Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Reflection on the brook

I pass by this view of the brook that runs through my village most days. In the summer the grass and iris plants grow tall and lush, but in winter the structure of the trees and the path of the stream is easier to see, and the reflections become quite dramatic. What a contrast weather conditions can make to a view, a winters morning and a snowy frozen morning:

I have started a charcoal drawing of the scene, and thinking about how I love to see other peoples work develop in a step by step way, I decided to show this drawing as it progresses:

Marking out the structure
Adding a graphite wash

Building tones

Tonal correction to the middle distance
There are some branches and some serious work to do on the reflections, which I hope to show next post...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Charcoal Sketch of Coppiced Lime

Another foray into sketching with my new Nitram charcoal led me to working with my photos from Westonbirt of the 2000 year old lime. I thought the dramatic lines of the logs and stumps would suit charcoal well, but its proved harder than I thought. I've put the drawing away for a couple of weeks and looking at it again I can see some potential:

Coppiced lime - 1st state, Nitram charcoal

Hockney's charcoal sketches
But then I got my Hockney book out and looking at his drawings of felled trees makes me think that I need more tonal seperation. I'm not ready to give up on this one yet, there will need to be second chapter to this piece before its done.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

December Walk

I've had quite a delay between posts because I lost the Browse button on my image upload page. Blogger posted that it would be fixed this week, but it still hasn't been fixed - frustrating! I have now tried the conversion to HTML to upload images, and then back to Compose to edit the blog and this has worked fine for me ... this time...

This is a post I began writing a fortnight ago...

A little late for a December posting, but the Altered book has just gone in the (royal mail) post and now I've got time to (blog) post.

December walk opening page

December walk - in the middle of the walk

December has been very wet in our neck of the woods, and has left some very deep marks on our landscape. An Artist friend, Zoe Heath, had recently demonstrated some lovely techniques at the school where I teach, and I have incorporated some into the textures she uses into this book.

December walk end page

The paths have been deeply rutted, wet rich soil has been been clinging to our boots, and the dog's feet. I needed richer textures and heavy marks which the monoprint and shellac combined were happy to provide.

My next book walk may need to respond to the forecast snow and ice.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Rainy charcoal challenges

The New Year brings the promise of new work and looking at things with a new eye, maybe!
The weather has certainly had its influence on the way I've been looking at my landscape. Everywhere is so wet, either flooded or standing in water. Paths and places that I am familiar with are turned into streams, and are changing their shape. The work over the next few weeks will have a different feel... I'll have to get my head, and my pencils/charcoal around drawing water, good to have a new challenge.

A softly trodden path through trees which had a dreamy look in summer has taken on a new sodden character over the last month.

Interesting how some images contain very neat compositions within them isn't it.
An interesting irony that charcoal - made by fire/intnse heat - can capture water.