This is probably completely the wrong thing to write about on my artist site but it’s my site and so I can do what I want. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been enjoying a bit of knitting in the evening. For some unknown reason I have wanted to challenge myself to knit a pair of socks, something I thought not many people did any more but surprisingly when I started exploring this on the net, I found thousands of dedicated sock knitters. Who knew? One blogger “Winwick Mum” had set up a “sock along” last year and had posted how to knit socks and a clearly written sock pattern which was downloadable free from her blog. So, I’ve been following this along with a very fluorescent yarn especially for socks which I bought in a local yarn shop. Sock number one is knitted and I’m just about to turn the heel on sock number two. So far so good. But then, I happened to find another yarn store in Oxford. www.oxfordyarnstore.co.uk and as I was in Oxford, I popped in. Wow! I was completed pulled in by all the colour ways that were available in lots of yarn but particularly sock yarn. I came home with the skein you can see in the picture and initially intended to knit another pair of socks with it. This is hand painted yarn and the wool is really, really soft, forget any preconceptions you’ve got about real wool being scratchy and itchy. This just isn’t. Anyway, it’s the colours that get me and that’s probably partly why I’m writing about it on my artist page. I’m considering knitting a small shawl with it or something similar to show off the colour changes rather than socks but haven’t yet decided. When I do, I’ll make sure and come back to post the results. It’s also got me thinking about how to incorporate these sort of colours into my art……
This week I have continued to work on flowers. Above is a pencil sketch of a bunch of flowers in a vase which had started to look past their best but I thought the withering leaves were interesting to draw and made different shapes.
A fun exercise was to do a copy of the famous Sunflowers painting by Van Gogh. As this is originally an oil painting and I had a small canvas available, I thought it would be fun to copy it in oils. I started by sketching in charcoal and then completed the painting in water soluble oils (something Van Gogh certainly never used). I had lots of fun with it and am actually really pleased with the result and it makes me want to try an original picture of flowers but in a similar loose style.
This week I made a start on flowers and plants by doing a couple of drawings of daffodils. To be honest, I quite like the pencil drawing of the open daffodil and that came together quite easily but the one in partial bud was tricky to get right and I ended up rubbing it out a few times till the paper got too grubby and I gave it up as a bad job. Shame, but you can’t get it right all the time, I suppose.
So, having been working in black and white for weeks, I just fancied a bit of colour so pulled out the water colour pencils to do the second drawing. It’s not bad but when I looked at it again, it looked to me like the middle of the open flower was sitting on one of the petals rather than in the middle which put me right off. Neither of these pics will make it to my gallery. Hey Ho! We were away again at the weekend so I didn’t spend as much time as I wanted to or should on drawing this week and I’m very late posting this blog but as I sit here today, I’m just about to get my pencils out and get drawing.
I’m a bit late uploading a picture and blog for this week. I had a couple of challenges with picture sizes and the hosting space on my site, which I’m hopeful I’ve now resolved so I should be back to my normal weekly blog recording the progress on my art course. Phew!
So, this week I was working on my second assignment. The still life from last week and the pen and ink drawing here make up the two submissions which I will be sending into my tutor later today. The assignment was to do a pen and ink drawing of a garden, a back yard or a park of some kind. As it’s early February and we’re battling lots of winds and storms here over the last couple of weeks, I didn’t too much fancy spending lots of time out of doors. I did give it a go and walk out to our local war burial site but it was so cold, with no where to sit and my sketch book being blown around it wasn’t too much fun.
So, I ended up back in the warm drawing the view from my living room window. It’s not too inspiring at this time of year, the garden is pretty devoid of colour but the shapes and relative perspective of one thing in front of the other was pretty challenging. I’m reasonably happy with the result but it’s not a picture I’d put on my wall. Still, that’s not really the point at the moment.
I’m now about to move onto the next module which is on plants and flowers. I quite like drawing flowers so I’m looking forward to this week’s work. Let’s see how I get on.
As part of my next assignment, I was tasked to create a still life and make a tonal drawing using pencil or charcoal with a theme of abundance. There were a lot of different textures to capture, the shiny paper on the chocolates were particularly difficult I found. Still I really enjoyed making the drawing and am pleased with the result.
Next week, if the weather improves, I’m hoping to get out and do some drawing out of doors. Fingers crossed.
This week, I’ve been getting back to grips with using an dip ink pen; one where you dip the nib into a bottle of ink to charge the pen. I’ve also been exploring the different textures and marks you can make with ink rather than the line drawing that I’ve been doing on the course so far. Here is one of the exercises I completed this week of a nuthatch clinging to a tree. I was quite pleased with it!
This week I began to remind myself all about one, two and multiple point perspective through sketching some room interiors. It might be obvious to you but I had a light bulb moment in that if you’re looking at the corner of a room (your eye line and focal point) then you have to use two point perspective. On my course, the notes said that typically when sketching an interior of a room, you would use one point perspective and by chance I’d begun to sketch the above picture of my kitchen but at an angle and of course, one point perspective wouldn’t work. I naturally used two point perspective and then was confused when I read the tutor notes. A quick “google” soon revealed that one point perspective would be right only if the back wall of the room opposite was on the same plane as you. This is the case in the drawing of the living room below. So, I’ve got that now!
I’ve also begun to prepare some drawings to send in to my tutor for comment at the end of units one and two. The line sketch of two leaves, one in pencil and one in ink is the first exercise I need to submit. The drawing of the room below, using one point perspective, is the second. I’m slowly beginning to feel more confident in my drawing again. I’ve got a couple more exercises to complete to submit and then I can get on with module 3 which is all about pen and ink. I’m looking forward to moving on from the basic drawing exercises of these first modules.
It’s not been a week where I’ve been able to spend too much time on the course as we have been away visiting family. So, here is one of the pen line studies that I did get done. I plan to really get stuck in next week so hopefully, there will be more things to share.
The course details arrived this week so I’ve been beginning to do some drawing again, starting with this quick line sketch of a still life. I’ve also been practising my “scales” with free hand straight lines of about 4 inches each, as well as curves and angles.
After many years working in Corporate land and only painting as a hobby, I have recently given up my job to concentrate fully on painting. I am about to start a course to help me further develop my artistic voice and plan to record my experiences and development here on my blog.
I’m also learning how to build my online presence with my own website at the same time and so will share the progress of that here too.