Sunday, 19 August 2018

Force Ten

Quite a long time ago I came across a photograph by Paul Berriff of a Lifeboat in rough seas and felt compelled to draw it. I contacted Paul and he was happy to give his permissions and some of you may remember the final picture... "Flamborough Lifeboat 1971". Recently I've had the urge to do another powerful pencil drawing so went back to Paul's site to see what was there. I discovered a dramatic photo of mfv Galatea, a fishing boat, battling huge waves in a raging sea. Paul again kindly granted permission for me to use it, so here it is. The original photo contains chains and railings from the boat on which Paul was standing when he took the photo but I've left those out to increase the sense of isolation of the Galatea.

Paul's original photo contains many really dark tones, almost complete black, and as any pencil user knows, such deep blacks are next to impossible to achieve. Following on from my recent "Gorilla" drawing I did consider tackling this picture in Charcoal but I think (no, I know) that would be a step to far for me. What I am now considering is adding darker tones to this drawing using charcoal just where needed. I'm concerned about how well the charcoal will 'take' on top of already shiny graphite so I need to do some serious experimenting first. If any of you have experience of charcoal over graphite I'd love to hear from you.

The original photo and more of Paul's work can be seen on his website 

Friday, 3 August 2018

Wray Castle, Cumbria

Not an exciting picture and certainly not one of my best, but I had the urge to have another go at painting with Ink washes. I just love the way the ink separates on the paper and I find trying to 'control' that in a meaningful way quite interesting. I chose the subject primarily because of it's mixture of straight hard edges, curvy mid-tones and light fluffy shapes, all of which combine to put the "ink applicator" (me!!) through it's paces.

The object of the session was to 'play with ink' and I'm annoyed that I didn't pay more attention to the initial drawing stage. The straight edges to the hexagonal towers could have been more intelligently handled and some of my verticals are far from it .... vertical. And that lack of care initially has spoiled what might otherwise have been an acceptable painting. Still, the 'play with ink' part of the session worked and I really enjoyed the process even though I don't think I had quite as much 'control' over the ink as I would have liked.