Sunday, 29 May 2011

New project and challenges

Sharon and I have been talking about how we could get to do some more illustration rather than just drawing exercises. It is difficult to fit into our busy lives as illustration often requires more research and sketches than a simple drawing exercise would do.

I have come up with an idea - we will try to have a monthly illustration challenge for the next couple of months. At the same time, I will make some weekly drawing exercises that can lead up to the illustration challenge and help us to get started. New challenges will be posted on Mondays and Sharon and I will try to post a result in the same week. The idea is that the weekly challenges should be quick and possible to do in 30 minutes, but at the same time lead up to the montly illustration, for example by getting us started on character design.

June's challenge is going to be:

"Illustrate a scene in a favourite book"  

and the first weekly exercise will be:

"Draw an old face - either from reference or from imagniation"

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Five a Day

This is a demonstration I did earlier today recapping three of the many elements of drawing: line, tone and colour. I glossed over composition and negative space, although they are evident in these studies. It is important to do these little studies before embarking on a final piece. The fourth drawing is also a 'study' but incorporates the five elements mentioned above. I added the banana to complement the yellow flower pattern on the bowl.

I used Sennelier oil pastels on DR Murano soft
pastel paper.

I was amused to learn that the lovely bowl - which belongs to one of the students - cost the grand sum of 10p at a car boot sale. That's $13 to you Leaf!)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Imaginary vs. Real

Inspired by Carol Marine's Daily Paintworks 'Ten Minute' challenge (which she posted back in February) but which is still open, I adapted the task to two 30 minute pastel paintings. The left apple was painted out of my head and the right one from life. The left one looked like an apple until I painted the real life Pink Lady next to it - it now resembles a cherry, I think!

I've drawn a few pears recently and may paint some more for inclusion here; if I do, I'll try to do it Carol's way - four or six to a page. We'll see.

For info, I used Unison and Sennelier pastels with a touch of Conte crayon on Clairefontaine Pastelmat (Natural Sienna).

Surreal Landscape

Last week I made another happy visit to Cass Arts after visiting the Mall Galleries. (I go to either the small but well-stocked shop behind the National Gallery or the huge three-storey Islington shop which always threatens to make me miss my train!) This time, I picked up a box of artist quality Winsor and Newton oil paints (10x 21ml tubes). The RRP is over £46 but these were on offer for £17.50! (Cass Arts prices are always competitive.) I can't use turpentine or white spirit so I use Zest-it (no headaches). I used a touch of Liquin in this image but prefer the Zest-it.

This image is a small 4"x6" painting on W&N canvasboard. The sky is a graded blend using a large watercolour brush and the land was done with a painting knife. I did it for no other reason than to enjoy the buttery feel of good quality oil paint.