Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Snowy Cottage

As I've mentioned in previous posts, when working with pen & ink I'm currently experimenting at achieving a good tonal range and shading without using too much cross-hatching, if any. In addition, a couple of posts ago, in a comment about one of my drawings,  Keith referred to 'lost and found lines' and this has also been on my mind as I'm not sure I've ever understood exactly what is meant by 'lost and found lines', though common sense sort of suggests what the term means.

Yesterday I came across a photograph of a small snow-covered cottage and, while thinking about how it might be drawn using pen & ink, realised that it was a great subject to work with both zero-hatching and 'lost and found' lines. Of course, the secret to drawing snow is more about what you don't draw than what you do.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Canal Cottages

Back in 2007, to mark my 60th birthday, my family treated me to a day on the canal. Fortunately it was "on" and not "in". The canal is the Grand Union and they hired a barge for the day and I was in my element navigating the calm waters. This stretch of the canal includes the famous mile-long tunnel near Blisworth which, in days gone by, were navigated by the bargee's laying on top of the barges and "walking" their feet along the roof of the tunnel. Fortunately for us our barge had an engine but the tunnel is only just wide enough for two barges to pass, so steering for a novice was exhilarating to say the least.

In my last post I mentioned how I was concerned over my use of hatching, in particular that it looks unnatural .... rigid, clinical diagonal lines ... and this is probably down to my inexperience. To explore this further I decided I ought to try a pen drawing with no hatching, achieving tones in a different, more natural way. I've painted this scene before and it struck me as being ideal for my purpose. I'm not displeased with the result and am happy that there's not one area of regular hatching. Now I'm keen to try another. ;-)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Tempus fugit and all that.

It's been over 4-months since I last posted. In my last post I mentioned that summer was almost here, and as I write this I can't help but notice that it's now over. I also note that my last post said I was determined to do some urban sketching this summer but I've failed miserably and haven't ventured out with my sketchbook once. What happened to the summer? 

That said, I am recently back from a wonderful holiday in Northumberland during which I succeeded in sketching en plein air on several occasions. I sketched Bamburgh Castle in the rain, the Millenium Bridge in Newcastle in the sunshine and Lindisfarne Castle on a dry but cold and windy day. Yep, British weather at it's best. The sketch of Warkworth Castle was a bit of a cheat as I used a tourist leaflet as a source of reference. 

Keen to pursue my interest in Pen and Ink work I recently tackled this picture of Willy Lott's Cottage. I'm sure you're all familiar with it but for anyone who isn't, Willy Lott's Cottage was made famous by John Constable in his painting "The Hay Wain", and he included it in a number of his other works too. It is in Flatford, Suffolk, which was an area Constable painted frequently.

Pen and Ink seems to be my preferred medium at this time and I'm keen to progress it. Although I'm feeling much more competent with the medium than I ever did with watercolour I still feel that my marks, especially hatching, have a 'novice' look to them. Hopefully, the more I do, the more 'natural' the marks will look. With fingers crossed I shall march onwards and upwards as this is a medium I'm really feeling at home with. ;-)