Quick Head

30 Oct

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Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. I did this very quick head study using the free Markers app on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8. I used the smart stylus and my fingers to get the different textures.

Ghost. Cake.

29 Oct

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Yesterday I posted about the new monotype I made, based on a drawing from my travel sketchbook. The monotype process produces an unique piece in full colour, but it’s possible to put a second piece of paper (BFK Rives 250 gsm) through the press and take a secondary ‘ghost’ print which is much paler and more ethereal. The prints are taken in sequence, first the Process Yellow, then the Process Magenta and finally the Process Cyan. Some of the Impressionists, notably Degas and Monet, used to use ghost monotypes as the basis for some of their pastel drawings.

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I had visitors this afternoon. So I made cake. A classic Victoria Sandwich with my homemade loganberry jam. I grow the loganberries in my garden and on our allotment, I’ve never seen them for sale. Husb is piling into what’s left. He takes no prisoners!

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Drama In Rags

28 Oct

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Yesterday I blogged some drawings I’d based on my travel sketchbook during my artist residency in Pakistan earlier this year. Today I developed one of these sketches into a full colour monotype down at Swansea Print Workshop.

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The technique involves inking up a perspex (plexiglass / acetate) plate with oil based printing inks and removing the lighter areas of the image you want to create. It’s a drawing process using all sorts of materials to make marks. In this series of landscapes inspired by the Pubjab I used cotton rag and scrim (tarlatan) for the mark making. This forced me to be very free as I couldn’t do any fine detail and this in turn created a much more dramatic image than I usually do. I’m pleased with the direction I’m going in with these. For more information about this technique, please click here.

Different Direction

27 Oct

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I spent April this year in Pakistan, on an artist residency. It’s taken a few months for me to make sense of the experience. It’s so different to my everyday life in Wales and the art that has been developing out of it has been very different too. I normally work with the human form, either as nudes or figures within cityscapes, but I’m now developing abstracted landscapes based on fleeting impressions I made in my travel sketchbook. I’ve been reinterpreting the sketches in monotype and in more considered drawings, in soft oil pastels onto heavyweight black paper.

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I’ve just framed up this set of four drawings for the Xmas show at Oriel Ceri Richards in the Taliesin Arts Centre. It opens on Friday November the 7th and runs until December the 23rd. These were based on fleeting sketches done during a spectacular thunderstorm on the road between Rawalpindi and Lahore. The colours were extraordinary, totally unlike anything I’d seen before.

Staying In

26 Oct

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After helping out with painting walls at the new Workers’ Gallery in Ynyshir yesterday, today was much more restful. The clocks went back last night so we had a rare lie-in this morning and a lazy day, clearing the last of the runner beans off the allotment – we picked a carrier bag full! Guess what we’ll be eating all week? I also picked kale, chard, rocket, French sorrel and a few straggly carrots.

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So this evening we are cwtched in front of the TV, in our pajamas and I have Sparta Puss on my lap, conveniently placed for a bit of a scribble on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with the free Markers app.

Up The Workers

25 Oct

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I spent a happy day in the Rhondda village of Ynyshir, helping to paint the walls of the village’s new artspace, The Workers’ Gallery. Artists Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams are renovating the village’s old library and will be opening Wales’ newest art gallery next month.

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I nipped outside and stood in the drizzle, having a scribble, looking down the grey stone and slate street at the fiery bracken on the mountain opposite. And I had a bit of a scribble inside too.

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I drew into my A5 leatherbound Steampunk sketchbook with a variety of graphite blocks and Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens. The village name, Ynyshir, is Welsh and translates as Long Island. Ynys is an ancient word, similar to the Irish and Scottish words for island, Ennis and Inish.

A Head In Lines

24 Oct

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Here’s another digital study I did at this week’s life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. I took a different approach with this one and concentrated on line rather than tone. I did this on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 using the free Markers app and drew with the smart stylus.

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Smudgy Finger

23 Oct

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Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. I concentrated on portraiture this evening. I used my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with the free Markers app and used my finger for this study rather than the stylus. It gives a much softer and smudgier effect. I built the drawing by overlaying tones onto a mid grey background.

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In The Beginning

22 Oct

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I’ve been invited to take part in a collaboration between artists in Swansea and across the meltwater in North Devon. I’m starting to plan a new piece of work for it, probably an installation in cyanotype if it works out. I’m beginning with some sketching en plein air so today I took a walk up a local hill to do some drawings and photos of some very specific places that will be relevant to the final artwork. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens in sepia, sizes S, F and B and spent just a few minutes on each. I drew into my A5 leatherbound steampunk sketchbook.

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When I got back home, I put on some tonal washes with the walnut ink I made this week. It’s great stuff to use, very silky and thick, it flows nicely off the brush. It settles out in the jar so I dipped into the top to do the pale wash and then pushed the brush into the thick sediment to do the darker tones. This is where the final artwork begins. I have to work quickly from now on as it has to be finished for exhibiting in January.

Ethereal Ghosts

21 Oct

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This is the last of the four monotypes I made on one day last week. The effort nearly killed me! I’m not young anymore. Anyway, this is the one I’m least happy with. I think it’s because I thought too much about it and tried to do too much detail. I was much freer with the other 3 monotypes and I think they worked better. It’s useful to know.

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The process starts with printing the yellow plate, then overprinting that with the magenta, then finally the cyan, which gives a full colour range because the inks are translucent. The plate and paper are put through the press a second time at each stage to give a second, ‘ghost’, monotype. Some of the Impressionists used to work over their ghost monotypes with oil pastels, notably Degas and Monet, although I generally leave them, I like their ethereal quality.

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