Week Twelve – Animals and Portraiture

New Forest pony

This week has been a mix of animals and portraiture. I started out continuing exploring drawing animals in ink with the sketch of the New Forest pony. They are a fairly unique shape which is quite hard to capture and, to my mind, always look a little sad. I found I was really enjoying the scribble method I was using to capture the pony’s grey coat and have continued to explore this further during the course of this week.

Peacock colour pencil study

I then started a drawing of a peacock which I’d taken a photograph of on a visit to Castle Howard, near York, last weekend. The fantastic peacock tail feathers were past their best but he was still a magnificent colour and I enjoyed trying to capture his colours and shapes with my water colour pencils.

John ink sketchJohn pen and ink from life

Moving on with exploring pen and ink, I began some portraiture and have completed two picture of John, the first from a photo taken earlier this year and the second a quick study from life whilst he was watching tv. Both of these studies were completed in ink without the benefit of sketching in pencil first. So, they are complete, errors and all and to be honest I’m quite pleased with them and with the likeness I’ve managed to achieve.

 

Weeks Ten and Eleven – All about Kaya

Kaya quick pencil study

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on drawing animals (and been away on a short break to the New Forest so less drawing time available). I wanted to draw a really good picture of my son’s dog Kaya. She is still a puppy and really cute but she is going to be a very big dog when she’s fully grown and is already about the size of a labrador. She is a Malamute which is similar to a Huskie but she doesn’t have blue eyes. They are very good sled pulling dogs, apparently. Anyway, I started with the quick pencil sketch you can see at the top of the post and have just completed the pen and ink drawing you can see below. The sketch is a fairly small image which I did in an hour or so in my sketch book whereas the pen and ink one is A2 size and was done ready to be framed. Hopefully my son and his girlfriend will like it. I may use this one as my submission in the next module of my course; the other option is a drawing of a horse so I might have a go at that next.

Kaya pen and ink

 

Week Nine – Flowers continued

Tulips in the style of Van Gogh

This week I spent some time on a slightly abstracted study of some sunflowers. initially this started as a charcoal sketch but I started to play with colour using water soluble pencils. The cartridge paper I was drawing on wasn’t the best for this and has resulted in a rather wrinkly image which might flatten a bit more when it’s thoroughly dried. I had been inspired to try this by the Van Gogh sunflower copy I did last week in oils and I think this image could work quite well as an oil painting too so I might work that up at some time.

Week Eight – More flowers and a bit of Van Gogh

Flowers study

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.

Sunflowers after Van Gogh

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.

Week Seven – Flowers and plants

Daffodils pencil

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.

Daffodils colour

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.

Week Six – Back to pen and ink

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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.

Week Five – Still Life

Still Life

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.

Week Four – Pen and Ink

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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!

Week Three – Perspective

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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.

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