Monday 17 September 2012

Sunday 16 September 2012

...not Reed Richards, but definitely Fantastic..!

I'd been planning a Downham Market 2013 Calendar for some time - an illustration of 'Reeds homestore' is hopefully the last drawing I need before I can complete the design and artwork. 

'Town Hall' cover design for Downham Market 2013 Calendar.

I pitched up my easel opposite Reeds and began laying out the preliminary shapes of the building. Owing to my point of view, and the fact that Reeds was sweeping up and down Bridge Street  I could see that I was developing a somewhat exaggerated perspective within the drawing. When I returned to the studio I considered correcting it somehow, but thought better of it - 'What I see is what you get'.

Working from photo ref on mac allows me to enlarge images.

I normally work with an H pencil on Bristol Board or HP Watercolour paper. This gives me a clean sharp line, great for detail and no smudging or build up of graphite on the paper. 
On this occassion I used a paper I had not used before - simply because I done run out of the other stuff - and why not? 
While drawing on the heavier Sanders Waterford paper I noticed that the H pencil lines were not as apparent as on other surfaces, and I was not able to build up the layer of detail that I'm accustomed to. 

General shapes and details clarified and reinforced with dad's old pencil...

Working in the studio from reference I looked around for a softer pencil to use - and came up with an unused 50 year old souvenir pencil from my dad's restaurant way back in the good old 1960's! 
I had been saving the pencil as a memento of the days when I was often drafted in at a moments notice to wash dishes. I was quite experienced at the time, having previously served my time balanced atop an orange box or beer crate faced with a lunchtime's worth of dinner plates...

Elements added to left, right and foreground of main building enhances overall composition.

On the pencil here was a drawing of Santa followed by the inscription: 


I took out a Stanley knife and cut a sharp point into lead and I was ready and raring to go - and what a difference! Now I could see what I was doing. Invariably a change from traditionally used media encourages (forces) you to try different methods which can be quite rewarding, and certainly gets you seeing things in another way.  
I don't do that very often, but it is refreshing when I do.
Whether it's sentiment or not I felt that - like a figure in a block of marble - this drawing of Reeds was in that pencil all that time and waiting come out... 

That's a long time.

Saturday 15 September 2012

...all a matter of perspective...

Having agreed to begin teaching one point perspective this week, I thought it best to set up a couple of still lifes for those either already in the know regarding vanishing points and horizon lines, or those that prefer to paint and draw or work on their own projects. 

Positively vibrating off the page street...

How Ann managed to set up shop, drive back home to Downham, collect certain materials, get back and still produce the vase and flowers above as well as she has - well - I'll have some of what she's having for breakfast... 
Although I have no photos of Pamela's paintings and drawings she executes at home - well done for producing some great work! 

Precarious Olympic themed if not Olympic standard still life.

In the wake of the Olympics I'd cycled to the village hall. Having set up the newly arranged flowers at top, I was wondering what to use as the more complex, possibly non organic second still life - and then inspiration hit me! 
For any health and safety enthusiasts out there, during the class the bike was set up on a larger table, ensuring it wouldn't be setting any new world records knocking out any prospective Picasso's or David Hockney's.   
I don't recall seeing any drawings or paintings of the bike as it happens - maybe I'll try it again next week. 
Or not. 

Preliminary sketch of the village hall's one point perspective.

Having worked with perspective for sometime myself it's easy to forget how complex and mystifying a subject it can be. Owing to the extreme effect hard and sharp perspective can have on our immediate environment, it can often be difficult for a beginner to reconcile the appearance of visual anomalies with basic perspective.
Providing a building or group of buildings have been built 'squarely' with a common architectural line - all straight lines receding from the viewer will inevitably converge into one single vanishing point. The same can be said of skyscrapers and city blocks if you are looking upwards in the city. 
Again all straight lines receding from the viewer will inevitably converge into one single vanishing point among the stars. 
The single vanishing point is immediately ahead or above where ever you are looking.

Hilgay village hall with traced perspective lines.

Take a photo of any one point perspective scenario and trace the receding lines until they meet at the vanishing point. 
The blue line from left to right is the eye line or horizon line.

...Bendish. Barton Bendish...

Apologies for the lateness with my hagblog for our last meeting - or any other bog for that matter. I've been concentrating on drawing rather than blogging (or anything else), but it's coming. 
This weekend the village of Barton Bendish hold their annual Art and Photography Exhibition. Barton Bendish is the next destination passed Fincham on the right. It's an excellent show and organisers Mhari Blanchfield and Linda Webster kindly asked me to take part again this year, so I must have done something right last time. 

If you can get along I'm sure you'll enjoy it - the village is picturesque and there's a marvellous pub opposite the Village Hall...