Tag Archives: willow charcoal

Connecting family

2 Feb

I did some more work on my great big “Family” painting today, based on our weekly Zoom quiz. We’ve been doing it since early in the first lockdown and we’re connecting family in South Wales, North England and Australia. And our pets 😀 I did some more work on people’s features, and also did some quick studies in gouache of the faces I’m having problems with. I’m finding it hard to clearly see what’s actually there, rather than what I expect to be there, because the computer screen is seriously distorting some of them .


A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

17 People, 2 Dogs And A Cat!

1 Feb

I carried on with my big painting today, working in more of the building blocks of the images. Some of them are pretty spot on but some are really difficult to do as I can’t get my head around the distortion caused by the computer screens and I’m falling into the trap of painting what I think is there, not what is actually there. I’m getting better at it though. I didn’t stop to think how big a task this would be when I started but today I added up all the figures – 17 people, 2 dogs and a cat. Talk about throwing myself in at the deep end. I’m using Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic paint onto stretched canvas, with willow charcoal to sketch in the details.

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

Practising The Weird

31 Jan

I decided to do some little charcoal studies onto paper for the big painting I’m working on, to practice the images before I commit them to canvas. There are lots of heads in the painting which look a bit weird because they’re on a computer screen. According to Husb this causes wide angle lens distortion. The lighting makes strange colour effects and differences in clarity are caused by high or low definition on the various computers. Problem with this is I keep wanting to draw what I think is there rather than what is actually there. I keep thinking “Oh, that doesn’t look right” but when I check back to the original, it is right, just weird. 

 

 

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Sketching The Details

30 Jan

I started sketching in some of the details onto my underpainting today, using willow charcoal as it’s easy to wipe off when you make a mistake. At this stage I’m just getting the features more or less in place rather than getting a perfect likeness because that’s going to be done later, probably the last thing to do. Not only are the colours weird but some of the faces are distorted too. This is fun, I wasn’t expecting to be enjoying painting so much.

 

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

 

Kitty Scribbles

22 Jun

Sparta sketches

Had one of those bitty days today. I carried on carving small lino blocks and as a bit of light relief I had a quick scribble with willow charcoal as Sparta Puss was lazing around.

sparta tools

She has a houseful of beds, comfy chairs, cushions as well as a sunny garden bench with a blanket just for her, but no, she’d rather doze on my sharp lino cutting tools.

 

My Cat Is A Chonky Cat

18 Jun

Chonk

It’s pouring down and there are floods locally, so I’m not going on my government-sanctioned lockdown walk today. Which means I won’t be going to the park to draw some dramatic trees. So I grabbed some willow charcoal and scribbled my cat instead. Looking at her objectively, I think the vet might be right, she might be a little on the chonky side. Just a little. I do my best to keep her on a diet, but she goes visiting …. and she’s a real charmer …..

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…..

The Greyhound’s Kennel

20 Feb

Twlc Y Filiast

This is the first of the ancient stone monuments I drew a couple of days ago when I was trekking around muddy Carmarthenshire with an archaeologist and a film maker. The Welsh name is Twlc Y Filiast which translates as the Kennel of the (female) Greyhound, but the monument is also known as Arthur’s Table or Ebenezer’s Table. It’s a Neolithic chambered tomb. There are a number of ancient burial sites associated with greyhounds. In Welsh, greyhound is milgi (female is miliast) and means a thousand dogs (or a thousand bitches) as a greyhound was considered to be as valuable as a thousand ordinary dogs because of it’s hunting ability, absolutely vital in ancient societies.

The setting is strange and ethereal. I’m used to seeing dolmen out in the open, often overlooking the sea or set on top of a hill and it was odd seeing this in a shadowy hollow by a stream just behind the now closed* village school in Llangynog. It’s well hidden and easily missed and the route was treacherous after the many weeks of torrential rain and awful weather.

Llangynnog 1

I had almost finished the drawing when I noticed the stone face in profile, looking towards the stream and the woods on the opposite side. I drew with willow charcoal onto a vintage British paper. I had a range of drawing materials but I instinctively reached for the willow charcoal; when I reflected on my choice later I realised that I had gone for an organic, natural material that had itself come from the woods and would have been used by ancient peoples.

*Many village schools have been closed by the Welsh Government, depriving rural communities of an important resource. A national disgrace in my opinion.

The Curate’s Egg

15 Oct

October

Tonight’s life drawing is like the Curate’s egg – good in parts. I had the most horrific foreshortening on the left hand. no matter how many times I measured it, the darn thing looked badly drawn. I used Winsor & Newton’s willow charcoal and white conte crayon onto a piece of Fabriano Accademica that I had marbled with oil paint and turpentine.

It’s late. I’m going to bed. Goodnight 😀

Emerging Patterns

23 Jun

d 2 final

I’m continuing to work with the paper I marbled earlier in the week, squinting and staring at the random shapes and letting them form into something that makes some sort of sense. I read recently that artists may see patterns in things more readily than other people. It didn’t take me long to see the broad shoulders emerging near the top of the paper and the rest of the male body developed very quickly.

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I’m resisting the temptation to overwork it. I’m trying to keep the drawings of Egon Schiele in mind as I develop these works on marbling, keeping the line simple and flowing and not working in a lot of detail; making the figures spontaneous and minimal. The Fabriano paper has been ‘distressed’ by snails because I left it out overnight and they’ve nibbled some interesting patterns into the surface. The drawing has been done with willow charcoal, Bideford Black and white conte crayon.

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