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.

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