Archive | September, 2015

One From The Archives 17: Leg Up

30 Sep

This model is very physically active and as a result, very confident about her body and the poses she strikes. Here she is leaning back with her leg up in a devil-may-care sort of way.

16 tonya

It always surprising just how much the physical presence of a model can reflect their underlying personality. My life drawing is a way of maintaining and expanding my skills as well as exploring ways of expressing this deeper meaning through the depiction of the human body.

You can see from my fist blog about this drawing here, that I was mainly concerned about the technical aspects of the process at the time. With hindsight it is easier to see the expressionistic nature of the drawing and how the choice of materials helps to bring out the drama.

I like to recycle materials, especially papers and mounting boards and I prepared this piece with an ink wash, dribbled randomly across it before I began to draw.

The drawing “Leg Up” is available for sale on Artfinder and if you’d like to find out more, please click on the link here to go directly to them or click on the top right of this page to see other works for sale.

Working On Me

29 Sep
working on me

Chalk and charcoal ephemeral drawing onto newspaper

I’m reaching the end of my time drawing on the wall at The Bagpuss Window, Swansea’s pop-up artspace. Tomorrow is our last day and the keys go back to Coastal Housing Group on Thursday so that the building can be demolished to make way for new social housing. So it’s going to be put to good use. The final part of my drawing is a drawing of me drawing. There’s still a fair bit of work to do on the face because the likeness isn’t very good and I had to resist the temptation to shave a couple of stone off my body! My right hand also needs a lot of work but I hope to have the whole thing finished by 5pm tomorrow so I can take a final photograph and then – the end…….

 

 

One From The Archives 16: Dystopia

28 Sep
man 1 adjusted

Dystopia

This is an etching of one of the male models I work with. It was developed from the nude study below, which I drew with Renaissance materials, inspired by artwork I did for a television series about da Vinci.

Each printmaking technique has its own advantages. This one allows me to indulge myself, using all manner of materials to make the image. I can push the ink around and draw as freely and as quickly as I like, knowing that the engraving process will capture all of the detail and subtleties.

I first blogged about this work in 2012 when I was introduced to the technique at Swansea Print Workshop.

It’s quite a bleak subject and I love the way the figure seems to be struggling to pull himself out of the darkness, into the light.  I suppose we all feel like we are surrounded by darkness at some point in our lives and art is not and should not always be about sunshine and landscapes. Sometimes it has to show us our fears and fragility.

Using more than one medium means I can explore a subject in greater depth and develop my thoughts and feelings about it as I go through the range of options available. You have to go deeper into a subject before you can come out the other side.

The print above is a photopolymer steel plate etching, hand-printed by me using oil pigment onto BFK Rives cotton rag paper.

The drawing below is in Indian ink using a traditional dip pen, on handmade paper, prepared with black and sepia ink washes.

Rinascere #1

Rinascere #1

The print “Dystopia” and the drawing “Rinascere #1” are available for sale on Artfinder and if you’d like to find out more, please click on the links here and here to go directly to them or click on the top right of this page to see other works for sale.

The Carved Elephant – A Drypoint Etching

27 Sep

elephant

I have been doing some printmaking at The Bagpuss Window, the temporary artspace in Swansea’s High Street, making a little edition of miniature drypoints (similar to etchings). I set up a printing area around the little etching press, with an inking table, a blotting table and a drying table. I measured and ripped 8 pieces of Bockingford 250gsm paper and put them into a bucket of water to soak. I like to leave them for at least an hour.

I started out with a small sketchbook drawing I made last year during my residency at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio in Pakistan, and redrew it with a soft drawing pen onto a piece of paper drypoint plate (from Intaglio Printmakers). Then I scratched into the drawing with a lot of cross hatching and mark-making, using a drypoint tool, although a 4 inch screw will do.

I used a little rubber squeegee strip to apply drypoint etching ink – it’s important to get the right ink, ordinary etching ink doesn’t work so well. I scraped across the surface to remove surplus ink with an old plastic card and removed a little more with some tissue, wiping the edges with a clean rag. It’s vital not to overwipe, it’s surprising how much ink you can leave on the plate – it doesn’t show up on the paper.

Then I gently blotted a piece of the paper between two sheets of kitchen roll with a small roller – just to remove surface water, not to dry out the paper – and placed it over the etching plate on the press bed, put some clean tissue on top, put the blankets over it and wound it through the press.  Then I dried it between sheets of tissue under a heavy board to stop it from wrinkling. You can get 6-8 prints from a paper drypoint plate if you’re fairly gentle.

Walking The Labyrinth

26 Sep

Here’s 3 minutes of my feet walking the lovely labyrinth made from chipped bark by archaeologist Dewi Bowen and musician David Pitt in The Bagpuss Window this week. The feet are not interesting at all, except it looks like I have my shoes on the wrong feet, but the accompanying gong music from David is wonderful. Go with the flow…….

Dewi has written an excellent book about Siluria, now South-East Wales, and its ancient standing stones, burial chambers, cairns and stone circles. Well worth a read and dead cheap.

One From The Archives 15: The Warrior Gazes

26 Sep

The Warrior Gazes

Here is an illustration of how the natural differences in original print methods can work. These two pieces are taken from the same original drawing but because of the nature of the processes, one is reversed.

The three colour separation monotype above is done by removing ink from a transparent sheet, then applying that sheet to a piece of paper. This is called the reduction method and gives you a reverse image compared to what you see when you are drawing.

You can compensate for this easily these days but sometimes I prefer to use the natural qualities of the traditional printmaking methods. A detailed description of the process can be seen in my techie section.  For this print I used oil-based litho/relief pigment onto BFK Rives cotton-rag paper

The direct line monotype, below is done by working on the back of an inked-up sheet, which is placed on top of another piece of paper.  This means it will produce a direct copy what you are drawing.

For this I used archival quality oil-based litho ink onto Zerkall paper

The Warrior Pensive

The monotypes, ‘The Warrior Gazes’ and ‘The Warrior Pensive’ are available for sale on Artfinder and if you’d like to find out more, please click on the links here and here to go directly to them or click on the top right of this page to see other works for sale.

One From The Archives 14: Jaunty

25 Sep

b Jaunty for blog

I never know who I will be drawing when I turn up for my weekly life drawing session. The models can be in their seventies or twenties, male or female. Because of this they each present different challenges and opportunities. Older models bring a lot of experience which is often visible on their skin or in their style of posing.

Younger models can bring a jaunty confidence, just because they are still full of the strength and exuberance of youth. This is exactly what I think this pose demonstrates. I have tried to capture the physical strength with the use of bold lines and a lightness of colouring which echoes the easy going optimism that we often have when we are young.

For this drawing I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens and watercolour washes onto beautiful Somerset paper.

This drawing, which I have called ‘Jaunty’ is available for sale on Artfinder and if you’d like to find out more, please click on the link here to go directly to it or click on the top right of this page to see other works for sale.

The Elephant In Lahore

24 Sep

elephant 1

I started working on a new tiny drypoint. During my residency in Pakistan last year, I did a fair bit of sketchbook drawings and I spotted this carved elephant in a restaurant in Lahore. I scribbled it and I’ve now redrawn it, with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, onto a small piece of drypoint card (available from Intaglio Printmakers).

elephant 2

I used a drypoint tool to incise the lines, making sure that the tool cut through the plastic coating. It’s now ready for printing. That’ll come tomorrow.

One From The Archives 13: The Gathering

24 Sep
The Gathering

The Gathering

 

Sleep. Dream. Nightmare. This is an etching of one of the female models I work with and is developed from a nude study drawn with Renaissance materials, inspired by artwork I did for a television series about da Vinci.  One of my initial drawings can be seen below.

For the etching, I worked on the drawing, using nib pen, Indian ink, ink wash and black oilbar onto transparent film. You can see this and other prepared drawings in my previous blog here. From these, I was able to make photopolymer plates which I used to produce etchings. You can see a detailed description of how I produced the etchings here.

Each etching is hand-printed by me using oil pigment onto BFK Rives cotton rag paper

Rin 13

Rinascere #13

I draw every day and don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t. Describing very specific aspects of the world and more to the point, the people in it, helps me to stamp my own vision on my surroundings.

Each drawing is an exploration of that vision, which means I can tackle the same subject in many different ways. Using different media means I can go even deeper into a subject and tease out threads of meaning I perhaps wasn’t initially aware of.

This drawing is in Indian ink using a traditional dip pen is on handmade paper, prepared with black and sepia ink washes.

The etching, ‘The Gathering’ and the drawing, Rinascere #13 are available for sale on Artfinder and if you’d like to find out more, please click on the links here and here to go directly to them or click on the top right of this page to see other works for sale.

Walk, Draw, Gong.

23 Sep
walkdraw 1

The labyrinth with my ongoing drawing on the wall

Today is the Autumn Equinox and The Bagpuss Window featured a labyrinth made from bark and gong music from David Pitt. Visitors were invited to walk the labyrinth while David played gong. I had a go. It’s very meditative. It helped me loosen up as I did some more work on my big wall drawing.

walkdraw 2

Walking the labyrinth with David Pitt on gongs

I’m loving what’s happening at The Bagpuss Window. When I picked up the keys to the old shop at the beginning of the month, I had no idea so many lovely artists would get involved. It’s been a brilliant experience.

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