Category Archives: art

A Drawing a Day – Week 19

This week my week was frittered away with spring cleaning and gardening, it is amazing how the bright sunshine shows the grime and dust, so I have been shamed into putting my rubber gloves on and getting down and dirty!  We have had rain and warmth at last and the garden has responded by bursting into growth, at least the weeds have.  I spent an hour doubled over a flower bed and filled a wheelbarrow with weeds – how come they are so much quicker off the mark than the flowers I really want.  Mind you some of the weeds are beautiful, I just love Herb Robert and always leave a few plants to flower and seed around the place.  I just love self seeded plants, I try and be a low impact gardener, hence my garden is always a little shaggy around the edges.  I was due to go to London to see an exhibition of coloured pencil drawings but my train was cancelled due to a ‘fatality’ further down the line, some poor soul could not cope any more, it made me sad to think that this person had no other option and I felt for the poor train driver too – so sad.

126 Cerinthe

126 Cerinthe

127 Corner of Bedroom

127 Corner of Bedroom

128 View into bedroom and down the stairs

128 View into bedroom and down the stairs

129  Clematis

129 Clematis

130 Clematis leaf

130 Clematis leaf

131-2 Standing woman

131-2 Standing woman

131-3 Woman Seated

131-3 Woman Seated

131-1 Standing woman

131-1 Standing woman

132 Bit of Beam

132 Bit of Beam

 

A Drawing a Day – Week 8

Another week! another week! I can’t believe the speed of the passing weeks.  I have again managed to keep to the drawing a day regime, but some days, I must confess it is really hard, and one day I nearly forgot.  I am finding people really satisfying to draw and chairs are my nemesis………..

49/365 More pineapple

49/365 More pineapple

50/365 Woven basket handle

50/365 Woven basket handle

51/365 Variegated arum leaf

51/365 Variegated arum leaf

52/365 Armchair (in very dodgy corner!)

52/365 Armchair (in very dodgy corner!)

53/365 Man reading

53/365 Man reading

54/365 Another variegated leaf

54/365 Another variegated leaf

55/365 Another wonky chair effort

55/365 Another wonky chair effort

A Drawing a Day – Week 6

Week 6 draws to a close and I find myself pondering how my day now revolves around the activity of producing ‘a drawing a day’.  It is almost the first thing I think about in the morning, and it hovers in the periphery of my consciousness until, either the drawing is done, or I have decided when to do the drawing.  It’s not a problem; it is just something that must be fitted into the jigsaw of my day.  Some days are easy, like Friday when I do my life drawing class, some are more difficult when there are lots of external commitments that pull on my time.  Anyway for what it is worth, here are this weeks offerings – you get two for the price of one on life drawing days!

35 - Mahonia

35 – Mahonia

37a - Life drawing

37a – Life drawing

37b Life drawing 2

37b Life drawing 2

38 John watching TV

38 John watching TV

39  John listening to the radio

39 John listening to the radio

40 Ironing board

40 Ironing board

41 Evening primrose seed head

41 Evening primrose seed head

 

 

A Drawing a Day – Week 3

Well I’m keeping up with the daily drawing but it is impacting on my other drawing……..it seems that I can only manage so much drawing a week, but I am enjoying the discipline of having to go upstairs and sit down and draw, in fact I look forward to it.  It has been helpful recently to have an activity that can stop my mind thinking about STUFF! Drawing brings its own concentration and intensity and there is no room for anything else and that is a blessing and relief. I am noticing too the turning of the year, although at the moment it is bitterly cold, spring is not far away and the plants are showing this to me.  The snowdrops, aconites and hellebores are all back, my winter friends – I draw them every year (note to self….dig out the old drawings and see if I have made any progress, or maybe not….. I might be very disappointed………..).

14-365 Holly

14-365 Holly

15-365 Holly

15-365 Holly

16-365 Seated woman

16-365 Seated woman

17-365 Hellebore

17-365 Hellebore

19-365 Hellebore

19-365 Hellebore

 

18-365 Hellebore

18-365 Hellebore

20-365 Winter Aconite

20-365 Winter Aconite

Link to the group page – group is now nine

Draws Shoots and Leaves – 2015

I spent an hour going through my posts from the last year, reading about my activities and thought – how soon we forget!

The new year has dawned and our new project is underway, but as I write this (01/01/2015) I am the sole person who has posted a drawn image on our 365 Drawings for 2015 group site.  As I talked to friends, several people expressed an interest in joining in, so it is not just me!  During the run up to the challenge I have managed to draw every day and it has been really helpful knowing that if I did not post an image, then I might disappoint Maggie who was also doing a practice run up.

I was given a Bromeliad for my birthday and this was the subject of several of my drawings and the colours and shapes are so dramatic I thought it would make a good winter subject – the reds and greens will cheer me up.

Bromeliad

Bromeliad

I found it difficult to draw and with the stem running through the centre difficult to see.

Bromeliad 2

Bromeliad 2

However the complicated shape made it fun and interesting.  With the final drawing, I thought, just go for it, so I just started on good paper directly with coloured pencil (usually I do a careful drawing then trace and transfer to good paper).  Using Wendy Hollender’s limited palette of 20 pencils and her direct way of image making I have launched myself into a drawing – and ran out of paper; my drawing is just a gnat’s bollock (s’cuse my French) from the top of the sheet – doh! Still, the drafting is OK so I’m ignoring that and finishing the piece.

Bromeliad in colour

Bromeliad in colour

These images show the start of the drawing and I have only lightly blocked in the colours and shadows.  Looking at the image now though, I can see all the drafting mistakes, I read somewhere that this was a good way of spotting errors, shame I have already done so much as I can see something I would really like to fix (and I think I know how to fix it).

Bromeliad in colour

Bromeliad in colour

At Christmas my sons told me that they read my blog, that they liked it and that they had shown it to their friends, I was surprised as in some weird way I thought this blog was just me musing away to a few (distant) folks. They have never posted a comment………..so this is a request to any of you out there that read this, drop me a note once in a while to let me know that you are there………….Happy New Year.

Pumpkins & Callicarpa

Bit of a quickie this week…………

Started the week having a go at some pumpkins, they are satisfying to sketch with their lovely round forms.

Pencil Sketch of Pumpkin

 

Pencil Sketch of Pumpkin

Then my eye was caught by a Callicarpa growing in the garden, it catches my eye and my attention every year because of the glorious colour of the berries, its common name is ‘beauty berry’ and I understand why.

Callicarpa

I decided to make this the subject of my next coloured pencil drawing….. a great excuse to use the purples that have been lurking around unused since I tried a Cerinthe back in the spring.  Lush!

Callicarpa coloured pencil drawing

 

A close up of how it is progressing.

Callicarpa coloured pencil drawing

 

 

Progress and Felt

Not much chance to do very much this week with a trip to London to help with a house move.  But some colouring in did take place.  I am happy with the intensity of colour I am getting, but a mysterious mark has appeared on my white paper and I am at a loss as to where it came from…. Not tea or coffee, I suspect a spider or a fly or even an earwig!  Using an eraser has not worked so I am going to have to try the Milton fluid technique.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

There was also a meeting of our felting group this Saturday and here is the piece of felt I produced, only 3 more to go and then I shall make myself a multicoloured waistcoat, or bag, or pillow, or tea cosy – who knows? something anyway.  Circles seem to be a theme…….

Spotty Felt Panel

Spotty Felt Panel

An ample sufficiency of tomatoes

Coming in from hanging out the washing I saw this wonderful display of tomatoes laid out to ripen.  They really caught my eye and I noticed with what care they had been arranged.  My next project I thought!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

I have just recently worked on tomatoes with Ann Swan so I thought I would like to have another go, and this would allow me to practice tomatoes at all stages of ripening.

I already knew what colours to use so I was able to get started quickly, was not bothered too much about composition as I was happy just to work with the tomatoes in a grid formation.

Green Tomato

Green Tomato

I trialled a green and a red tomato using the underpainting technique I learned and using the transparent Pro Marker to dissolve the colour into the paper.  This meant that the base colour application is much quicker, I tried underpainting the green tomato in green Pro Marker but the colour was too dark.

Red Tomato

Red Tomato

Happy with both my trials I cobbled together a light box with a sheet of glass, a cardboard box and a desk lamp and traced onto good paper; then I had a happy afternoon putting on the base colour underpainting, now all I have to do is colour all those babies in!  I suspect I won’t be as fond of tomatoes when I am finished!

Tomatoes with underpainting completed

Tomatoes with underpainting completed

 

 

Rose Hips and photo editing (again!)

Just a quickie again this week…..

I finished the rose hips, it was such a tiny picture (5ins x 3ins) it did not take up too much time.  But the photo I took to put in the blog was not good, photographing white paper – ARGGGH.

Scrabbling around the Internet I found reference to image editing software called Pixelmator, and I downloaded the app for a 30 day free trial.  Well, I am very happy with it, especially after my very frustrating experiences with Gimp.  Gimp ‘0’ Pixelmator ’10’!  Obviously I need to practise but there are a bunch of tutorials on YouTube so I am happy.

Finished Rose Hip drawing - Sue Hagley

So now I am learning photo editing………. Anyway at least I can cut out my image and place it on a white background thus solving the photography problem.  The colour editing tools seem good so I can colour match if I want to.  I worked on the Tangutica again and ‘beefed’ up the intensity of the colour in the drawing.  The yellow in the image is still not ‘true’ even with my photo editing.

angutica - colours strengthened

Tangutica – colours strengthened

Still here!

It’s not that I have not been drawing but I have not been drawing very much, my intentions of drawing every day just flew out the window.  The only artistic tool I have had in my hand for the last month has been a paintbrush – a house painting brush.

So, what have I done?  Well on two occasions I was overambitious and started drawings of large specimens which I was unable to continue with or to finish.  I did not think forward about how my days were going to pan out and then when I got back to the drawing the specimen had shrivelled, withered and I did not have back up photographs.  Another good lesson to learn; think hard before starting something ambitious.  Pictures attached are very poor as the graphite is too faint for my photography skills and I have over adjusted the contrast.  I have just put them in for the record.

Drawing

 

Drawing of Teasel

I also had a go at drawing outside again, sitting in the sunshine with the breeze waving the plants around.  Good practice at looking and remembering and not being too precious.  I love poppy seed heads, they are so much fun to draw, seem like little crowds of people.

Drawing of Poppies

Poppies

I also had a go at Crocosmia, which actually flowered in the garden this year, it seems to have been a good growing year for many things.   This also was a venturing into colour for the first time for a long time – and it was orange again – I have a weird attraction to orange I realise that now…….  Again I was disheartened by my efforts, my petals end up heavy and lumpy.

Drawing of Crocosmia

Drawing of Crocosmia

Drawing of CrocosmiaThe final drawings I have managed are of a fantastic Dahlia flower that is so luscious in colour changing from apricot (orange!!), peach (pale orange!!) to yellow with lots of yummy shades in-between.  A massive challenge to draw with so many petals twisting and turning this way and that, but that bit went quite well. I then traced off my drawing to give me the base for a colour drawing.  Taking advice from others that have been kind enough to support me I used an underpainting of yellow watercolour to cover the paper before starting with the coloured pencils.

Drawing of Dahlia

Pencil drawing

Working drawing

Working drawing

Coloured pencil drawing of Dahlia

The colours are not quite right in the photo so this detail shows them better.

Detail of Dahlia drawing

Detail of Dahlia drawing

But my petals are still lumpy and thick.  However, excitingly, I am starting a coloured drawing course later this afternoon with Ann Swan who is a brilliant coloured pencil botanical artist and I am hoping to learn loads; whole week of drawing and learning, how lucky am I!