Tag Archives: conte crayons

Let’s Have Some Trees!

17 Mar

Drawing 3

Let’s have a break from viruses and pandemics and look at some trees because trees are nice. I drew these in the grounds of Dinefwr country park near Llandeilo a while back, using conte crayons in black, white and sanguine. The one above is a brown paper sketchbook from Seawhite’s of Brighton, the one below I prepared by sticking brown parcel paper into a white sketchbook with a Pritt stick.

Drawing 2

 

 

Force of Nature 2

16 Mar

West Pier 2

Here’s another sketch I did at Swansea’s wrecked West Pier yesterday. Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge managed to destroy it and the sand dunes have now started leaching into the mouth of the River Tawe …. who knows what will happen? There used to be an island out there centuries ago. Legend has it that Vikings landed there under the leadership of Sven and the island was called Sven’s Ey (Island); the name morphed over time into Swansea. The Welsh name for our city is Abertawe – the mouth of the River Tawe.

Force of Nature 1

15 Mar

West Pier 1

Husb and I took a stroll along the beach this afternoon to the West Pier at the mouth of the River Tawe. It was recently badly damaged during the triumvirate of storms – Ciara, Denis and Jorge and it’s shocking how nature has ripped huge amounts of concrete apart and splintered vast wooden piles like matchsticks. A massive amount of sand dune has been eroded as well, creating a stretch of new sandy cliff face and dumping tons of sand into the river mouth. This drawing, in conte crayons (black and sanguine) with water rubbed on with  my finger, reminds me of drawings I’ve seen of the Swansea blitz.

 

 

Balanced Rocks

17 Dec

stones 2

Exploring the local beaches around Albufeira last week, Husb and I found a cove full of balanced rock sculptures. It was a small sandy cove with a rock pavement jutting out from the base of the deeply fissured cliff and it was covered with little cairns. I drew this one with black, sanguine and white conté crayons into an A4 size brown paper sketchbook.

Wookey Hole

1 Feb

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I was given a stack of vintage art papers by a kind benefactor a while back and I am gradually using them for drawing and printmaking. Today’s daily drawing was done on a beautiful piece of W.S.H. & Co British Handmade Paper, made at the Wookey Hole paper mill near Cheddar in Somerset in the West Country. Wookey Hole is probably more famous for its wonderful ancient caves, the legend of the Witch and its cave-aged Cheddar cheese, but in amongst all of this is a paper mill that has been operating over 400 years, since at least 1610. The paper is beautifully textured with deckle edges, a large watermark and a slightly bluish tint.

I had used this sheet of paper to do a bit of opportunistic marbling. A fellow artist had some left over black oil paint mixed with turps and chucked it into a bowl of water with washing up liquid and the surface went all marbly. So I grabbed a few sheets of paper and laid them on top and got some lovely marbled effects. I scribbled this while Husb was Skyping a relative this evening, using compressed charcoal and black and white conte crayons. It took about 10 minutes. It is fairly accurate but makes him look much older than he is.

I like to spend my time fondling beautiful papers and doing research and reading about them. I am such a geek 😀

Just a Quickie

21 Nov

Just a quickie, just got back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop and it’s late – and cold. I did some 5 minute poses, all on one sheet, in graphite and conte crayon.

21 alan aAnd I also did a one=hour pose onto a canvas sheet, gessoed in white and primed with rhodamine red litho/relief ink which I squeegeed on randomly. I drew in white and black conte crayon. Difficult pose, took an age.

 

21 alan b

Black To White

31 Jul

31 printman

Had a day at Swansea Print Workshop, working with a group of other artists during Open Access sessions. The organisation receives very little public funding and is mostly run by it’s member / volunteers, so I spent quite a bit of my time there today on the sort of admin tasks that are frustratingly uncreative, but need to be done. I managed to find about 20 minutes, though, to do a bit of sketching and did these couple of scribbles of one of my fellow artists as he was slaving over a hot lightbox.

I used a white conte crayon into a Daler Rowney spiral bound black sketchbook, size A4. I find it quite hard to work from black to white but I  like the result. The top one is the better likeness, they were both drawn from difficult angles, but it’s very good practice.

Recycled Head

29 May

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I’ve been rummaging through the drawers in my studio and finding loads of prints, cyanotypes and drawings that didn’t make the grade, so I’m reusing them. It’s a pity to waste the paper because it’s good quality. This is a piece of Bockingford, around A3 size, with a cyanotype that didn’t work out. I did a quick scribble of Husb as he was working on his laptop, using black and white conte crayons and a carbon stick. I don’t like working on a pristine white surface, it’s too intimidating; working on top of old art is much easier.

Self Experiment

21 May

21 me

After the manic amount of work I did during my residency in Boise, Idaho earlier in the month, I’ve hit a bit of a slump, probably not helped by jetlag, so I gritted my teeth and sat in front of a mirror this afternoon and scribbled what I saw. I don’t usually do self-portraits but I wanted to experiment with some portrait drawings using black and white media – conte crayons, compressed charcoal, carbon, oil pastels. I also wanted to get away from the usual detailed, fine pen work I use for portraits and develop a much more scribbly style.

I’m very influenced by Kathe Kollwitz, a brilliant scribbler and printmaker, and she did lots of self-portraits. makes sense, I don’t have to pay myself. But it’s not a comfortable thing to do. I noticed every single wrinkle, every bit of flab, every blemish eeewwwwww. I haven’t got the likeness right yet, but I’ll keep practising. This is on a piece of A3 Bockingford, 250gsm, prepared with an ink wash and drawn in black and white conte crayon, carbon and white oil pastel.

Bones And Brown Paper

23 Apr

SONY DSC

I like studying anatomy. I love the interface between art and science. Sometimes I get access to a skeleton and scribble happily for hours.

SONY DSC

These drawings are on very large sheets of brown wrapping paper, using black, white and sanguine conte crayons. Working on this scale gave me the chance to focus on mark-making rather than doing a scientific illustration.

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