Mainly drawings

There was a life drawing day last Saturday – the long pose was set up by a member of the group who loves colour and it was inspired by Matisse apparently – lots of brightly coloured drapery and foliage around the model. Not my cup of tea, and the painting shows it – I even edited it at home, which I very rarely do. On the other hand, the quick poses were good fun – Indian ink and a dip pen somehow focus the mind and eye. Sometimes I think I should stick to drawing…

3 min ink
3 min ink
15 min ink
15 min ink

A propos (sort of) from Citizen Sketcher:

This is why paintings work on the wall, and drawings work in a book. You read a drawing, you view a painting.


drawing before adding wash

Life has been rather full lately, with work and Easter and getting things to exhibitions … but this morning was clear and calm with a thin frost quickly thawing, in the hedges nesting birds singing and squabbling. The hawthorn is in leaf, green in the sun and there are two swallows on the telegraph wires, newly returned from Africa or other points south. The lambs are getting bigger. Spring is sprung. Time to stop and breathe the clean air.

Indian ink and wash with wax resist
Indian ink and wash with wax resist

Childhood influences

It is wonderful when heroes from childhood turn out to be even better than you knew. Vis. Ursula Le Guin – her Earthsea books and later, The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, and later still, Always Coming Home – mind opening, beautifully written. And she is still an inspiration. Listen to this BBC Radio 4 interview.

And another influence that seems to have been more powerful than I realised: One of the books I looked at over and over again when I was at primary school was a Ladybird book, The Story of Joseph. I loved it mainly for the illustrations, and the colours and forms of the drapery stuck with me more than the story. They seemed so three-dimensional. The anatomy probably had an effect too.


Two recent paintings

quick portrait, oils

Painting children is a bit of a challenge, but this was fun. It required use of Indian red, a colour I hadn’t used before.

And since there was paint left on the palette and an alternative board prepared, I thought I’d have another go at drapery:

another study of drapery, oils

Quick, quick, slow – drawings

On Monday it was the private view of an art exhibition at Whinlatter Visitor Centre near Keswick, ‘Celebrating Ospreys’, which includes some of my drawings, including the shadow drawing in an earlier post. The resident ospreys are expected to return soon to breed again.

Here are a couple of quick sketches from that evening.

at the private view
at the private view
private view, again
private view, again

And a slow one – the dip pen seems to encourage a much more careful style, that and the stillness of the subject.

dip pen, Indian ink
dip pen, Indian ink