Tag Archives: conte crayon

A Glutton For Punishment

8 Jan

block prep 4

 

So did a couple of hours teaching today and loads of admin- the glamorous life of an artist eh? And a little bit more work on my preparatory drawing for a woodcut. I worked out where the dark areas are to be and started to think about the cutting and registration of the final block. Tomorrow, I’ll trace and transfer to the sheet of MDF in reverse. I’ll probably do a reduction print, or the “suicide method” as we printmakers call it, as it results in the destruction of the block and there’s no room for error. I’m a glutton for punishment.

 

 

A Bit Each Day

7 Jan

tree stage 2

It’s easy to get precious about making art, I’m guilty of that! I spend so much time agonising about what to do that I almost get creative paralysis at times. One of the things I do to overcome this is to start working on a process and just do a bit every day. Sometimes you can work flat out on a piece of art for 7, 8, 9 hours but other times it’s just not possible. So a bit each day is good enough as it gives time to think about it, and thinking time is really important. I carried on redrawing from an original drawing, scaling it up and thinking about the technical problems I’m going to have to work out to develop this into a three-colour woodcut print. I’m using conté crayons in black and sanguine over graphite.

 

 

 

Draw, Redraw And Tidy Up

6 Jan

 

block prep 2

Today I had a good clean out of my working space, sorting out cupboards and boxes, clearing desk tops and shelves, filling recycling bags and setting aside things to give away, a new start for the new year. Then I began to so some preliminary work for a new woodcut. I did a drawing en plein air of a stricken tree back last year that I’ve fancied developing into a print for some time now. I grabbed a piece of drawing paper the size of the piece of MDF I’ll be using to make the woodcut and I started redrawing from my original sketch. I could have just scanned a copy of the original and enlarged it, but by redrawing a few times, I give myself the time and space to work out how I’m going to develop this as a three colour woodcut. The process isn’t easy but I find that this practice of redrawing helps me to focus on the technical details.

 

 

Foggy And Hangliding

30 Dec

worms head

Husb and I met up with some friends today for a good walk down at Rhossili, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and a short drive from where we live. I took a brown paper sketchbook and some conté crayons to have a bit of a scribble. It was windy, cold and damp which didn’t make it easy to draw en plein air, so I stopped after a quick sketch. We walked down the steep path to the beginning of the causeway to the islands, which were cut off by the tide and then clambered back up the hillside. It was really foggy when we arrived but it lifted and some people took to hangliding above the huge beach.

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda: Happy New Year

31 Dec

dragons head 2

Here’s Worm’s Head on the Gower Peninsula, named from the Viking Wurme which means Dragon. So it’s Dragon’s Head which in Welsh is Penddraig. Anyway, I drew this yesterday during a very bracing walk on the cliffs at Rhossili, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I used black, sanguine and white conté crayon into an A4 brown paper sketchbook and worked very quickly because it was so windy and cold.

It’s the end of the old year and we’re nearly into 2018 so Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi, a Happy New Year to you xxxx 😀

Sofa To Sea…..

30 Dec

dragons head 1

Husb and I forced ourselves out of our comfort zone aka the settee and took off to the magnificent Rhossili Bay on the Gower Peninsula for a brisk walk. It was bracing as we headed past the National Trust centre towards Worm’s Head which had been cut off by the ferocious sea this afternoon. I found a spot that wasn’t quite as windswept as everywhere else and did some drawing en plein air, using black, white and sanguine conté crayons into an A4 hard-backed, spiral-bound brown paper sketchbook. I did a quick impressionistic sketch, partly because it was not easy drawing in high winds, and also because I don’t like working naturalistically with land- and seascapes.

Running Out Of Time

1 Apr

specs 3

I try to get along to life drawing sessions at Swansea Print Workshop as often as possible as drawing underpins everything I do artistically and I need to practice. This is a fab model, she’s excellent and I love to draw her. Unfortunately, even the most experienced models can get a dead leg and that’s what happened this week, so I wasn’t able to finish the drawing. But never mind, I like the unfinishedness of it. I drew with white, sanguine and black conté crayons, in that sequence, onto brown wrapping paper.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

A Stiff Leg

30 Mar

ten minutes

Just back from Swansea Print Workshop’s weekly life drawing, it’s late and I’m tired. Our model got tired too, her leg went stiff and painful after about 40 minutes so we spent the last 10 minutes doing a quick pose that didn’t hurt her leg. I like it. It’s drawn with white and sanguine conté crayon onto brown wrapping paper.

Finishing The Drawing

12 Aug

Alan 7d

I showed the first three phases of a new life drawing in yesterday’s blog and now here are the final three stages. I worked with conté crayons in white, black and sanguine into my A2 size brown paper sketchbook.

Alan 7e

I love drawing onto brown paper. It reminds me of my childhood. There wasn’t any money to spare so my Mam used to cut up brown paper bags – that’s what you put groceries in before plastic bags – and I drew with bits of pinky white chalk she found on the edge of the Hafod tip behind our house.

Alan 7f

The hands were hard work but worth the effort I think. They are well to the fore and the head recedes into the background. The Op Art cushion is fun and livens up the composition.

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams since February in all weathers with my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

I’ve done around 50 drawings now and these will be exhibited in my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. Please click here to find out more about it.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

Stages Of A Drawing

11 Aug

Alan 7

Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop, working with one of our regular models, an older man. I worked large, into an A2 sized brown paper sketchbook that I picked up really cheap a few years ago in New York City. Ooooh get me! I built the drawing up with chalk to start with and then made more committed lines with white conté crayon.

Alan 7b

Look. My friend brought me a set of conté crayons back from Cornellisens in London, white, sanguine and black.

Alan 7c

Then I started in with the black conté. I’ll put up the final stages of the drawing tomorrow. I’m off to bed now. Goodnight.

 

By the way, since February, I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams; cold and stormy, hot and humid, up mountains, through slurry, mud and bog, in all weathers accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

I’ve done around 50 drawings now and these will be exhibited in my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. Please click here to find out more about it.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

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