Tag Archives: churches

Out Of The Gloom

29 Dec

window 2

I’m ploughing on with atmospheric sketches based on digital photos from the old church in Swansea that I visited a few weeks ago. I’m trying to keep it as minimal as possible, with more black than white, emphasising the chiaroscuro. I’m using conte crayon into an A4 ‘Ebony’ sketchbook by Daler Rowney. I took the photos on my Samsung phone and downloaded them into Adobe Photoshop where I did a bit of tweaking to bring up the black balance, then I drew from the adjusted photos.

Chiaroscuro In A Doorway

28 Dec

door

After a bit of a break for Xmas and too much good food and gallivanting, it’s head down for a bit more serious work. I’m carrying on with my series of small drawings from photos taken in the old church recently, using the simplest of materials, white conte crayon into an A4 Daler Rowney ‘Ebony’ sketchbook. I’m trying to explore atmospheric mark making and get out of my comfort zone, which is a fine pen into a little sketchbook. These drawings emphasise chiaroscuro and I hope they’ll eventually lead to some more finished work in manier noir style drawings or even some mezzotints. These interiors remind me a bit of German Expressionist film sets, one of my favourite periods of art and printmaking.

Nothing Fancy

22 Dec

stripped back

Another vista from the old church, a spooky corridor beyond a heavy door. It was a dark and rainy day when I took the photos, no artificial light and precious little natural light which added to the atmospherics of the place. I decided not to use a flash because I wanted the deep shadows and high contrast, the effect of chiaroscuro. I used the simplest materials – a small white conte crayon into a Daler Rowney spiral bound A4 Ebony sketchbook. Nothing fancy.

And A Cranny

21 Dec

cranny

Yesterday I drew a nook in the old church and today I drew a cranny. I was lucky enough to be able to take some photographs in an early 20th century church a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been drawing from them using white conte crayon into my Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook. It’s pulling me away from my usual reliance on fine, detailed line and into intangibles, atmospheres and emotions. I’m so enjoying it and getting ideas for manier noir drawings and mezzotint etchings. I’ll be doing a lot more of these sketches I think, I’m finding it very stimulating.

A Nook?

20 Dec

corridor 1

Is it a nook or a cranny? Here’s another very quick sketch based on some digital photos I took last week in an old church that is up for sale. It’s surprising how many nooks and crannies there are in old buildings. From the outside, it doesn’t look like it’s been extended but inside, this strange little corridor was tucked away at the back of the building and doesn’t seem to serve any particular purpose. It’s only about a hundred years old so I’m guessing that an architect was involved, so I find it a bit odd that the weird little places dotted around the church were designed in the first place.

I sketched into my A4 Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook with a piece of white conte crayon.

The Spiral Stair

16 Dec

spiral 1

Here’s another drawing from my visit to the old church yesterday. It’s one of those rambling churches in the Victorian tradition, although it was actually built around World War 1. The fabric of the building is pretty sound, but there is a some deterioration to parts of the interior. There is a consortium of different community and cultural groups pulling together to buy and adapt the old building and give it a new lease of life.

The church is full of nooks and crannies and this little bit of a spiral stone staircase is behind a heavy wooden door at the back of the building, leading up to the top of the bell tower. I took a load of digital photos without a flash; the inside was dark and gloomy with little natural daylight coming in from the rain-soaked December afternoon outside.

I used white conte crayon, chalk and compressed charcoal into a Daler Rowney Ebony A4 spiral bound sketchbook. I like drawing onto black paper and I especially like the difference in the blackness of the paper and even more darkness of the compressed charcoal.

The Dark Old Church

15 Dec

window 1

I went rummaging around in an old church earlier today. There were no working lights and the natural daylight was very dim because of the torrential rain outside, so it was dark and spooky. I did some sketching into my Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook with white conte crayon and chalk. The church is no longer used and it’s up for sale for around £50,000 but it needs about another half a million spent on it. A consortium of groups – artists, musicians, community organisations, performers, is trying to raise the funds to buy and develop it.

I loved being in there in the dark, absorbing the spooky atmosphere. I took a lot of photos as well so I’ll probably do a few more sketches from them and I might develop them into manier noir drawings over the coming weeks.

Random Folk

8 Dec

st judes

Husb and I went to a meeting in our area this evening, a group of like-minded people looking at the feasibility of raising money to convert an empty church into a community arts / cultural facility. It’s an historic Victorian building, Grade II listed by Cadw and it would be a shame to see it remain empty or to be used for something that would take it out of community use. Of course I had a quick scribble, very quick, just a couple of minutes as I had to concentrate on what was going on. I sketched into my Peter Pauper Press A5 sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen.

 

Here’s the old church, St. Jude’s on Terrace Road in Swansea.

St. Jude's church

St. Jude’s church

Wish us luck 🙂

 

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