Friday, 30 September 2011

Glasnevin sketch #1

A rather fantastic graveside monument in Glasnevin cemetery.
 This is the amazing cemetery in Dublin where my Father-in-law now rests, so we go there whenever we can. I had been wanting to do some drawing there for ages. It has some truely beautiful tombs and tombstones, and simply exudes history.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

My drawing roots

The other day I rediscovered my Granddad’s collection of Punch, 26 bound books, each with a theme, still on their book self, covered up and kept safe in our house. As soon as I opened one I realized that this is where my drawing style originates. I can clearly remember being at my Nan’s house (Granddad died when I was very young and my memories of him are few, mostly involving looking down from a park in Coventry at the diesel engines as they competed with the steam engines on the railways) and sitting on the floor in the corner of the room looking at these books on Saturday afternoon before the wrestling came on the TV. 

I have scanned some examples in so you can see the fantastic quality of the illustrations, the variation of the marks and the depth that they create.

Drawing tools

I have had a few questions about what I use to draw with, so here it is. This is my small case for carrying anywhere just-in-case. 

It usually contains the same things. 

I have a propelling pencil. This carries 0.5 lead, soft lead though, usually 2B, with a pack of spare leads. It really is just for a few guide lines at the start of a picture. I do not like to get too hung up on precision with the pencil, better to commit to the pen line as soon as possible. It is a discipline that makes you focus more and stop messing with the sketch. Most of my drawing is accomplished with a Pilot G-Tec-C4, black ink, 0.4 mm nib.

Having inked in some of the sketch I will use Letraset Pantone pens, usually Cool Greys, in three tones.

These ones are 2, 5 & 11; 11 being the darkest. After using the greys I often use graphite sticks to apply some texture to the shadows. This tends to work better if you have paper with a bit of texture to it. Flat paper is useless and water colour paper is too rough. The best thing I have found so far is paper made from left over unbleached cotton from the garment industry pressed flat and made into Sari sketchbooks, but most artists’ sketch books have a roughness to the paper. 

The Titan is good soft graphite while the Koh-I-Noor is harder but water soluble so you can smudge it with a wet finger. The knife is to trim the graphite’s.

One new thing I have found is the Pilot Parallel Pen.

 This is a bit like a calligraphy pen. It uses two flat plates for the nib with the ink passing between them. This gives a stable broad line that varies in thickness according to the angle of the pen and amazingly you can turn the nib on its side to use the corner for a very thin line. Great fun and very versatile, it was this pen that gave the tentacle picture that brush like line. 

Nice to have that technique in your pocket as a pen.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Two old sketches (100 X 140). The first is an old crane by the side of the Bridgewater canal, Broadheath Manchester.

This one is trees in the Whitworth gallery park. It is drawn with a soft graphite stick and thin pen to tidy up the edges.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

This was done in the Manchester Art Gallery. I was looking at a set of paintings of foggy Manchester by Adolphe Valette. The sketch (100 X 140) is an composite of elements from several of the paintings.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Is is one of the old cranes that overlook the docks in Bristol, drawn between shows at the Encounters festival last year. (100 X 140)

A nice sketch of a tentacle drawn in a bar late one night during the Encounters festival last year. (100 X 140).

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Here are two sketches (100 X 140 mm) of Stoke on Trent station done last year during a drawing class.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Here are some very quick sketches of the view from the Budenburg apartments in Broadheath, looking out towards the sun setting behind Partington chemical refinery. Strangely beautiful in a ‘Quatermass II’-kind-of-way.

Monday, 5 September 2011

More drawings, this time on brown paper. This provides a 'ground' for the drawing. Sometimes it is good not to work strainght onto a plain white sheet.

I mostly use Pantonegrey's and Graphite for shading and this also works well onto the brown paper.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Just unearthered some old designs, mostly needing shading to finish them off. This was about six years ago when I had an idea for a modified game using the Unreal engine and featuring sci fi nuns with guns. Still sounds like fun to me!
Here is a couple of them;

This next one uses phantom limbs of invisible energy to link its limbs together, hence the empty areas between arms, legs and body.