Tag Archives: drawing

Tall And Thin

16 Oct

Arthur Neave

Husb and I popped out for a cuppa this morning, round the corner. I had a scribble. There was an extremely tall and thin woman in the coffee shop and it was weird drawing her because I had to keep checking the proportions of the sketch. But she really was that tall and thin. I used a ballpoint pen into my A6 bound sketchbook with a quirky factory print on the front.

Brain vs Eye

15 Oct

Zoo lab 3

The Skull On The Wall

I spent an hour sketching in the Zoology Museum at Swansea University this evening. There was this big skull high up on the wall, with HUGE horns. I have no idea what it is, I was so engrossed that I didn’t think to find out it’s name. I started with a quick warm-up sketch, using the blind continuous line technique, looking at the subject rather than the paper and keeping my pen on the paper at all times.

 

Zoo lab 2

 

Drastic!

It was mounted high on the wall so I pulled a chair under it and drew it from below, an unusual angle and one that would give me a bit of a challenge. Well, that was an understatement! The thing is that our brains adjust what we see all the time. The brain often overrides the eyes, making us see what we think we see, not necessarily what’s there in front of us. Especially with some drastic foreshortening like I had here. It was tough to draw, I had to keep telling myself “draw what’s there, not what you think is there”.

 

Zoo lab 1

Apart from the crazy foreshortening, I had trouble drawing the bit where the skull joins the horn so I did a little study of that bit, to analyse and understand it.

 

 

I’m currently artist in residence with the FIRE Laboratory in the Department of Bioscience at Swansea University. It’s great to have access to facilities like this little museum.

Splatter!

14 Oct

splatter 1

I work part-time for a national homelessness charity, just a few hours a week where I run fine art courses for people who use the service. Today I started an acrylics painting course. I like to jump straight in with something practical so I did a group abstract painting exercise. After a quick explanation of what ‘impasto’ is, I laid a canvas roll onto the table and everyone – there were six of us – grabbed a pot of Daler Rowney System 3 paint and, using either a palette knife or fingers (rubber gloves provided), splattered paint onto the canvas as we walked around the table.

splatter 2

After we’d all done one circuit, we changed our pots of colour and went round the table again, splattering as we went. And a few more times, building up random layers of colour. Finally, we put the paint down and spent a minute or so scraping and scratching through the paint layers, revealing the colours underneath.

splatter 4

 

Then we used some old window mounts to look through and work out the compositions we liked best. This led to a discussion about what makes good art – controversial – and I’d taken some examples of Jackson Pollock’s work to look at, to get a theoretical and historical perspective.

The Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint, mixed with screenprint medium, was kindly donated by Swansea Print Workshop. They let us have acrylic paints left over after their screenprint courses, which is great because they’re expensive quality paints. We worked in a room kindly lent by the National Waterfront Museum.

Window Licking Good?

13 Oct

Husb and I regularly babysit one of our very young relatives and last week I took him on his first trip to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. There’s a fabulous exhibition from their archives at the moment – a wonderful and quirky selection of artwork.

windowlicker

I find babies very hard to draw. The proportions of their faces are really weird – they’re like little aliens. And they don’t stop wriggling. I tried my best, sketching quickly using the continuous line method. Maybe I should try when he’s asleep. Anyway, I took him round the exhibition, mostly I let him crawl – he was really quick on the polished floors. The bit he liked best though was when we went to the (excellent, new) cafe on the ground floor and he crawled over to the big window that looks out onto the street, pulled himself up and gave the window a good licking. I tried my best.

Responding To A Story

12 Oct

DP1

 

I went to the Glynn Vivian art gallery last week, to do some live drawing at an event involving poets, storytellers and musicians. I normally draw directly from life but I went right out of my comfort zone for this one, allowing the words, music and spoken rhythms to flow into my hands and direct the marks I made onto vintage paper with Daler Rowney artists pastels. This drawing was done in response to David Pitt’s story about a caged songbird and a desert.

Picking Up The Ambience

7 Oct

RM5

I spent a couple fo hours at the Glynn Vivian art gallery on Saturday morning, drawing at a spoken word event, @peoplespeakup, which was part of the Swansea Fringe, with Rufus Mufasa, David Pitt and Eleanor Shaw amongst others. I like drawing in public, I think it’s good for people to be able to see how an artist works. When people go into a gallery and see perfect works of art on a white wall, they don’t get to appreciate all the hard work, practice, mistakes and rubbish drawings that preceded it.

RM4

I did some warm up drawings in my sketchbook, using a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen and the continuous line technique. This helped me to centre myself in the space and pick up on the ambience of the surroundings.

The Continuous Line Kitty

25 Sep

1569441631717-2067945738.png

 

I’ve been neglecting my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet recently. It has a free drawing app on it, one called ‘Markers’ that I really like using but haven’t done so for weeks. I’ve got a bit of a cold and I’m slobbing out on the settee and it was easier to reach for my tablet rather than go and rummage around for a sketchbook and drawing materials. The cat’s slobbing out on the settee next to me so she was an obvious target – I mean subject – and I carried on using the continuous line technique that I’ve been practicing a lot lately.

Let’s Get Ready To Crumble…..

24 Sep

tinkers cakes

 

I do a lot of cooking, especially baking, but I rarely draw food. I made a crumble today with raspberries from our allotment, some Bramley cooking apples from a friend and some wild blackberries. It was lush! The drawing is an old one, of some Tinker’s Cakes I made on a traditional Maen or Bakestone. They’re like Welsh Cakes but made with grated apple instead of dried fruit.

 

 

For crumble, I toss the raw fruit in a mixture of sugar and ground arrowroot before topping it with the crumble mix. The arrowroot turns the liquid into a nice sauce while it’s cooking and stops it becoming soggy.

Dog At The Demo

23 Sep

climate demo 3

I was dog-sitting last Friday and went down to the Climate Change strike to do some sketches en plein air. I like drawing crowds, it’s a good exercise. The dog had different ideas though.

 

She’s only a year old and still very excitable and because she’s so cute she was getting loads of attention. There were hundreds of children so I should have anticipated it. It made sketching very difficult, with her tugging on her lead all the time and people fussing her. Not ideal conditions to have a scribble. I did my best.

 

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Here’s the little tyrant.

 

 

Representing Artists

21 Sep

GS Artists Sept 2019

I went to GS Artists on High Street earlier to a meeting planning to pull together a group of local artists, a union or cooperative to represent our interests. It was a good start, lots of ideas but a lot of work ahead of us because most artists are self-employed and often working in isolation. We’re also prone to exploitation – so much pressutre to work for very little or even nothing! “You’ll get exposure” they say. You can die of exposure. It’s surprising the number of allegedly reputable organisations that try to get artists to work for no pay – or maybe it isn’t so surprising. We live in a society where artists and the arts are so undervalued.

Anyway, I had a scribble. Using ballpoint pen with the continuous line technique.

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