Location Day at Christchurch Harbour

10/06/15

The Old Mill, Christchurch Harbour Sketch and notes 11.45-12.15 Pencil in A4 sketchbook

The Old Mill, Christchurch Harbour
Sketch and notes
11.45-12.15
Pencil in A4 sketchbook

My local art society run various trips, demonstrations and the like. On this day a few intrepid painters and sketchers ventured down the Christchurch Harbour in Dorset.  It was a lovely sunny day with some fair weather cloud and very blustery! After meeting up and chatting over tea and coffee (for far too long!), we dispersed to find sheltered spots to set up.

I thought I’d do some sketching to warm up and chose, probably, the hardest subject, the Old Mill. The old spectre of perspective in old buildings came back to haunt me but I think I got down the gist of it, plus a quick snap to refer to, should I want to try a painting.

As an antidote, I did a little people/seagull/dog watching and sketching for 20 minutes or so before I was rallied for lunch.

Quick sketches 1 Drawing pen in A4 sketchbook

Quick sketches 1
Drawing pen in A4 sketchbook

 

 

Generally, a few people were milling around, sitting on park benches and watching the world go by and I was pretty much unnoticed.  A few early diners were congregating at the nearby cafe and generally chatting and warming up with hot drinks.

Quick sketches 2 Drawing pen in A4 sketchbook

Quick sketches 2
Drawing pen in A4 sketchbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a quick bite to eat and a warm up out of the wind, we returned to more or less the same spot (the only shelter with a good view) and I set up my oil paints.  I had brought along a couple of small prepared boards with a neutral acrylic ground and decided to work no more than an hour(ish) on each. One view was down river towards Tuckton and the other was out to the headland of Hengistbury and Mudeford. Here I was trying to work on tone and atmosphere and was almost there but I made the quay side much too dominant. It also, whilst being put it to one side, took off in a gust of wind and landed in the water! Luckily, it landed face down and being oil didn’t absorb much water and just floated – it eventually made its way closer to the wall and a colleague managed to hook it with his stick. That’s working en plein air for you! (A fellow painter working in watercolour wasn’t so lucky – his work sank without trace.)

Christchurch Harbour 1 hour oil sketch no 1 Oil on prepared mount-board 36x25cm

Christchurch Harbour 1 hour oil sketch no 1
Oil on prepared mount-board
36x25cm

The next sketch was towards the headland with several dinghies from the sailing club in the foreground.  Boats can be tricky, especially when being blown this way and that by gusts of wind – I had to choose a position and stick to it.

Christchurch Harbour 1 hour oil sketch no 2 Oil on prepared canvas board 30x25cm

Christchurch Harbour 1 hour oil sketch no 2
Oil on prepared canvas board
30x25cm

 

Experimenting with and Developing a Life Drawing

08/05/15

I recently attended a life class where we explored an area of a whole pose that may have interest in itself.  The original drawing made in class is below:

Gill - life class 02/05/15 Enlarged area of pose 1 Charcoal

Gill – life class
02/05/15
Enlarged area of pose 1
Charcoal

 

I really liked this drawing with the tonal contrast showing musculature, the composition itself and the shock of red curls our model had.

In my A4 sketchbook, I made a couple of smaller sketches exploring the composition further by cropping close to the figure and then redrawing in water-soluble inks and pens.

Small sketches from life drawing 1 x pencil and 1 x colour water-soluble media A4 Sketchbook

Small sketches from life drawing
1 x pencil and 1 x colour water-soluble media
A4 Sketchbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanting to bring some vibrancy and colour to a larger painting (A2), I decided to splash and drip acrylic inks in a yellow, red and blue, not only as primary colours but as an inclination to 3 tones ie yellow for light, red for medium and blue for darker tone. These were mainly to provide background interest. I then used acrylic paint, a transparent  burnt sienna to draw the figure loosely with a large brush, using a white as the burnt sienna in itself was too transparent in places to be a strong enough light and a blue to increase the darks.  In one half of my mind the result is a mess, in the other half, it’s bright and appealing, dare I say exciting?  My favourite part is the hair, tonally it works with the blue darkening the burnt sienna and the red lifting glowing highlights.  I enjoyed just letting it happen and will look again at how I can use the initial drawing. I have so many life drawings now, it’s a shame not to develop them further.

Developed painting from life drawing Acrylic inks and paints A2 Acrylic paper

Developed painting from life drawing
Acrylic inks and paints
A2 Acrylic paper

 

My Own Projects: Ideas for Development

Ideas for Development

06/03/15

060315 Prelim sketches

060315 Prelim sketches

 

Series of self portraits as a comment on global events. Rather a grand statement but the intention is to simplify opinion with gesture and facial expressions.  Initially, making sketches in preparation – I have a high level composition in mind. Work in progress.

 

 

 

Lino Cuts using Life Drawings
Loose idea of three colour or tonal scheme of lino cuts using life drawings from classes.  Inspired by article in Artists & Illustrators magazine, April 2015 issue 350 by Chris Daunt using a technique explored by Picasso.

Monoprints
Last year I attended a monoprinting workshop ran by my portrait and life drawing tutor, Mike Bragg.  He thought it would be good for me as it is a more painterly way of printing.  I had never done this before but found it a most enjoyable day.  We were encouraged to work into these prints further at home to make each original from the master. In the workshop, we had a life model in the morning to work from, and then worked with our sketches in the afternoon.  I have an embryonic idea of combining this technique with still life with a Patrick Caufield inspired twist – it may or may not work, it may also work better with lino cut. I was very inspired by my research into Patrick Caufield in Drawing 1 and like to include cast shadows in my work if appropriate.