Saturday, 28 February 2009


Here is something a little different that I produced around a year and a half ago. The Shadowlands were created by drawing using a Wacom Tablet onto the computer. They are designed to be printed at 1m sq. I have two of them printed onto canvas hanging on the walls at home. Each picture took 6 weeks of afternoons to make. The only points of colour in either picture are the red boots of a small triangular man hidden in the landscape. At present I don't have immediate plans to make another as they are extremely labour intensive, and too obsessive for most people to live with on their walls :) Bonus points to anyone who spots the little triangular man in his little red boots...

The Farmer (above) the first in the Shadowlands series.

White Rose the slightly gentler second picture.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Two Dogs

Decided to blog about a one of the pictures that I finished on Tuesday. Called Two Dogs. The initial drawing was made at Claverton Weir. I like creating the effect of sunsets hitting landscapes. At this time you see the world through a tint (in this picture) of bright yellows and oranges. The second dog is hard to make out as the reds and oranges have become over saturated in the reproduction. The dogs have been cut out, painted then added. Collaging figures sets the narrative apart from the rest of the picture. The drawing tends to be loose, intuitive, fast where as the collage is slow and laborious.

Two Dogs (above) created using wax crayon, ink and collage.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Spire of St Swithen's

I find picture making goes in phases. The out and about phase is fun, the hermit like phase intense. Today begins a mini bout of playing the hermit. Hermit life generally involves looking at all the drawings made when out and about and giving them colour. Today i looked at St Swithen's (a picture seen in the Monday blog). I generally get an impression of a colour for a particular area of the picture. The aim is not to think about the colours. The less thinking the better. The hardest part is being open to destroying the picture. Destruction is often where the most creativity is to be had. Colour then can be quite violent. Which is why hermit life is so intense.

The unthinking Spire of St Swithen's (above), still to be finished.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Mbari Portrait

The subject of the portraiture class is Mbari. Mbari is Kenyan with amazing dread locked hair swept forward into a couple of horn shapes. These pictures are around A2 in size. I began with a charcoal drawing which was then fixed and a burnt sienna wash applied. From this point on all the painting is done in acrylics and water colours. In the second Mbari I then went over the painting with charcoal lines for more definition. In the third picture I ran out of time, so didn't manage to tone down the hot colours. Giving the impression of a sun burnt Mbari peeling.

Mbari (above) looking like he has something to say

Soulful Mbari

The last picture. A bored, tired, unfinished Mbari.

The studio with a sitting Mbari

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Abbey Complete

Sat in the Abbey as the organist belted out a practice session. Completed the Friday blog sketch looking towards the Abbeys main doors. Using the dark brown paper as a base meant the colours are very bright in places, although the oranges aren't as loud as the photo looks. The blues and browns are darker.

The Abbey (above) looking towards the main entrance in oil pastels.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Drawing on Cleveland Bridge

Cleveland possibly one of Bath's busiest bridges. Nosily look down into sculptor Peter Hayes studio which is situated on the river bank. The first drawing, with the bridge shaking as lorries trundled over, is the usually story. Beginning with belief, a mid point of doubt and a final hoorah. Finish by attempting to depict the sculptor at work in his yard. Somehow the perspective alludes me, as does the fast moving Peter Hayes.

First view down the river (above), soon to be given a wash of colour in the studio.

Looking up the right bank from the bridge, towards the spire of St Swithen's.

Finally the drawing which went a rye. The manic dark patch is where Peter Hayes kept moving.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Abbey Afternoon

Continued a drawing in the Bath Abbey this afternoon using oil pastels. Growing up in Bath I hardly ever came in here, but its an incredible light airy space. Enjoy sitting in the pews listening to volunteers helping kids doing the Abbey quiz.

Finished drawing (above) looking towards the alter

Beginning of the second sketch (above) this time looking away from the alter

Canal Sketching

Experimenting with wax crayons today as a drawing medium. The oil pastels give a rich creamy colour but are so soft they blunt easily. The over cast sky is drizziling slightly, but thats ok. The canal is looking pleasantly bleak with last years growth rotting away. The bull rushes manage to stay up right even though they are long past it. Enjoy the trip out here riding my sister's bike which is really too small. Make four small drawings all in different coloured crayon. Two are drawn beside Claverton Weir, a horse shoe shaped weir in the bend beside the rail way track. The last drawing is of four cows in a field on the other side of the canal. There are only four cows in the field but they kept moving, so I added a couple more to my drawing. I will post the drawings on my website when finished.

Cows in field