I have let this site lie for a while, so will try and update some aspects of my work. I have been attending drawing workshops run by Susan Kester at the Victoria Works Studios near Stroud for some time. Generally these involve still life works, so that we are drawing from life rather than photos. These are just a few examples since the summer.
Graphite drawing of bits of things. I really enjoyed this, creating a grid and then drawing in a detail of just about anything. I couldn’t finish it, so some of these are just random shadings-in. I liked the overall effect, to the extent that I drew a similar grid as a “Self portrait” in the front of my new leather bound sketch book, of which more anon.
Another graphite drawing, this time of a range of complex textiles draped over a chair. I find textiles a real challenge, although I think I am getting there, but not really knowing how.
Change of medium. This is a black ballpoint pen sketch of hazel nuts. I really like the feel of ballpoint as you draw, but it has to be a Bic Biro. Nothing else feels quite as soft.
Colour at last. This is Faber-Castell polychromos coloured pencils on Arches HP watercolour paper. A beautiful combination. The only difficulty is getting a really good depth of colour. The carrot is from our garden, but has been eaten for dinner I’m afraid.
An interesting one day workshop combining these two unlikely media. I’m still unconvinced by water colour pencils. They are OK as pencils, but when water is applied I think the result just looks insipid. But going over it in biro does help. I like the effect of building up layer upon layer of crosshatching. This abstract based on pots is dirt off OK. I need to do more experimenting.
I love sketching with ballpoint pens. To be precise, it has to be a Bic Biro, nothing else works as well in my experience. They aren’t perfect. They can blob and clog up, and the lines and densely shaded areas can have a rather nasty shine. But nothing matches the way it feels when you draw rapidly on good paper. The drag of the point is just about perfect. Textures can be built up through rapid scribbles and crosshatchings. I rediscovered it on my tall ship sailing week in the Canaries last week, where I used it for sketching on the boat, in cafes and on the beach. All I needed were a book and a biro.
Back ashore at a life class this week, I used a bigger sketchbook, but the same biro to do some textured studies .
I do like biro.
Another from the Atlas of Beauty. Different from previous as this is entirely drawn in black Bic biro. A very derided medium. It is superb for quick sketching. The drag on the paper feels perfect and you can build tones from pure black to the lightest grey. Downsides are that you quickly gets globs of ink on the ballpoint, which you must constantly wipe off on a tissue, and it fades. If left in the daylight it can fade almost to invisibility. But in a sketchbook it will outlast you…