Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A tight fight!

My natural style is best described as 'tight' and the long-term followers amongst you may remember that from time to time I try to do something to help me loosen up. I will try quick ink and wash sketches and sketches against the clock, for example.

Eilean Donan Castle
This Sepia Ink pen and wash sketch is a very good example of one problem I struggle to deal with. Many of my verticals lean to the right. Now it happens that my natural handwriting also leans to the right, very much so. I have always written in an 'italic' style with a very pronounced lean. When I am sketching with gay abandon (as gay and abandoned as I ever get), that sloping tendency shows through into my drawing. I know I can do something about it when I try to, but by concentrating on getting the verticals upright, my work becomes tight(er) again. I guess I just need more practice ... either that or a block under one side of my chair. LOL.

So, have you noticed the "Making art fun" picture in the top right corner. It's just a little thing we do in my forum and I'm really pleased I managed to figure out how to have it automatically updating here. My 'square' is the second from the right on the top row.

21 comments:

  1. Lovely ink drawing, I like the use of a single colour. I see what you mean about the 'leaning' and understand how work 'tightens' up, but how about using a ruler and very light pencil (just to get the initial lines 'straight') but then use ink/watercolour in a loose style (your line is there for you already and simply a guide) that way you may find your loose style remains - just a thought.

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  2. I love this ink drawing. Working in sepia has such old world charm. John your work is excellent, Ann actually had a good idea about lightly sketching in with pencil before inking. I wouldn't worry to much about being loose. Think of Andrew Wyeth if fought against in natural ability. Take a look at my roof line if you want a laugh.

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  3. I wonder whether it matters that the verticals lean a bit, John. Maybe it gives a free and sketchy look rather than a constructed drawing. It could even become a characteristic of your style.

    I have the same trouble myself with fighting the tendency to tighten up. With watercolours, I hold the brush at the end of the handle and try to accept the inaccuracies.

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  4. John, both Ann and Keith got the words out before me - pencil guidelines and leaning verticals are your style!
    You have natural ability with this ink wash technique, they are very easy on the eye, and the sepia tone here more so.

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  5. Lovely ink sketch, John, and sepia is a lovely ink to choose for this piece too. It's all a nice way of loosening up. LOL about the block under the chair !

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  6. Block under the chair! Nice to see you have a sense of humour :) But I think your leaning verticals are just dandy as they are. Kind of character, you know ? :) xx

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  7. Ann, that's a great idea. Even just a couple of light verticals in the drawing area would act as a visual reference. Thanks.

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  8. Thank you Joan for your wonderfully generous comment. I'm still experimenting with how this particular Sepia ink works, but I do like the effect.

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  9. Keith, I'd not considered accepting the leaning verticals as part of my style. An interesting thought. Thank you.

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  10. Thank you Frank, I have always liked this medium and get a lot of pleasure from it.

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  11. Thank you Michael. I guess what I place under my chair should be called "artists block". LOL

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  12. Thank you Pat. I hadn't consider the leaning verticals as adding character until you and Keith mentioned it. It's certainly a better solution than the block .... I keep falling off the chair. ;-)

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  13. John, I've always liked your pen work, your sketches whether black or sepia.. I must say I'm partial to the sepia , reminds me of the old Masters drawings.
    OH and the block under your chair ....? brilliant John !!!
    lol. BJ

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  14. Well I think those leaning verticles only add to the character, lol! That's what sketches are all about after all!
    I really like the watersoluble Sepia pen. If I could choose only one tool to sketch with, that would be my choice :0)

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  15. Hi there John!... Totally enjoyed by my first run through your site! Very impressive pencil and ink work!

    I totally agree with Keith in the matter of verticality! When we want to translate human aging... we expect that with that quality come features like creases... wrinkles... twisted joints... drooping shoulders... and the list goes on.... BOO HOOO!

    The same holds true in the rest of nature and in architecture as well. I love the slantiness of yout ink drawing today... it has... Character!

    Thanks for visiting my site! Glad to be in touch and very much look forward to more sharing!

    Good Sketching and Painting!
    Warmest regards,
    Bruce

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  16. Thank you Barbra Joan, I thought you might like the idea of the blocks. lol.

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  17. Sandra, I'm with you. Although I'm new to sepia pen, it's quickly become one of my favourites.

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  18. Bruce, how lovely of you to come across to my blog. Having seen some of your comments on other blogs, I'm honoured to see you here. I'm really glad you like my sketch, thank you. Let's not get too much into the creases, wrinkles and drooping shoulders though .... it's all a bit too close to home. LOL. Warm regards.

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  19. BrandNewStudio, Thank you for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment.

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  20. If you want to learn to be loose with your painting I can recommend Ann Blockley's DVD "Experimental Flowers in Watercolor". While it covers mainly flower painting her technique can apply to any subject. It has helped me a lot. She is the daughter of the famous John Blockley.
    Jean

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