Saturday, 24 February 2007

Colour. Aaaargh

colour study in watercolour pencils
Why am I scared of colour? Working with it myself, I mean. Mmmmm. I think it might be because I don't understand it all that well.
Okay, time to deal with that particular deamon.
I grabbed a book I'd been given by my parents when I was 15 about working with watercolour pencils, and after reading it cover to cover, decided I'd benefit from an early exercise, which is using the 3 primaries (red, yellow blue) to create the other tones (greens, browns, purples, oranges & ochres).
screaming scream
My head was aching by the time I'd finished but I'd learnt loads from it.
The next step, of course, is to put it into practice.

Learning from Lowry

Lowry St John's Church in Manchester

Whilst at the local library I made this pencil study of Lowry's St John's Church in Manchester. I loved the strong perspective. The way the church stands tall & proud, and yet also within the hum drum buildings of the houses, shops and offices.

I'm happy with it; the repeated overworking to get the balance of depth on the planes to work and the suggested details on the office facades.figures in snow Making studies of other artist's works is something I've never done before, but I can see the purpose of it. It helped me to understand how Lowry had created the piece, technically. It also helped me see what elements I related to, what it was about the picture that held me.

Meanwhile, at home, I carried on drawing figures. The weather had turned to light snow, and people were wrapping up more.

I'm writing this blog entry while staying at my sisters house, and I can't wait to get home, back to my regular view and routing of drawing.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Why Lowry?

Lowry Blitzed SiteIn the library I was scanning along books of artists, and I knew that Lowry had painted in the North East during his time. I came across some amazingly strong scened which leaped off the page at me. There & then I did a pencil study of a piece called 'St John's Church, Manchester'. The composition is simple but the working he'd put into the buildings was mesmerizing. This then brought to mind Monet's series of Rouen Cathedral (more of that later) in the way he was fascinated by the changing of the facade during the day.
Anyway, Lowry stayed in my head, and I started to look at his dull, grey green skies, slab-like buildings, the every-dayness of the figures.
On ebay I chose a set of prints which I wanted. Blitzed Site seemed so abstract in the treatment of the scorched timbers, and the lone central figure with red-rimmed eyes standing in stark shock amongst the wreckage.
The distribution of people in Sudden Illness against the bleak sky which is in fact full of colour. Some huddled, some detached, some distracted.
I'm not sure what I like about 'A Seat In The Park' though. I'll have to get back to you on that.
Lowry A Seat In The Park

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

A very good place to start

figures at bus stop cold day Right, I've photographed my sketch book to date. It's been about a month or so that I'm back to drawing on a daily basis, after a break of a dozen years or so. So I'm going to start there - 4 weeks ago in early Jan 07.

One of the subjects that has been hanging round in my head for a while, and which feels good to get down onto paper, is my repeated sketching of the figures who approach and collect at the bus stop near my house. Quickly drawn in pencils, charcoal, pen & ink etc in early Jan 07 with a cold blustery wind most days. The figures are hunched, sometimes hooded, or with hats, all trudging with heads bent. I like the way they've come out quite anonymous. Everyman, almost. I wonder if they look like typical Northern people to the rest of the UK.

Lowry has been a reference for me during this, though I don't like his almost cartoon or caricature portrayal of folk. I do love his handling of dreary skies, that appear almost white at first glance, but have a lot more going on when you get up close.

figures in charcoal pencilIn 'A Sudden Illness' he has a sky like that, and the pale factory you can see over the wall looks to me like a solidified section of sky, rather than being made of the same substance as the wall.
Mostly I love Lowry's grouping of figures.
I don't know yet what use I'm going to make of these figures. I haven't found a location for them. But I am going to continue drawing them, because it's like an itch, when I glimpse them out of the window.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

I've made a start

Okay, deep breath.

I've made a start, drawing again after a break of about 10 years.
That's me on the left, at the Cropredy Festival I go to each year.
Anyway, I've recently been trying to identify what makes me ME. And being artistically inclined generally is a biggie. So about a month ago I had a day to myself, so I took the plunge and headed to our local library to take a fresh look at what artists press my buttons.
I found that I still love Giacometti.
And that I have a lot in common with Lowry (who I never used to rate much). And so started my sketch book -as if I were an art student again, recording my influences etc.
As I'm working in isolation, as I'm not an art student, and I don't belong to any art club, I hope this blog will put me in touch with others who can suggest other directions for me & give me some honest feedback as I go along.
I need to get the scanner hooked up, so i can show my sketches, work in progress, etc. i also need to get organised with my digital camera.
As I have neither at present, you'll have to make do with a photo of me, going banana's at around midnight in a field in Banbury.
Related Posts with Thumbnails