x 7.08 inches, 110lb paper.   I tried using watercolour in this book without success, the paper was too thin and buckled.  It worked well with the ink though.

Edge of the Wood, ink sketch

detail 2

 The twigs are now packed in with my drawing materials.  I need to get some larger ones as well and find my Indian ink.  A friend has been using sepia Indian ink, which I hadn't heard of ..... oh dear another for the wish list!

The materials used


The dappled light and texture was what interested me and the dazzle of leaves.   Some fine pale marks don't show well here.

It is also useful to dip these twigs into watercolour mixes for calligraphic marks when painting.

The stirrers that you get in cafes and wooden ice lolly sticks, shaped at the end with a craft knife are also interesting to draw with, the stirrer, shaped to a point,  at the front of the image above was used in this one, along with the twigs.   I gave my class one each at the end of term - I wonder if anyone has used them?