Sunday, 30 May 2021

Drawing and Painting the Landscape – Mark Making Tools

Prussia Cove
Mark Making Tools - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Acrylic Ink on Paper
34cm x 28cm (13.5" x 11")

The exercise for Lesson 24 of Drawing and Painting the Landscape by Philip Tyler is to create your own mark making tools and explore the marks they make. I score an F for this one because I didn't read the instructions properly.  I missed a couple of critical points in Philip’s explanation:

  • The exercise is about making pens - not brushes
  • Philip used bamboo cut from the garden as handles for his home-made pens

I used fingers, sponges, old credit cards, bits of mount board, sticks, cotton buds and spray bottles to draw instead of making them into tools because I couldn't find anything to use as handles - even though Elaine and I have bamboo bushes in our garden - doh. Then I got carried away and treated this as a painting exercise because Phillips' home made tools look more like brushes than pens.

The Old Lodge
Mark Making Tools - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Acrylic Ink on Paper
35cm x 24.75cm (13.75" x 9.75")

Never mind, I can cope with the F, I was getting bored with monochrome and I still managed to learn a bit more about mark making.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Sandstone

Carved Limestone
Watercolour and Charcoal on Paper
23.0cm x 15cm (9" x 6")

Elaine is going to make this discarded piece of carved limestone into a lampstand. I painted it in response to the Sandstone section in Creating Textures in Pen & Ink with Watercolor by Claudia Nice. It may seem off topic, but some of Claudia’s examples look like limestone and I couldn’t find a good sandstone subject.

I drew it with the same charcoal pencil and drawing technique as I used in the Drawing Games exercise (see Drawing and Painting the Landscape – Drawing Games (Part 2)). Natural sponges helped to create the texture - they are becoming indispensable (see Volcanic Rock and Marble).

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Drawing and Painting the Landscape - Brush Drawing

Parkmill Pond
Brush Drawing - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Indian Ink on Paper
26cm x 20cm (10.25" x 8")

Lesson 23 of  Drawing and Painting the Landscape by Philip Tyler is about drawing with a brush. Philip points out

Whilst one tends to think about the brush as a painting tool, Cozens, Turner and Rubens all used ink to make tonal brush drawings of landscape. You are dealing with transparency and opacity, and depending on the medium, soluble or waterproof materials.

Mousehole Harbour
Brush Drawing - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Indian Ink on Paper
25.5cm x 18cm (10" x 7")

The lesson doesn't have a clearly defined exercise, but the spirit is captured by two sentences:

By working with a single colour and investigating the potential of each implement, looking at configuration and permutation, you will build up an understanding of each implement's potential.

Experiment with combining and opposing different qualities of mark and media to describe both the texture and tone of the objects and spaces in the landscape, as well as enhance your drawings, creating both space and dynamic tension.

I worked with Indian ink and a variety of brushes including the tatty old decorating brush favoured by John Lovett.

The results are reminiscent of my drawings from lesson 18 (see Drawing and Painting the Landscape - Wash Media). This isn't a surprise because, basically I've repeated the exercise, but with more focus on mark making.

Woodchester Park
Brush Drawing - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Indian Ink on Paper
22cm x 15.5cm (8.75" x 6.25")

The lesson clarifies my desire to improve the quality of the individual marks I make. The chapter on Mark Making provides a framework for continual thought and practice, rather than exercises for to do once and forget about.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Marble

Marble
Watercolour on Paper
23.0cm x 14cm (9" x 5.5")

Richard Bertinet
's bread recipes create a dough that is wet, sticky, and strong. When I make bread (an infrequent event), I knead the dough on this heavy marble block. If I am not careful, it ends up swinging around the kitchen on the end of a doughy bungee cord. 

The picture is inspired by the Marble topic in the Earth Textures chapter of Creating Textures in Pen & Ink with Watercolor by Claudia Nice.

Claudia's marble examples are more veined than this, she uses rubbing alcohol to create the distinctive marbling patterns in the watercolour washes. We don't have any rubbing alcohol lying around the house and I was unsure whether gin, beer or wine would serve as the best alternative. I used a natural sponge instead (see Volcanic Rock). This is my favourite painting tool of the moment.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Drawing and Painting the Landscape – Drawing Games (Part 2)

 

Woodchester Park Boathouse
Drawing Games - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Charcoal Pencil on Paper
30.5cm x 21.5cm (12" x 8.5")

This is the second instalment of my drawings from Lesson 22 of Drawing and Painting the Landscape by Philip Tyler..

The “game” for these drawings was inspired by a lesson from John Lovett about Drawing, Sketching and Scribbling

For this game, I used a charcoal pencil - a medium I do not normally use. I held the pencil further back from the point than usual and as though I had just picked it up from the desk - rather than using the normal tripod writing grip. These changes allow you to make more fluid marks by drawing from the shoulder instead of the wrist and to easily switch between using the very tip of the pencil and the side of the lead. The new grip initially felt clumsy, but John’s premise is that confidence and conviction are more important than accuracy.

One of the most important aspects of drawing is confidence. Make your marks with conviction and don't be too concerned with accuracy. It is much better to have a clean, confident mark in the wrong place than a timid, overworked line in the right place.

The picture at the top of the post is the boathouse in Woodchester park. I think it featured in some episodes of the Crown as the boathouse at Gordonstoun, but I can’t say for sure.

Winery Barns
Drawing Games - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Charcoal Pencil on Paper
30.5cm x 21.5cm (12" x 8.5")

These are some barns at one of the wineries in Niagara on the Lake. I think it was Iniskillin, but I took the photo in 2011, so I can’t be sure about this either.

Digger Graveyard
Drawing Games - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Charcoal Pencil on Paper
30.5cm x 21.5cm (12" x 8.5")

There is a digger graveyard in our local woods. These are the two latest arrivals. They seem much younger than the other residents. I was hoping they were just on holiday, but things were looking bleak because they hadn’t moved for weeks. Even Doris seemed worried about them. They just sat there slowly seizing up and rusting. Until yesterday. They’ve started to do some digging and it looks like they are trying to tidy the place up a bit. Happy Days.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Drawing and Painting the Landscape – Drawing Games

Jackdaw
Drawing Games - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Water-Soluble Graphite on Paper
39.5m x 56.5cm (15.5" x 22.25")

There didn’t seem to be any instructions for Lesson 22 of Drawing and Painting the Landscape by Philip Tyler. The spirit of the lesson is experimentation with a suggestion to use different techniques and media to reveal the different textures and layers in the landscape – which resonates with one of the lessons from Liz Steel’s SketchingNow – Edges class.

The seemed like an extension to the Making a Mess lesson (see Drawing and Painting the Landscape - Making a Mess). I ended up playing only two different games, but I played each multiple times and they both took me away from my normal approach to drawing.

For this first set of drawings, I used the water-soluble graphite block (ArtGraf Tailor Shape) I enjoyed so much in the Making a Mess lesson. 

The Mouth of the Dart
Drawing Games - Drawing and Painting the Landscape

Water-Soluble Graphite on Paper
39.5m x 56.5cm (15.5" x 22.25")

Using the water-soluble graphite is like a mixture of drawing and watercolour painting. In this drawing of the mouth of the Dart, I used different marks to convey the different layers in the landscape. The sky is horizontal marks and horizontal brushstrokes. The sea is vertical marks and vertical brushstrokes. The background hills are two layers of light swirling marks and swirling brushstrokes. The middle ground is more of the same but with more graphite and some Conté crayon marks. The foreground is much darker marks with a lot of additional Conté crayon marks.

The second set of drawings are quite different, so I will post them in a second post.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Granite

The Atlantic
Watercolour on Paper
26cm x 18cm (10" x 7")

 I love the granite coastlines of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This picture is based on a few different photos of waves crashing on their rocky shorelines. It is a response to the Granite topic in the Earth Textures chapter of Creating Textures in Pen & Ink with Watercolor by Claudia Nice.

I drew several thumbnails to work out the composition before starting the picture, but I still had to make things up as I painted. Responding to a developing painting can be a good thing, but in this case the result is less dynamic than I intended. I will have to try again. Elaine, Doris and I will be returning to Cornwall after the lockdowns are lifted, so I will use the opportunity to gather more inspiration.