Tag Archives: pencils

Pandemic Portrait – Willow Charcoal

7 May

Bernard 3

 

So today I did a bit more work on the portrait I started yesterday, working from a photo. I developed the image with willow carcoal, putting in the shadows by squinting my eyes. I’m using willow charcoal at the moment because it’s easy to rub out mistakes. Once I’m happy that I’ve got the drawing the way I want it, I’ll fix it and then work over it in compressed charcoal. But that’s not for today…..

Pandemic Portrait – Making A Start

6 May

willow charcoal

I made a start on a portrait drawing today. I rarely work from photographs, I’d much rather draw from a live model, but we’re in pandemic lockdown so I’ll do this one from a photo. I’m using a lovely sheet of vintage British hand-made paper with a deckle edge made by W H Saunders mill, which no longer exists unfortunately. First of all I roughly sketched the head onto the paper with a 2B pencil, below, but it’s very faint so then I redrew it with willow charcoal (above).

pencil

I’m going to leave it til tomorrow so that I can come at it with fresh eyes and check the proportions, make sure everythngs in the right place.

A Big Box Of Pencils

13 Jan

 

tracing 3

I did a bit more work on my next woodcut today, making a tracing from my original drawing to transfer the image onto the wood block. I used a thick charcoal pencil for the tracing because I have to turn the tracing paper over to reverse the image onto the wood. Once the reversed image was in place, I drew over the thick charcoal lines using a smaller 2H pencil which gave a fairly fine line. Finally I took the tracing paper off the MDF and went over the faint trace lines with a B pencil, which gives good definition without being too smudgy. I have a big box of pencils. It’s really nice.

tracing 5

I bought the box at a very reasonable price from the Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick in The Lake District. It’s a fabulous little gem of a museum, so informative and a great place for graphite geeks to hang out. Just outside Keswick is an old graphite mine, which is why the pencil industry took root there. And it has a factory shop, with cut-price pencils and boxes!

From left to right: tracing over the original drawing; the tracing reversed onto the block of MDF; going over the faint trace lines with a darker pencil.

A Long, Hard Day

10 Mar

brum

Had a very long day, travelling to Birmingham and leaving at 6am. Arrived back home 14 hours later. First stop was at the visa office to submit my paperwork for a very exciting trip I’m planning for next month – more to come on that. We had enough time to drive into the city centre to visit the most excellent Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, or BMAG. We saw one of the best collections of Pre-Raphaelites anywhere; Grayson Perry’s ‘The Vanity Of Small Differences‘ and a lovely collection of Japanese antique woodcuts, netsukes and laquerwork. All for FREE! The museum is huge and we only saw a fraction of their collections. We took half an hour for tea and scones in the magnificent Edwardian tea room where I did this very quick scribble, using a 2B pencil into my little A6 spotty sketchbook.

Good Hare Day

21 Jan

21 hare pencil

Back to some focussed wildlife studies. More hares. I like this one. It’s in proportion. It’s a good hare. Drawn with Derwent pencils, B and 3B into an A6 sketchbook.

Harivariation

15 Jan

15 hare 1

15 hare 2

15 hare 3

Practice makes perfect. So I’ve been drawing and redrawing the little hare from the digital drawing I did yesterday. I’m doing these in Reeves pencils, B and 3B into my new little spotty sketchbook. It’s size A6 and my chum and fellow blogger, Melanie Ezra, brought it back from New York City for me. Here it is.

15 spottyIt’s cute. There’s a reason I’m doing all these practice sketches. There’ll be lots more to come over the next few days………

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