Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Lychgate

In an attempt to further reduce the tightness in my work I set myself a limited time to attempt this pen drawing of a Lychgate. Though I'm pleased with much of the pen work, especially the shadows and textures, my hasty sketching has resulted in some poor perspectives. It's clear that even a relaxed and loose style still needs attention to detail at the outline stage. Relaxed and loose must never mean careless .... another lesson learned.

For those interested, the word 'lych' is an old English word meaning 'corpse'. In the middle ages, when bodies were often only wrapped in shrouds, the corpse would be placed on a bier (a flat-framed stand) under the lychgate from where the priest would conduct the first part of the funeral ceremony. It's interesting that these small structures with such a unhappy function should these days often prove to be a popular backdrop for wedding photo's. This particular lychgate stands at the entrance to the church I was married in some 43 years ago and most of our wedding photo's were taken in front of it.

Like many of you, when I'm out and about I take photo's of scenes and objects that I would like to paint or draw one day. I took this photo in 2004 for that very reason, which just goes to prove that I get there eventually. ;-)

14 comments:

  1. Love this drawing. Never knew the meaning of lych gate, so thanks for the lesson

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    1. Thank you very much Polly. I didn't know what a lychgate was either until I looked it up. ;-)

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  2. Hi John.
    Great Drawing mate. I can`t see anything wrong with the perspective. It is a very good drawing. You have even got the grain of the wood, great. All the best John.
    Vic.

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    1. It's good to know you can't see too much wrong with it Vic. Thanks very much and all the best to you.

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  3. This drawing is truly beautiful John. I love the roof and the way you painted the wood! Nice work! I have old reference photos that I've had for many years but I WILL get to them someday soon! Lol....
    I imagine this was the perfect place to take wedding pictures. 43 years!! Congratulations!! I just celebrated 47 years...

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    1. Thank you Hilda. Glad to know I'm not the only one who doesn't get to their reference photo's as quickly as they'd intended. 47 years!! Wow ... not long to your Golden. That's quite something. ;-)

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  4. You did this hastily ?? Pure perfection to me and doesn't look hasty at all , gorgeous work !

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    1. You're very kind Jane, thank you very much. ;-)

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  5. I absolutely love it John! It is full of charm and doesn't look at all hasty to me! I wonder why we Artists obsess so much with loosening up...? It was something I struggled to do for years - and I was horrible at it! Until one day I asked myself why I was trying so hard to do something that didn't come naturally to me at all. Then I realised it was simply something that had been drummed in to me by Art Tutors and art books and those who were at the Art School doing what all of the others were doing... And so many book titles include the words 'How to Loosen Up..' in them... But why? Then, after almost giving up on my art altogether, I realised that being loose it is simply a trend, like fashion almost. It was only when I saw it like that that I asked myself why I had felt so pressured to 'loosen up' at all? How can someone possibly own an 'Original Sandra Busby painting' if I hadn't painted it from my heart at all, but actually it had come from a million other voices telling me how I 'should' paint. It was for this very reason that I abandoned Art School and decided to teach myself... To allow my own natural style, all be it a more traditional and methodical style of painting, to develop as it was meant to. Only then did I fall in love with painting and consider myself an 'original' Artist. Who wants to be the same as everyone else anyway? So, that's my view. Loosen up if you genuinely want to and feel that it is inside you already just waiting to come out. Otherwise, stay absolutely true to yourself and don't dream of thinking it's the wrong way. As long as it's you, it is the right way :0)

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  6. Thank you for your interest and words of wisdom Sandra. I was following your blog back in 2011 when you went through the process of dropping your course in favour of following your own style and preferences, so I appreciate everything you've written here. For me, I've never had a single lesson so I have only ever followed my own path. I don't paint/draw to sell, or even to hang .... I just draw and paint whatever takes my fancy. At this time I'm enjoying pen work but I don't think clinically executed lines create an 'artistic' picture so I'm trying to find something that is more 'arty' than my work usually is. I don't know where it will take me but that's half the fun. ;-)

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    1. Yes I agree John. After all, Architects drawings are very static aren't they! Yours are far from static - they always have such wonderful character :0)

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    2. You're very kind Sandra, thank you. ;-)

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  7. Oh phooh John, my perspective should be as 'off' as yours. It's a terrific piece, and I agree 100% with Sandra... just do what you like to do , what give you that feeling of accomplishment. Trying to be something else is not what artists need. I try to loosen up in watercolors because it's simply the look that I like to achieve. But when it comes to my pencil work? Well, that's a whole other story.
    Barbra Joan

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    1. I've always been aware of the opposite disciplines you show in your watercolours and pencil work BJ .... opposite ends of the 'detail' spectrum, yet equally excellent. You've hit the nail on the head when you speak of 'accomplishment' .... I always feel I've accomplished more with pen and pencil than I ever do with watercolours. Thank you for your lovely comment. ;-)

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