Monday, 22 July 2019

Midhope Castle

A long time ago I purchased a book by Clive Holmes called "Northamptonshire: A portrait in Pen & Ink". The book is Clive's 'view' of the buildings in Northamptonshire as seen through his Pen & Ink drawings. I was a little interested in the local architecture and history of the county but much more interested in Clive's drawings. As a keen Pen & Ink fan I wanted to examine his technique and skills at my leisure.

Though most of his technique seemed fairly standard I noticed he rarely used hatching, as I do, so I was particularly interested in how he achieved his tonal values. One of the things that jumped out at me was his occasional use of 'dots' to achieve some of the mid-tones, especially where there was little texture to be drawn. I decided this was something I'd like to try some time.

The latest Monthly Painting & Drawing Project in my art forum is of Midhope Castle, commonly called 'Lallybroch', which is used in the 'Outlander' series. This gave me the perfect opportunity to 'go dotty' and play with this new technique. I have to say it is a very time consuming method of shading but varying dot density to achieve different tones was relatively simple. I'm not convinced yet that this approach is something I'll try again, but if I do it will be restricted to certain small area's within a drawing rather than the whole study. I'd love to hear what you think. ;-)


  1. It's always nice to try something new John. This came out beautiful and I can see it was very tedious have SO much patience, my friend!! I think I like the dots but can see it would take a long time to do! I hope you do another piece using this technique... I find it interesting...

  2. I agree with hmuxo, it's good to look for inspiration and try new things -- but I agree with you too, the dots are very time consuming. Nice piece!


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