Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back to the easel

Hell I've been doing a lot of drawings in the last two months. A tentative foray into graphite has resulted in a flood of drawings based on my Antarctic trip, both photos and memories. This has been cool, great fun and my drawing has improved beyond all recognition with all the practice.

Check this lot out:

Antarctic drawings

Lots more to come to, I have a folder of references and ideas that, no matter how many drawings I do, seems to still be growing. Enjoyable as all this pencil dust has been I have been missing my painting. Today I got back into my studio and started a full colour pastel painting...such a relief to be free of the constraints of graphite!

Here's progress to far, it's the bow of a wreck here in the Falklands; the Protector at New Island. I like the conflicting lines of the image, the planks of the hull/the remains of the copper sheathing/the streaks of rust from the hawsehole. This is 0n 50 X 70cm light grey pastel mat.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Drawing with brushes

I just can't leave graphite alone now, the genie's out of the bottle...or the jar, in this case a jar of Cretacolor graphite powder. If there's an element that irritates me about graphite it's the slow process of filling in large areas of shading, sure a blending stump and a putty rubber helps but it's still a slow old game laying down the area of shade with a pencil or stick. I recently ordered some bits and pieces to upgrade my drawing kit, foremost being a 2mm propelling pencil to replace the dozen or so steadler HB's I need to keep on sharpening (I like to always have a sharp pencil to hand), this natty tool and it's neat drum sharpener is as great as I remember them being way back when I used to do technical drawing, a gimlet point, easy in the hand and dead quick and clean to sharpen. Anyway, I digress, along with the usual consumables (stumps, erasers and so on) I had a punt on a jar of graphite powder, something I've never used before.

It's very different, dead quick to apply with a brush and very movable, one can keep on shifting it around with a brush or stump for ever and it lifts off incredibly easily with a putty rubber. It'll take a bit of practice to get the hang of but I suspect that this is the end of shading tedium. It's odd drawing with a brush mind.

Friday, November 9, 2012

'X' marks the spot

Well... not really, much as this might look like a prop from Treasure Island it is actually my first attempt at an ilustrated map of a part of the Falklands. I've just come back from two days on Sealion Island; My wife and I were gathering images for our second Barnaby Bear book, and I thought I'd have a crack at using some to produce this:

This is ink and graphite and features some of the iconic wildlife of the island. This was an interesting experiment, a few things didn't work as well as I'd have liked but it went quite well. I'll probably be revisiting this subject.