Sunday, 31 July 2011

A wonderful article in Sunday's Telegraph about a new book "Colour Moves: Art and Fashion" by Sonia Delauney -- her work is bold and geometric. Definitely another addition to my bedside table pile.

Day 5

I'm amazed to hear myself rave about the effects of sponging a small page with Koh-I-Noor. Sadly the scan doesn't do justice to the rich pear-skin colours --yellow, orange, red. I had also hoped sponging would replicate the stippling on the pear's skin, but the colours have bled into each other. Beneath the colour is Sarah Raven's recipe for Poached Pears -- delicious. Over the top, first in pencil then in ink are the pears -- individually not "in pairs", one disappearing off the page. I like this cropping idea leaving things half-hidden. The cross-hatching needs much, much more work -- not subtle enough, the transitions too marked. Pares, pairs as well as pears sprang to mind and I've added these along the curves. Lots of scope for drawing/text interplay. I'll keep a list of ideas on the opposite page.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Day 4

The second of my pears and arranged at a different angle. Again the comfort blanket of the 5B pencil, but tried to show a difference between the character of the lines -- at times holding the pencil sketchily and at others more vertically and with greater pressure. Also this time applied more pressure to the shading. For the second pear I used a fine waterproof Lettraset pen, having placed guide marks first. Not at all happy with the result -- too much already on the page and I only succeeded in creating a muddle. The second go (stuck on top of the first) used the fine pen to enhance a pencil outline. This dual step will help bridge my way to using pen on its own. I like the sense of 3D and the detailing achieved at the base of the pear.

A second go at the pear. This time with a 5B pencil, much easier to control, though I do recognise the need to work in pen. The shape is more accurate but the soft finger-blended shading hardly shows on the blog.
Labels: Pear

I decided to stay with the graphite stick and the ammonite, using the matching-sized paper to rest it on and marking its outer extremities. I felt more sure-handed this time and applied more pressure. And because I'm more familiar with the object included more detail -- lines and a little shading. On to the pear, using a permanent (a mistake I think as it came through the paper and I was very tempted to tear it out) pen. Moral: know how your equipment works. The outline roughly matches, but the attempt at shading isn't convincing.Labels: Day 3

Thursday, 28 July 2011

I'm very attracted to the idea of synchronicity. Take, for example the book "Complications: a surgeon's notes on an imperfect science" by Atul Gerwande, borrowed from my daughter's Nevada bookshelf. Gerwande drew my attention to the fact that potential surgeons are selected for their tenacity rather than their skill, which can be taught. Chiming with this idea is the experience of photographer Dorothy Bohm whose retrospective I visited at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. Her father's Leica was thrust into her hands as she made her exodus from Konigsburg in Prussia aged sixteen. It was her determination which made her a photographer not only successful enough to provide for her husband through his years of studying for a chemistry doctorate but throughout her very long career -- she's eighty-five. Some might say it's not synchronicity so much as an extra nudge to get working, though after Urchfont I shouldn't need anything more!
Labels: Synchronicity

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Days 1 and 2

Summer Sketchbook Project

If this is a race, I'm in desperate straits as I'm only making a start today. However, I do have a reason -- not an excuse, you understand -- I'm in recovery from our son's wedding in Ireland, a five day affair and very lively.

I've chosen two items to draw, a single hydrangea flower (a wedding relic) and an ammonite. Neither were easy though I felt happier with the ammonite. I used a graphite stick as a measure to try to get the proprtions right, even so I haven't been able to convey any sense of 3D or the lovely crisp dried beauty of the original. The ammonite's form is bolder and maybe that helped. I must admit to taking a photograph of both after the drawing exercise and realised how little, as yet, my eyes are noticing.

I also think the strips of tissue and other papers seem to dominate. Could it be the glue I'm using? Would Pritt be better than PVA?