Tag Archives: landscapes

Channelling Cezanne

28 Feb


Each ancient stone monument I visit on my travels across South Wales affects me in different ways and this is being reflected in my drawings. Here at the Neolithic ring cairn atop Mynydd Llangyndeyrn, Carmarthenshire, the angular stones contrasted sharply with the grassy hummocks surrounding them. I’m not interested in doing topographical drawings, I want to try and interpret what I feel about each site.  I found a dry rock (a luxury) to sit on opposite the stones and pulled out a piece of willow charcoal and some marbled Fabriano Accademica paper and just let the charcoal do its own thing. And it started getting a bit Cezanne-ish, the underlying geometry started to emerge to my surprise, I have never drawn like this before but it just seemed to happen that the drawing arranged itself into simple forms and planes.

I’m travelling around with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book. His previous book on the standing stones of Ancient Siluria can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about the process. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. If you want to see more of my artworks, please click here.

Drawing It Out

4 Dec


A few weeks ago I spent a couple of days in Pembrokeshire, drawing ancient monuments mostly in the rain. When I’m drawing something from life, I concentrate on getting the appearance and proportion right, doing a fair representation. I often use these original drawings as source material for something else, usually a print – an etching, silkscreen, monotype – but today I thought I’d try doing a drawing from my original sketch of Carreg Samson, a dolmen perched above the North Pembrokeshire coast. It was quite liberating as all the basics had already been done so I could focus on experimenting with making marks and developing the mood of the drawing. I only spent a few minutes on this but I think I might do some more and spend more time on them. I worked with carbon into an A3 Daler Rowney sketchbook.

Higgledy Piggledy Hillside.

11 Jan

It’s unusual for me to draw anything other than people and the odd animal but there’s an interesting jumbled cityscape scrambling up the hill opposite the window in my new studio. I’ve injured my foot and my chiropodist asked me to keep off it as much as possible for a few weeks. A few weeks!!!!!! It’s terrible. You only realise how physical art is when some of your body is out of action. Keeping off my feet means not doing any printmaking, not working at the easel, not doing anything large at all. I’m using the time to catch up with admin [tax returns yuk!], reading and research [I have a year’s worth of back copies of a-n magazine to get through] and some chair-based sketching. So to push my artistic boundaries I thought I’d start drawing the cityscape opposite.

Not easy! I have to be disciplined enough to get proportions and perspective right but ‘artsy’ enough so it doesn’t look like an architectural drawing. I’m using a Tate Landscape sketchbook which is 58 x 15 cms fully opened so I can do a panoramic view and I might eventually do several, one above the other, stacking them so I get all the hillside in. At this stage I’m concentrating on accuracy, because I’m new to the subject matter, but maybe there’s scope for redrawing onto Mark Resist [Mylar] film in a much freer style to form the basis for some screenprinting? Hmmmmmmm…….

I’m using a variety of Derwent pencils, from HB and through a range of B grades. I rarely use pencil – don’t like ‘em, but as I’m pushing my boundaries by not drawing the human body, I might as well go the whole hog and try and get used to graphite at the same time. I much prefer the cleaner lines of drawing pens, but there are some nice qualities to the graphite that I haven’t really explored before. Here’s the first stage of the drawing – some of it is still very pale and so far I’ve only used the right hand page of the sketchbook. The left hand side will take in the local brothel. Interesting area!


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