Tag Archives: maniere noire

Drawn In The USA

4 Feb

This is my first video. I took some footage during my residency at Wingtip Press in Boise, Idaho last year and edited it with stills of the artwork wthat was produced by the artists I was working with, both there and later in Swansea Print Workshop. It won’t win any Oscars but it’s nice to put up a record of all the hard work that was done and to acknowledge the wonderful artists I had the privilege of being with.

It’s FAB

30 May

wordpress 30 may

I’m in Bath, invigilating an exhibition that I have some work in. It’s the 12:34 group show at FAB 3 in York Street, part of Fringe Arts Bath. I took a small easel and drawing materials to draw to pass the time. I don’t like drawing buildings, inside or out, but there wasn’t much else to do. I’ve been looking out of the window onto the Georgian rooftops of the baths, amazing architecture.It’s a good exercise in drawing what you actually see, rather than what you think you see. Common sense suggests that the white gallery walls are lighter than the view outside the window, but squinting my eyes showed that the opposite is true. I used black and white conte crayons, a traditional dip pen with Indian ink and some Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens onto a piece of recycled Bockingford paper, about size A3.

That’s one of my maniere noire drawings on the wall and I’ve included it in the drawing.

Getting Down And Dirty

4 May


Day 2 in Boise, Idaho and I’m nearly over the jet lag and settling in to work with a group of Boise artists to develop work for a group exhibition. First day and we’re working on drawings in the manicure noire style, which means getting proper grubby.
Once the paper had Ben smeared with compressed charcoal, we got stuck in with wire wool and aluminumimage oxide paper to remove the highlights and reveal the tones of our still life subjects.
Here’s the finished charcoal drawings that we did in the morning. In the afternoon, we went through a similar process but with paper coated in graphite.


This residency at Wingtip Press has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.


Out Of The Darkness (female nude)

29 Apr

Rose Davies female nude

I’m off to the USA in a few hours to work in Wingtip Press with a group of artists from Idaho, Utah and Oregon. I’m so excited!!!! On one of the days, I’ll be leading the group in a drawing workshop, using the maniere noire style. The phrase means ‘in the dark manner’ and is usually associated with mezzotint. I learnt this technique from Irish artist, Aoife Layton and I love the way that the image comes out of the darkness. The effect is lush and voluptuous. Mezzotint seems to be making a comeback and there are lots of British printmakers using this technique now. Apart from Aoife, I particularly like Martin Langford, who works in mezzotint, etching and linoblock.

And now I must try and get a bit of sleep because tomorrow is going to be a long day.

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