Monday, 29 August 2011

Another sketch.

As is so often the case, yet again I have found myself without time for any serious drawing or painting. I am not one of those loose painters who can quickly splash some paint onto the paper and create a masterpiece. I so envy artists who can do that. To produce anything even half decent I have to mark out some pencil guidelines first, and then the painting itself takes me ages. And when I am drawing, everything takes so long, especially if it's a tricky subject and I decide to do a grid. I know from the feedback I get in my art forum that I am not alone.

Lindisfarne - Water Soluble Pen - A5
Rather than not do any drawing when time is short, I am pushing myself to sketch. A sketch can be very quick and doesn't require the fiddly precision of a proper drawing. In addition, there is nothing better for building confidence than going straight onto the paper with a pen. When sketching with pencil I can't help but reach for the eraser when I make the smallest slip, yet when working with pen, that is not an option.

A sketch doesn't have to be 'good' to be a worthwhile exercise. Take this sketch of Lindisfarne (Holy Island). Although not a great picture it was superb practice at interpreting perspectives, judging proportions and recording the shapes of the buildings. The pen required a confident approach and by using water soluble ink and a wet brush, it also forced me to study the tones in the scene. The picture took just a little over 15 minutes to do and, best of all, it was FUN!!!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Bloody cats!!!

I arrived home from work this evening to see the tell tale signs of a problem I detest. There were a number of feathers strewn across my front lawn. After I'd parked the car and dropped my briefcase into the hall, I went for a look round. Sure enough, I found what I'd expected ... a headless, well mutilated body of a pigeon.

Some of you may remember that a couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to witness the activities of a pair of pigeons from their courtship, through their intimate moments, nest building, egg hatching and finally first flights of the fledglings. The pigeons always hang out on pairs and I was acutely aware of this pigeons mate standing forlornly in the middle of our drive looking lost. As I cleared up the remains, the lone pigeon sat quietly on a nearby fence ... still ... watching. What was going through it's mind?

I know what was going through my mind!!! If I knew which of my neighbours had allowed their cat to exercise it's natural instincts in my garden, I would have taken the mutilated corpse back to the neighbour and told them to shove it where the sun doesn't shine!!!

My apologies to any of my followers who are cat owners, but I am seething right now. So much so that when I sat down a few hours later to pickup my sketch pad and pen, there was only one thing on my mind.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Fuchsia - coloured

Fuchsia "Blackie"
I stood the ink drawing of the Fuchsia (see previous post) on my shelf where I could see it as I came and went into my 'study'. I always do this as it helps me to see them through the eyes of others after a while.

Anyway, the starkness of this sketch has been screaming at me to add some colour. In the end I gave in and washed in a weak Cadmium Red on the Sepals, and a weak Purple Lake to the corolla (petals).

In truth, the sepals should be much more vivid and the corolla ought to be very dark, almost black. Even so, I like this much better and have decided to do a proper painting of this flower when I can.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


Fuchsia "Blackie"

I just haven't been able to do any drawing or painting lately and just had to do something. You know what it's like ... that itch just has to be scratched, no matter what.

With very little time I decided a quick pen sketch was the order of the day. Besides, I like the challenge of going straight onto the paper with ink. It is unforgiving and is a great confidence builder. As my regular followers will know, I'm rather partial to using non-permanent ink and a wet brush.

Normally I would choose a hard landscape to sketch with pen, but I thought it would be interesting to try something softer this time. I'm a very keen Fuchsia grower with several scores of different varieties. The delicate frills of this "Blackie" (really a very deep dark purple) was just what I was looking for.