Tag Archives: Hogarth

Etching with Hogarth!

2 Nov

Drypoint from a paper plate.


I like to draw from life and always carry a small sketchbook. I’m enormously inspired by the work of William Hogarth, who catalogued daily life in the 1700s with his meticulous metal engravings. This is a drypoint from a paper plate based on a sketch I did in a tiny Cotman sketchbook. It’s the brothel at the end of our street which is sandwiched between two restaurants. There are often red faces when restaurant patrons go through the wrong door and come rushing back out again pretty fast. The ladies from the brothel often hang out of their upstairs window, watching life go by and chatting to passers-by below. A very Hogarthian subject.

The Pavement People

12 Oct

Ink drawing: Pavement People.


Working from photographs can be controversial for many artists and causes a lot of lively discussion in our local Life Drawing group. I take a pragmatic view – I do whatever needs to be done to get the image I want and that sometimes means using a photograph as my starting point. This ink drawing started life as a digital photograph taken outside our local ‘soup kitchen’ where the Pavement People gather around 8.30 am for breakfast. I wanted an image to incorporate into a much larger mixed-media piece. I used Adobe Photoshop to turn the colour image to black and white, then I passed it through an Artistic Filter, the Cutout one. This reduced the amount of grey tones and gave a slightly abstract edge to the figures. The process also blurred some of the faces, which I like because the Pavement People tend to slip into the background and become faceless members of society.

I printed it out and drew a grid over it, scaling it up onto a sheet of tracing parchment in pencil. I then drew it it ink, using mainly Faber Castell Pitt pens and Indian ink and brush. I emphasised the blurred, faceless quality of the figures. The next stage is to rub out the grid marks and transfer the image to a photographic silkscreen to print over the mixed media piece I’m currently working on. I might also print it up as part of a series I’m planning, using a number of photos I have of the Pavement People,  along the lines of William Hogarth’s serial engravings.

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