Friday 21 May 2010

Loosening Up!!

My last several paintings have been fairly detailed and I've commented on more than one occassion that I feel my technique is becoming very tight. A few suggestions have been made as to how I can loosen up a bit and I shall be giving them all a try in due course as I try to find the style I know I'm looking for.

Yesterday, I decided to do a pen drawing. I'm rather partial to working in pen and it has been suggested that it is my best medium (though I'm not sure what that says about my watercolours - LOL). I only had about half-an-hour so grabbed an old photo of Edinburgh Castle to do a quick sketch of. I really enjoy this technique of using a soluble pen and then teasing out shadows using a brush and plain water. I can't say the end result is as loose as I would have liked but it is definitely a step in the right direction - and it was great fun.


  1. What an achievement John! It's simple, elegant and I love the way you've washed the ink for the shadows. Onward and upward!

  2. Thanks Frank, I really do enjoy this medium.

  3. Nice perspective. Not easy to draw looking up at a subject. I have visited the castle and have very fond memories of beautiful Scotland. Probably visiting again this year. Wasn't painting then though. Nice work John.

  4. Thank you Jean. I visited it once very briefly many years ago but am hopeful of doing so again in the not-too-distant future.

  5. This looks good to me John, and definitely looser than some of your other work.

    Something else you could try is using a sharpened stick and bottled ink to draw with like Edward Wesson. I've tried it using a matchstick in a clutch pencil and it worked quite well.

  6. Here's another example I've just come across.

  7. This is absolutely lovely John! I love this AND your watercolours!

  8. Keith, thanks for comments and the tip. I'll have to have a go with a matchstick - sounds like fun. That link to Rene's site was great.

    Thank you Sandra, I really appreciate it.

  9. Hi there - we love the picture of Edinburgh castle and as we are planning to get married there in April would we be able to come to some arrangement to use the sketch on the back of our invites?

    if you could drop us an email with your thoughts wed really appreciate it

    Kind Regards
    Dean Elliott (and Kirsty)


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