Friday, 29 April 2016

Effort No. 2: Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

This was my second very different attempt at pen and wash. Much more structured, probably more me and I've got to say a lot less fun than my indoor market scene done yesterday. Boo!

I was tempted to reproduce my Gold Hill pastel painting from the top of the hill but thought better of it. Small baby steps first David! So I found this pen and wash by Chris Lee on Pinterest. Same hill, only drawn from the bottom looking up! I decided to copy his version almost line for line. Flattery eh! 

It was a good exercise and it showed me I can do it. I have no problems I guess with the line drawing part of pen and wash – my homework will come with the parts I decide not to paint in as I am used to filling a page in its entirety! And then there's the colours to choose. A small palette is best so I'm fortunate for now that I have for now only twelve markers.


CLICK TO VIEW BIGGER
I got to thinking – I'm known for that sometimes – that maybe I should try the same scene out with watercolour paints (and pencils) to see how the three mediums compare. Trials for another day!  

Thursday, 28 April 2016

My first pen and wash

I finally took the bull by the horns, took a few hours out from my Apple Mac and went to my art studio with the aim of finally starting pen and wash after a load of research into how I should actually go about it.

I wanted to use my new set of twelve Winsor & Newton watercolour markers to see how they'd cope with the image I wanted to draw. I had high hopes for them after watching a few YouTube videos and their characteristics. I was excited too because I was purposely setting out to be a loose man intent in finishing this in about two hours.
MY SET OF TWELVE WINSOR & NEWTON WATERCOLOUR MARKERS

I drew myself some register points in pencil so I knew I was working within a framework and pinpointed where different people and objects should be. No tracing paper, no frisk, no grid system just me and two or three Pitt Pens initially. And I went bananas! I relied on my eye and wasn't too worried about wayward marks.

Soon I had my outline and I was quite happy with the sketch for a first attempt. I used these markers in two ways - first method: directly on to the painting and then adding the water to blend maybe several different colours at once or second method: colouring them on to a palette/paper like you would paint, mixing them and adding water there. I would then apply the colour to the painting. I preferred the first method as the colours were more intense but I used the second for the lighter, more subtle washes.

Once I had all the colour splashed on I took my Pitt pens outs again and went over parts just for emphasis. I had no idea how it would look. Somewhere in all this I have to find my own style, my own way of working so it's very much trial and error at the minute.

I made mistakes, loads of them – too much water mostly and colours that were not as I expected. At the minute I cannot get a decent light brown so I will probably have to order a few more markers. I need a Payne's Grey as I don't want to use black if I can possibly help it.

Anyway bring out the trumpets and let's have a big Bloggerland welcome for my First Pen and Wash. The sound of music please...


CLICK TO VIEW BIGGER

OK Julie Andrews get off my stage and take those kids with you – now! 

Overall I enjoyed working with these watercolour markers. The style is right for busy markets and street scenes with people hurriedly moving about. The figures aren't great, but they're not meant to be. One day I will get to St George's Market in Belfast and shoot off a few photographs so I can do my own version of this copy!

I might have to approach landscapes and buildings differently. That'll be for another day – tomorrow!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

At the Firebird II Exhibition tonight

SHARON, A FRIEND AND RAY PICTURED WITH SOME OF
HIS EXHIBITS AT THE FIREBIRD II EXHIBITION IN THE
CRESCENT ARTS CENTRE IN BELFAST TONIGHT.
CLICK TO SEE BIGGER

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Hillsborough Art Society Exhibition coming up next month


I am hoping to exhibit at Hillsborough Art Society's Annual Exhibition at the end of May. 

And if no-one buys the five I want to display I'll be yabbadabbadoo delighted.

I joined Hillsborough Art Society in September 2015. It has a very different dynamic from Lisnagarvey where I have been a member for two years. Both have demonstration nights, but where Lisnagarvey scores over their village neighbours is on the count that they meet weekly. Their studio nights means I get to see what everyone else is doing and I enjoy the craic. And if I miss a meeting I only have to wait a week to wait to catch up with everyone again.

Lisnagarvey
Every Monday night except during school holidays
(see their website - www.lisnagarveyartsociety.co.uk)

Hillsborough
Meets first Wednesday in the month

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Gallery


TULLYMORE FOREST PARK, NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND  2016
FRUIT SELECTION  2016
BOW STREET, LISBURN ON A SNOWY SUNDAY MORNING, NORTHERN IRELAND  2015
CASTLE COOMB, COTSWOLDS, ENGLAND  2015
THE MILL, LOWER SLAUGHTER, COTSWOLDS, ENGLAND  2015
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY  2015
SEVEN COTTAGES, MOY, CO TYRONE, NORTHERN IRELAND  2015
STEPHEN FERRIS  2015 
MUSSENDEN TEMPLE, CASTLEROCK, NORTHERN IRELAND  2015

CURIOSITY 2.0   2015
GUS THE GORILLA  2015
BALLINTOY HARBOUR, CO ANTRIM, NORTHERN IRELAND  2014
GOLD HILL, SHAFTESBURY, ENGLAND  2014



Watercolour Musings

Next year at Lisnagarvey Art Society I hope to concentrate on watercolour/pen and wash rather than pastel and 'yakking' so I'll be interested to see how I get on. Watercolour has always scared me. I don't know why as I like the medium when it is done well. Maybe it's because I don't have the delicate and precise hand I think it needs.

I like Geoff Kersey's work yet I wouldn't want to be as detailed as he but I know if it was at all possible I'd become more detailed than him. I'm actually starting to wonder if I have OCD tendencies!

I like the thought of splattering and being rather grungy (without going overboard). I like the thought of these being quick hour/two hour pieces of work. I like the thought of giving signed copies away to people as thank you presents. I like the thought of having fun and experimenting with wet paint!




Friday, 8 April 2016

Pen and Wash

I have been interested in pen and wash (some call it line and wash) for some time. It was a serious idea for me before I got heavily into pastels two years ago. When I was in Manchester a few years ago I watched a young punky girl with purply/magenta hair urban sketching on the street and I was kicking myself that I had allowed my battery to run down on my Nikon otherwise I would have taken photographs of her and her work.

She probably had no idea that I sat in a café nearby and watched (some might say stalked!) her from a distance as she drew the church in front of her and scribbled in faceless people, like myself, going about their Saturday business. She spent little over an hour on her sketch and she was pleased that I had come back to see her finished work. We talked about what she had done for about ten minutes and I gave her a fiver for the pleasure of just seeing her talent at close hand.

That conversation danced through my head at the start of March when I attended a Grahame Booth pen and wash demo at Hillsborough Art Society. It headbanged me down an avenue I've been too scared to walk down due to my fear of watercolour. 

I have now invested in 12 Winsor & Newton watercolour markers plus accompanying A3 specialist pad as they seemed more user friendly than tubes. A week later I splashed out on a set of Pitt Artist pencils and 60 Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils with spritzers and water brushes. I watched YouTube demos and I knew with a bit of work I could conquer this medium! I am happier with markers and pencils in my hand so all I need to learn now is how to apply water to them. Simples!   

Anyway here are a few ideas of what I would like to be doing in the weeks/months ahead. I can't honestly see myself working en plain air but I can imagine myself taking photographs of scenes and piecing them together to make panoramics and working off those. I desperately want to work looser than I do with pastels (haha that'll be easy!) so I am looking forward to the summer months and getting out there and doing it!

 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Firebird II - Crescent Arts Centre Exhibition featuring Ray

Took a break from work today to see Ray over on the other side of Lisburn and he gave me an Opening Night invite for the latest exhibition he's involved with. Belfast Crescent Arts Centre here I come –  it's always interesting to see what other people are doing. Apart from Ray these people are all unknown to me so looking forward to seeing their work – and Ray's as well!

CRESCENT ART CENTRE EXHIBITION