A 20 minute sketch of an old Spanish carving I inherited from my parents nearly 30 ears ago. I’ve always loved him.
I found a lovely book in one of our second hand bookshops. A compendium of images of women from the 19th century. All are wood engravings from the likes of the London Illustrated News. The quality of the images is astounding. I am trying to copy several of them, just to see how they did it.
It is near impossible to accurately mimic them in pen. They are essentially white lines engraved onto a black background. With pen it is the reverse, black on white. You can reproduce some of the linear work, but crosshatch fails. It goes darker on the pen drawing but lighter on the engraving. I will try to do some copies without trying to follow the linear original later.
Today’s sketch on the right, with last night’s on the left. I have been working over the latter. It is very hard to stop. This is the end of this sketch book. It has slightly rough, 50 year old water colour paper in it, which I didn’t like for drawing on at first, but it is lovely for this style of sketching. The fibre tipped fine liner pen starts to run dry after a bit, which actually improves the drawing. The next sketchbook had smooth paper in it, which I will probably now hate.
I’ve been to my last two water colour classes. Next autumn I am going to a printing class at the Gloucestershire Printing Cooperative for a change and a challenge. The last classes produced some interesting work. First a Klimtish landscape of birch trees, painted using tube water colour, straight from the tube with no water. The trunks were done in white gouache, dragged on with a palette knife. The effect is quite convincing and barely looks like water colour at all.
In the last class, we worked outside behind Cirencester parish church. Pen sketch with quick watercolour washes over. I had taken a folding chair to suit on, but actually found it more comfortable to suit on the ground. Used a light weight sheet of double walled plastic as a drawing board, which worked well.
The result is a bit messy, but not bad overall. I am going on an urban sketching day in Cirencester next week, so this is a preliminary.
I’ve decided that I need to improve my basic drawing skills. To that end I am starting to do a lot of small copies of exemplars, starting with Leonardo da Vinci (may as well start high). It is also something I can do in the evening, perched on a sofa. Most painting requires and easel and all the other technology. Drawing just needs paper and pen.
I love drawing in ink. You are stuck with every line, whereas with pencil you can keep fiddling with it. I love charcoal too, but on a larger scale than this. Not suitable to sofas.
I managed to get down to my boat in Poole harbour at last a couple of weeks ago, coinciding with hot, sunny weather. A very rare coincidence this year. I also managed to do some simple pen sketches from the boat and whilst out walking over the heathland. I have tried turning a few of these into small acrylic paintings, with varying success.
This very simple sketch was quite tricky, as the boat was at anchor and swinging around in the breeze. What I wanted to show in the painting is that the sandy peninsula was caught in bright evening sunlight, whilst the background was quite shadowed. Only partly achieved.
A sketch of a chalk stack called Old Harry’s Wife. (Old Harry himself is far bigger and just out of sight around the corner). Very bouncy anchorage, with the Isle of wight on the horizon. The painting is on a very smooth art board, which I didn’t like all that much. The paint tended to drag off too easily.
The ink sketch was from the same anchorage as Old Harry’s Wife, looking towards Studland village. I coloured the ink sketch in at home, and then produced the acrylic based on that. More an impression rather than an accurate representation.
A quick sketch on Studland beach, which I worked up a couple of weeks later.I find the sea and sand really hard to paint. Once I had the basic layout laid down, I realised I had my viewpoint far too high, so I added the dune in the foreground to make it look balanced. There were far more people on the beach than I show, and I left off all the little tents and windbreaks as I think they are just ugly. It is a most beautiful beach, especially on a hot sunny day.