Stop to sketch

Up to now I have never made time to sketch while on holiday , this year I set out to change that making a little time to stop and sketch.

After you get over the strangeness of getting your sketchbook out in public, making time to sketch and not to just grab photographs, makes you more aware of the place even if it’s not always captured in the sketches.

Got to get into the habit of doing this more as it’s more personal record of the places you visit, I am sure they will help me remember if I want to make paintings later.

 

Drawing days

Attended a one day workshop Drawing with Confidence, hoping to pick up some new stuff to help me with my drawing.

Some good advice on sketching landscapes, looking at the shapes and tone without getting lost in the details.

Discovered some new pens in shades of grey to add to my nice to have equipment list.

A good day sketching with others is always a pleasure.

Charcoal and paint

Always trying things never feeling like I make a finished image, something I am going to have to get my head around, perhaps it’s the doing I enjoy and I should not really worry about making a final image.

That’s enough pondering, I have been doing some charcoal and paint stuff it’s interesting the charcoal works into the paint and you get some interest marks and effects, it all feels very free.

Thanks to Lee Jeffries a very talented photographer for his reference pictures .

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New approach

Started my painting of John Lydon never really thought it wouldn’t end up being a painting.  taking a couple of new approaches to this, first I am going to spoil the canvas before I start, the idea behind this is it takes the pressure of starting with a pristine canvas and allows you to relax before you start.

Second I am going to do the underpainting in acrylics and then move to oils, this has speeded up my process and is keeping things very fresh.  Not sure how long to wait before starting with the oils have to look that one up.

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Next Project Perhaps

Watched Lynn Barber interview John Lyden on Artsnight the other night, fascinating to see  at 60, how motivated to make music and have his say about the world he still is.

I liked the idea that he now wears glasses and how this has changed his public image

Sketching some ideas and trying to understand his face this might lead to a painting.

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Charcoal and Watercolour

This week I have been messing with charcoal and water colour, sketching out another slightly surreal illustration for my strawberry tale, I think this is a little closer to the darker feeling of Jeremy Hush paintings and my starting inspiration.

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LETTERS

Back with Alice and  her art class, always challenging us to do new stuff .

We are looking at stories art and illustrations this term started with a fancy letter and thinking about using words in our art.

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Last Class

My last life drawing class this week, 10 weeks and I feel I have made some progress, I know what side of the easel to stand on, I have a better understanding of shape and size, learning to look at the outside and inside shapes and using different features as reference throughout the drawing.

My use of charcoal has moved on but still it’s not subtle enough (more practice)

Here is a bit of a lookback-

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Burnt stick charcoal

I have been struggling with line and tone in my portraits with everything feeling very drawn and too dark.

Today I tried using some burnt stick charcoal instead of my usual compressed charcoal.

In fact I used both and my charcoal pencil, feels like a step forward, thanks to Minnie Ashley for her wonderful source picture.

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Lesson 2

Lesson 2 of Will Kemps painting a black and white portrait in oils and I am re-establishing the shadows and adding the highlights, this according to Will is all about seeing and appreciating the shapes and form in the subject without getting into the detail, I must admit I do feel ready to move onto lesson 3 but as I am learning, with oils you have to wait.

Another tip I picked up is to make a sketch of your painting again thinking about the tones and shapes so I have done that, after getting a few things really wrong it’s something I will better understand in my painting hopefully getting them right.

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