I don’t like Burne Jones that much, but he was a superb draughtsman. His figure of Andromeda is outstanding, if questionable. Her choice is to be eaten by a dragon, or given as a sexual possession to the stranger who turned up to take that possession. I think her pose indicates her feelings about this Hobson’s choice, so maybe Burne Jones thought the same. Her hand positions seem to indicate that she knows what comes next.
I decided to make a straight, gridded-up copy of her in pencil, largely as a challenge to see if I could capture a coloured oil painting in monochrome graphite.
I was pleased with the way it was working out, so I bought myself some really soft pencils and finished her. I left out the chains, partly because they are really hard to draw, but largely because I hate the idea of chains and restraint. The rendering of her feet is astonishing, and I find feet really difficult to draw, so I worked hard to see how EBJ drew them. Cleaned up, she almost looks like an engraving.
Sometimes I doodle just by dotting with a fine tip fiber pen. Usually with inconsequential results, but sometimes it works well. This cormorant was drawn from memory after a visit to a lake. The dotting allows you to correct it as you go along. The red seals just set it off.
This shark was more considered, based on a couple of photographs. I used a grey pen for the water, which worked better than I had hoped for. This was a birthday card for a fishing son.
I went to Slimbridge two or three times a week during November and early December, and really worked on my bird drawing. Mainly dry media although I still take all of my watercolour kit with me . I find it hugely satisfying.
The drawing process itself is thoroughly enjoyable , but you also learn so much more about the birds just by studying them so closely and intently for a long period. The colour and pattern on some of the birds , such as shelduck or lapwings , is just staggering. Even drab looking greylag geese have the most beautiful feather patterns.
I haven’t used simple pencil drawing all that much, but over the last few weeks I’ve been falling in love with it. First at Susan Kester’s drawing class, where we were simply practising gridding a photograph to produce an accurate copy of it. I used a photo I had taken of Furzey island in Poole Harbour over the summer. Susan showed me a technique for skidding the pencil over the paper to produce feathery marks, and I was hooked.
I think, as for most artists , it is the range of tones you can produce which is so satisfying . Not just with different pencil grades, but with careful use of a putty rubber to knock back certain areas.
The next was simply drawing what was in front of us , in this case some basic Christmas bits and pieces on the table. The silver bauble brought out my inner Escher as it were.
Again this is all about tones and marks.
There will be more…
E were working in charcoal this week. Rubbing it in to blacken the paper, drawing into that with a rubber to create the basic shapes and finally adding some white chalk for highlights. Drawing eggs and stripes…
I’ve started a series of drawing sessions with Susan Kester in Chalford. Just drawing what is in front of us, with guidance from her. I used charcoal to produce this plant, which is quite reasonable I think.
Not a great deal of art recently, due to travel and general indolence. I managed to leave it too late to register for my usual Tuesday afternoon life class in Cirencester. I had delayed because I was getting fed up with their very limited choice of models. The same one kept coming again and again. Now I will have to use the Stroud Life drawing groups evening sessions . They seem to have no problems with getting almost unlimited models . The woman who modeled last Tuesday had come from Cardiff .
The two sketchbook poses are the first and last ones. The other two were done on better quality pastel paper . I am disappointed with the paper in the sketch book , which is to shiny to take more than one layer of chalk. The chalk “pencils” I have tried are also a bit disappointing , especially the white, which seems to have gritty inclusions. I need to invest in some new pastels and paper .