Tag Archives: Drawing in Wales

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.

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.

One From The Archives 12: Eve Imagines Big Apple Crumble

23 Sep
Eve Imagines Big Apple Crumble

Eve Imagines Big Apple Crumble

This is one of a short series of female nudes I did, based loosely on the concept of Eve and apples. It is a full-colour monotype, which is a unique artwork that uses a process beloved by the Impressionists, especially Degas and Monet.  A full explanation of the technique can be found here.

As with all of my nudes it is based on a life drawing which can then be used to produce work in many different media. The full colour monotype allows me to explore the surface texture of the paper, the figure and background with a massive range of hues to produce a piece of work which is seductive in its richness.

For all the print geeks out there I used oil-based litho/relief pigment onto BFK Rives cotton-rag paper

The Dreamer

The Dreamer

The direct line monotype is a quicker, more intuitive process that lets me sketch in the basic figure and let the imagination of the observer fill in the details. Like the full colour monotype, this technique also produces only one work.  I like to think that here is a woman, lost in reverie, as she relaxes, comfortable in her own space.

An earlier blog of mine details the process and pitfalls and can be seen here.  For this I used archival quality oil-based litho ink onto Zerkall paper

The monotypes; Eve Imagines Big Apple Crumble and The Dreamer 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 11: Rinascere #6 and The Flower

22 Sep

01 Mari orchid

Variations on the themes of tattoos and flowers.  I love working with this model.  Older women are often invisible in our society.  She is an elder and voluptuous and larger-than-life and covered with tattoos. Some of them are carnivorous plants engulfing insects across her body. She is confident in her own skin and first featured in my blog in August 2012 and again in April 2013, when I produced an etching from the drawing.

The first drawing is in Indian ink using a traditional dip pen is on handmade paper, prepared with black and sepia ink washes. For that drawing I focussed in on an orchid tattoo, lifting it off her body to place it on the drapery underneath her and the wall behind her.

21 mari tattoo

In this second drawing I wanted to feature both her and the pitcher plant tattoo on her arm.  I like to recycle materials, especially papers and mounting boards and I prepared this piece with an ink wash, sponged randomly across it before I began to draw. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, ink wash, black and white conté crayon onto mounting (matte) board.

I was able to use the wash to further develop the theme of the flower in the background.  Here it is more integral to the background and seems to emerge, organically; as if from the shadows. Her face, deep in thought, is part of the same broad area of wash which make the pitcher plant look like the product of a dream, reminiscent of the Goya etching ‘The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters’.

If you want to find out more technical details about techniques I use please clickhere to go through to the technical section on my website. The drawings, Rinascere #6 and The Flower 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 link below to see other works for sale.  AF logo

 

One From The Archives 10: Fan Girl

21 Sep

Fangirl painting

Here you can see the original (below) and the finished painting (above).  I usually have no idea how I will be using the original life drawing when I first get it down on paper. At that point it is often just a case of describing what I see in front of me using line and shade.

Often I will combine the figure drawing with other sketches from incredibly diverse sources. In this case a poster for a rock band and remembering those teenage crushes on pop stars – I LOVED The Monkees – and how so much of my time was spent day dreaming about them. Where did the time come from? Not enough hours in the day now!

As part of my artistic practice, I like to study and build upon my theoretical base. This is one of a series of small oil paintings inspired by re-acquainting myself with Johannes Itten’s colour theories.

fangirl drawing

Using the theories enables me to work up a full colour painting from monochrome sketches. Not having the distraction of the real colours of the scene allows me to develop paintings so the colours are more harmonious and satisfying to the eye.

If you want to find out more technical details about techniques I use please click here to go through to the technical section on my website. The painting Fan Girl is available for sale on Artfinder here and if you’d like to find out more, please click on the link here to go directly to it or click on the link on the right hand side of this blog to see other works for sale.

One From The Archives 9: The Cushion

18 Sep

Cushion

Surrounded by symbolism, the interplay of shadows describes the form of the nude. 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.

This type of etching allows me to translate my line drawings into a more permanent medium. It gives me the freedom to be as expressive as I like and to draw using a fast, energetic style. The fact that I am taking a drawing onto another stage of development means I can introduce additional elements of design. The objects on the wallpaper behind the figure look like a a simple decorative pattern at first.

Look closer and you can see that they are skulls and petroglyphic animals, without being too arty you could see these as symbolising the brief life of the individual versus human culture; which can last for tens of thousands of years.

Cushion Detail

One of the main reasons we create art is to attempt to live beyond our allotted life span in some way. This coupled with the enormous emotional impact death has on the lives of each and every one of us makes it a massive subject.

In this piece I am also recalling the Memento Mori, a tradition in European [and latterly American] art, dating back to Roman times, where the viewer is reminded that death is the inevitable consequence of life, typically by including a skull.  You can see a previous blog featuring one of my other ‘Memento Mori’ here.

If you want to find out more technical details about the printmaking techniques I use please click here to go through to the technical section on my website. The etching “The Cushion” 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 link on the right hand side of this blog to see other works for sale.

One From The Archives 7: Rinascere #7

15 Sep

Rin 7 for WP

The pose a model strikes can lend a lot to a piece of work. It is one of the reasons I work from life as much as I do. When I look at this, I see a person who is relaxed and confident as she sits in contemplation of her future. I might be reading that into the pose but our body language says a lot about us and when making decisions about how to represent someone artistically, it can often be the dominant feature.

The difficult part is creating an atmosphere in the rest of the drawing which enhances it. Here I have given the fabric she is sitting on a bright, chequered pattern. This allows me to use the full range of tones to lift the mood of the piece. Browns and blacks are not naturally uplifting shades but using the checks gives me the ability to introduce a bit of lightness into the work without the seat dominating the composition at the expense of the figure.

To the same end, the wash fades to white towards the top of the frame to reveal her head and shoulders as if they were in a pool of light.

If you want to find out more technical details about the drawing materials and papers I use please click here to go through to the technical section on my website. The drawing “Rinascere #7” 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 link on the right hand side of this blog to see other works for sale.

One From The Archives 6: Straight Ahead

14 Sep

Straight Ahead

I like to work with a range of models and this middle aged woman is one of my favourites. She exudes confidence and is so comfortable in her own skin.

I draw from life weekly at Swansea Print Workshop, working with professional artists and models. This underpins my artistic practice and inspires me to develop the images into other genres – printmaking, mixed media, painting and intuitive drawing. Models do it for all sorts of reasons, but they all have one thing in common, they love art and engage with art by inspiring artists.

A big part of life drawing is simply the opportunity to practice technique. This can be the technique of drawing itself, where  the actual pose of the model is important. Things like foreshortening can be tricky, as can hands and feet. In fact, the expression “It costs an arm and a leg” comes from centuries ago when rich people commissioned artists to paint their portrait. There was a basic rate just for a head and shoulders portrait. An arm was extra. A leg cost even more. I talked about this in an earlier blog which you can see here.

Then there are the techniques to do with rendering surfaces and textures like skin fabric and flat areas. These will change according to what medium you are using.  Here I was using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens and ink washes onto mounting (matte) board highlighted with white conte crayon.

Straight Ahead detail for WordPress

 

Because I like to draw the  room as well as the model I get plenty of scope to practice these techniques.  In this detail, you can see how the washes allow me to render the fabric and the skin in a very free way. The pen work lets me give the figure a sense of weight, using thicker lines and also to convey distance by sketching in background objects more faintly.

If you want to find out more technical details about the drawing materials and papers I use please click here to go through to the technical section on my website. The drawing “Straight Ahead” 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 link on the right hand side of this blog to see other works for sale.

 

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

Curlicue

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.

It would be lovely if you’d follow me on Artfinder. If you want to, please follow the link below.

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One From the Archives :1

8 Sep

Rinascere #4 

In addition to my daily blog, I have decided to publish work from the archives to let people see my wider body of finished work and at the same time, focus on individual pieces. I hope you enjoy.

Rinascere, is an Italian word meaning ‘to be reborn’ or ‘to revive’ and is the root of the word ‘renaissance. I identify strongly with its meaning ‘to revive’ in the light of current art trends which have moved away from traditional skills like drawing.

This image is from a series of my life drawings which I blogged about at the time . They use the rich, descriptive nature of the technique to it’s full. The wonderful texture of the paper accentuates the crispness of the pen and ink lines and gives added depth to the background washes, allowing the darker charcoal layer to impose itself, ominously.

The slightest of highlights, provided by white oil pastel, lift the figure out of the brooding shadows and draw the eye to the curves of the softly sleeping woman.

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

You can find out more about my techniques at the Techie Stuff section of this site.

If you would like to own this drawing is it available from Artfinder.

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To see more work on Artfinder please follow the link below.

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