Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Northampton Town in Pen

Though very much an art novice, I have to confess to being extremely pleased with the way my Water Mill pen drawing turned out. So much so that I have decided I'd like to try something more ambitious. Even if it turns out quite poor I hope to learn a lot from the experience. I've also decided to show the drawing as work-in-progress so that any more experienced artists can toss in any words of advice as I go along.

I am showing the main reference photo so we can all see what I'm aiming at however, I will be drawing the Market Stalls across the bottom right corner which is more in keeping with their present deployment. They also have more colourful striped canvases which will be easier to depict than the drab plain blue canvases in the photo.

My basic plan is to draw a grid to help get the proportions and perspectives as accurate as possible and then lightly pencil in the main shapes and structures. Then I will ink over those and erase all pencil marks. I will then pass over the drawing adding in detail and finally review the picture for tonal values. I learned from the Water Mill drawing that a lot of detail involving a lot of lines creates dark tones naturally. I can't judge at the moment which parts of my drawing will need extra shading and which won't, so I'll leave that till last. I've chosen a Medium Surface Cartridge paper, 130 gsm and size A3. I've never used this paper with pen before but a small test on a scrap of the paper caused me to think it should be ok. I will be using a selection of fine point pens of different thicknesses.

In my forum I'm running this as a Work-in-Progress and we started right back at choosing the reference photo to work from. I'm posting my thoughts at each step and the full process from beginning to end will be documented. However, in this blog I will simply leave it at this one post, but the picture will be updated at each stage so if you wish to see it developing pop back frequently and I'll try and have an updated picture for you to see. If you want to follow it more closely, you can see my forum thread here.

4 comments:

  1. I admire your patience with this John. All those different perspective lines must be difficult to get right. You've done a marvellous job.

    Happy New Year.

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  2. Thank you very much Keith, it's certainly been my biggest ever project. I'm still trying to decide if it's finished. I tend to think the large open 'precinct' in the centre is too stark and overpowering. I've added some gridlines to tone it down a bit, but I'm not sure it's enough.

    Happy New Year.

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  3. John, this piece of work is phenominal and your attention to detail is stunning. Fortunately for you, the high camera shot has meant that there were little signs of converging verticals that can cause so many problems when drawing buildings. Goodness knows how long this took you, it must have taken ages. I love the little Loweryesque figures too.
    I recognised the place in the photo straight away, me living in Market Harborough, which is the next town to the North.

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  4. Frank, thank you very much for your very kind comments. You're right about the converging verticals ... it was great not to have to worry about them. The complete work took me about 2 weeks working a couple of hours each day. I don't know if you've seen the WIP but the one aspect I'm least pleased with is the distant landscape which is largely just scrimbled. It doesn't work too well but once it's down in ink, it's down. LOL.

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