I did some gesture drawings of heads when I was out and about in Swansea earlier. Gesture drawings are ones that are done very quickly, capturing the essence of the subject, zooming in on the most important details.
The drawing on the left was done in a few seconds, way under a minute and the others took perhaps a couple of minutes each. No more. I used a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S into my little spotty sketchbook, size A6.
It’s been one of those days where time just speeds by. I spent this morning catching up with housework before I disappeared under a pile of mess. This afternoon I spent with my delightful extended family at a summer fête. I managed a few very quick scribbles of some of the face-painted little tykes before I was roped in to run the ‘Guess The Teddy’s Name’ stall.
Off to water the allotment this evening because the heatwave is still with us and then onto the beach to catch the high tide for a dip. Chilly!!!! Then back to do a couple of head studies from Burne Hogarth’s book on dynamic anatomy. And now blogging with a cup of hot blackcurrant cordial. I made it last weekend from our glut of blackcurrants on the allotment. We picked about 7 kilos and left about a kilo for the birds.
Carrying on with studying the head, I did a couple more drawings from the Burne Hogarth book, ‘Dynamic Anatomy’ then I pressganged Husb into posing again. I continued to work in greys and white over a black ground, using mostly a large soft brush in the Markers app on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8.
I managed to squeeze the drawings in this evening after loads of cooking: a dozen chocolate cupcakes, a Victoria Sandwich and a couple of jars of blackcurrant butter. Then a trip to the allotment and a dip in the sea and a workout on the free beach gym. Busy day :-)
Had a long day starting with the fabulous Uplands Market this morning then an exciting trip to Llanelli to buy jam pot covers because there don’t seem to be any on sale in Swansea followed by a workout on the beach at the open air gym and then up to the opening of the new Galerie Stephanie. And I made 4 jars of summer fruits in brandy.
I finally got time to do a sketch and as I want to focus on drawing heads for a couple of weeks, Husb had to do modelling duty. I’m trying out a different technique with the Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8, using the free Markers app. I’m laying down a dark grey background with a large soft brush then working over with white, black and greys, again with the large soft brush, adding fine linework at the end in black and white.
I’m concentrating on drawing heads for the next couple of weeks. I need the practice so last night at the life drawing group, I focused on getting a likeness of the model. I drew with a Derwent sketching pencil size 4B into an A3 Daler Rowney sketchbook.
Our model has a very distinctive face and great hair and beard. I find facial hair a real challenge to draw because it’s hard to see the underlying structure.
Today, I spent some time doing technical studies of heads from Burne Hogarth’s book on dynamic anatomy and then went off to the beach. I squeezed into a tankini and went for a dip in Swansea Bay. It’s the first time I’ve taken the plunge in years. It was gorgeous. I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. Yes I do. It’s because the weather is usually awful. I covered myself with sunscreen so I wouldn’t turn puce like I did the other day.
It’s a heatwave. The temperature is in the upper 20s which means that British men flock to the beaches and strip off as much as they can get away with and still stay legal. I’m working in my Daler Rowney A sketchbook with a Derwent sketching pencil size 4B.
So much male flesh on show, some men obviously take pride in roasting their beer bellies and moobs in the midday sun. And unfortunately, Budgie Smugglers didn’t go out in the 1970s.
What is it about we pale skinned Brits that whenever the temperature rises to anything hotter than lukewarm, we strip off as many clothes as we can legally get away with and broil ourselves under the hot sun? I went for a stroll on Swansea Beach this afternoon and it was pretty full of people roasting themseles to various shades of pink – salmon, peach, puce, cerise, magenta, fuschia, candy, Barbi, strawberry, blush, lobster, livid red, third degree burns!
I stopped for a scribble in my little A6 spotty sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S. I hadn’t been at it long when I noticed my legs hurting and looked down to see two puce appendages sticking out of the bottom of my cut-off leggings, clashing horribly with my purple pumps. Ychyfi! (That’s Welsh for Yuck). Maybe I’ll get myself a burkini.
It’s probably been the hottest day of the year so far, in the upper 20sC and the cat is sleeping on a fleecy blanket on top of the hot water boiler! And she wears a fur coat! I ended up in the kitchen for hours making jam. There’s been a glut of blackcurrants on the allotment so jamming is stage 1 in the preservation process. Some have been bagged and frozen and the rest will be converted to cordial tomorrow.
I did a quick digital scribble of Ming the Merciless as she slept on the boiler, using the free Markers app on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8.
Husb and I spent most of today down the allotment, digging, harvesting, weeding, laying slabs, pruning, watering. It was boiling hot and we’re shattered. A hot bath with Epsom Salts helped to ease the aches. I wasn’t in the mood to do any drawing but I’ve set myself the goal of drawing every day so I got stuck into my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 using the free Markers app.
Husb was looking at his Tablet and it was highlighting his face in the dark living room. I put in a dark grey background and worked quickly in black, white and greys.
It’s different to the way I normally work and that’s because I was too tired to bother. But I like this. A happy accident.
I’ve been working at Creative Bubble artspace this week, trying out some different approaches to my sketchbook drawings. I have possibly thousands of them and I want to see if I can develop original work from some of the sketches. I also wanted to work big and to try and get away from my linear comfort zone.
Creative Bubble is an artspace run by the University of Wales Trinity St. Davids aka the art college. Graduates and art students can book to use the space to develop their artistic pursuits. I’ve been working here with the 15 Hundred Lives collective for a couple of days a month for the past year and we throw open the door to the public, so people can wander in and see what it is that artists do and how we create an artwork from scratch.
I did three large drawings from my sketches, working with willow charcoal, compressed charcoal and chalk onto brown wrapping paper. I spent a lot of time thinking and researching theory during the process. I need to carry on pushing in this direction, it feels right but I’m a long way from where I want to be.