Archive | 22:30

Can’t See For Looking!

11 Sep



Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees. I’ve made a start on a wall drawing onto newspaper, working from a photograph and it’s only now that I’ve put the photos onto the computer that I can see that the legs are too short! I could NOT see that when I was doing it. Leonardo da Vinci recommends checking your work in a mirror regularly because it helps to spot the wrong bits. I’ll have to take his feet down over the skirting board.

I’m working in an old shop in the centre of Swansea; it’s on loan until it gets demolished and I’m there with some other artists; we’re using as a pop-up artist’s studio. I papered the wall with newspaper and blocked some basic figures in white emulsion. I like working onto newspaper, I can incorporate images and headings into the work. I also like the texture of the charcoal on top of the brushstrokes and the wrinkles in the newspaper. I’ll be carrying on for a couple of weeks and when the demolition crew moves in, it’ll all be knocked down to make way for urban regeneration.

If you’re on Facebook, you can find out more about our temporary artspace here.

One From The Archives :4 The Name Game

11 Sep

The Towel

Drawing is the basis of everything I do. Sometimes it can be the finished product itself but more often it is the starting point for work in many different media.

towel small

Once I decide that a rough sketch is worth developing, I like to see how many different ways I can expand the idea.

This is a very small scribble I made in a life drawing session a couple of years ago in a sketchbook size A5. I drew the reflection of the model in a mirror.

yellow towel small


I developed this into a painting (size A3). I don’t often paint but I wanted to do some technical exercises with oils. This allowed me to play with colour and pattern to create a mood around the form, which led to the title, Curlicue. Finding names for pieces is always hard, in my experience.

yellow towel final small

Yellow Towel

I then scaled up the drawing and used it as the basis for a full colour monotype, along with it’s ‘ghost’ below. I concentrated on developing a denser background and the complexities of skin tones.

yellow towel ghost small

The Pale Yellow Towel

The richness and subtlety of the colours in this technique give a very detailed surface that is endlessly fascinating. These two, Yellow Towel and The Pale Yellow Towel are larger again, A2 size. See the problems I have with naming?

When you have the basic drawing, you can also change things around and have some fun; make it darker and more brooding by using a wider variety of drawing materials or even viewpoints.  You can let your imagination and the lines run riot, like this one I’ve called Black And Yellow. I wonder if there’s a ‘Naming Art Tutorial’ somewhere on the Internet?

Black and Yellow

Black And Yellow

And finally, back to A5 and a photopolymer plate etching (below). Here I can go back to basics with the human form but transform the background into a luxurious tapestry. I called this The Towel. I know. I know.

24 towel

The Towel

I wonder where I’ll go next with it? The possibilities are as endless as the techniques available.

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