Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sketching in London

I have had the opportunity to spend quite a few days in the city of London over the spring and summer months. Slowly growing in confidence I have started sketching in the galleries. At first I felt very self conscious but after a while this wore off and I attempted a few outdoor sketches as well. I picked spots out of the way of the main tourist routes so I wouldn't attract too much attention. This has really helped me to take that next step and when possible I shall try to visit the city once a month to sketch outdoors when the weather allows or from the galleries and museums.

These red indian studies were all done at a free exhibition of George Catlin 
at the National Portrait Gallery.  

Study after William Etty on my second visit to Tate Britian.

This was a first attempt at cafe sketching down past Tower Bridge.  I had a lot to
learn about this as I was totally overwhelmed by so much information.

This was also a first, standing with sketchbook in hand balanced on
the railings at the entrance to the National Gallery.  It's a very busy spot for photographers
so I did this as quickly as I could.

I did this over a few weeks sitting in the common room at Lavender Hill Studios,
before my class started.

Study after Terrick John Williams, Bonhams auction house

One of my art teachers told me about an auction of 19th century Victorian art and that you can go 
along and view the paintings. So I went along, I hadn't even heard of Bonhams but what a great way to view some amazing paintings before they disappear into private collections again. Apparently most of the auction houses tend to theme there auctions around the same periods. So we also visited Sotheby's and Christie's. This was a great way to see some great paintings for free and broaden my knowledge of artists.

Study after John William Godward, Bonhams auction house.

Study after Dame Laura Knight, National Portrait gallery.


Here are some pages from one of my sketchbooks. Mainly from life except for where I say otherwise. Thanks for looking.

Study after Don Maitz, concept artist.

Study after Alphonse Mucha.

Business Cards

I decided it would be a good idea to have some business cards to take to the workshop. I ended up doing a stylised portrait of myself from a photo I took painting it in photoshop. Ended up a little bit too smooth with some edges being too sharp. This was the first time having something like this printed so I was fairly happy with the card stock weight, printing and it was a relief that the colour didn't shift too much and the text although fine was still clear.

For those that are interested I used and found the ordering process on the website very smooth. As I was short of time I paid for the express service and they turned up on time without problems. I had an email from them the day after the order to query the image bleeding of the card dimensions but I was able to quickly confirm this was correct so my order could proceed. All in all a good first experience with this printer.

Painted in Photoshop from photo reference.

The printed cards.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013 Workshop - May/June 2013

Yes I was there for the London workshop held in The Coronet Theatre at Elephant & Castle in London. I have never been to anything like this before so it was a great experience. It was so cool to be staying at a hostel with nearly 50 other artists that were attending the workshop and I got to see some really inspiring skilled artists and meet some really talented and lovely people.  

Despite the area and venue being very run down the Safestay hostle was very nice and new. Being middle aged and staying in a mixed dorm in a hostel for the first time was I am pleased to say a good experience.  Yes I did struggle with my little legs and perhaps my age getting down from the top bunk and I did feel guilty about disturbing others in the morning. Note to self to book a bottom bunk next time around and to take a torch so I can see to get into my locker without switching the lights on.  It's also a good idea to take a flat mirror on a string you can hang on your bunk for drying hair and alike. That aside though I slept well and enjoyed the free breakfast and felt very safe as we mainly travelled in groups to and from the venue.

Some of the artists and speakers I met and watched.

The highlight of the workshop for me was concept artist Andrei Riabovitchev.  He showed us how to take photo stills of an actor in make up and manipulate it in Photoshop into a very cool giant looking character and also went over those early stages of ideation, showing how to start of with doodles of characters shape to get going.  All really good stuff.

There was  talk of everyone meeting up next year in Trafalgar Square so if that goes ahead I will go if I can as being with so many other artist's is just so great on so many levels. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Life Drawing - Term 12, Week 12

So it's the end of term again, they come and go so fast. Tonight we did a long pose of 2 x 40 min so I was able to focus on both proportions and the rendering. The drawing ended up feeling a bit stiff and I had the shape of the stomach wrong so it didn't look like the weight was towards the floor. Quite happy with my effort though.

As I type this now the whole of the summer holidays is over and I am looking forward to the start of the new term tomorrow evening. It will be good to get back to some life drawing, I have been too lazy.

5 min gestures

80 min pose. 2 x 40 min sessions.

Life Drawing - Term 12, Week 11

Mainly struggled with the proportions on the last pose this week. You can see I gave the model a very long leg. I was pleased again with my overall effort though.

5 min gestures

40 min pose.

30 min pose.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Life Drawing - Term 12, Week 10

So a good week, quite happy with my efforts again.  I am still very weak at drawing laying down poses so my teacher and the model set me a real challenge with the last pose.  Lying down and loads of foreshortening.  It was great and you can see all my proportional errors.  Needless to say not much time was left to render the tone but I enjoyed it.

5  min gestures

40 min

40 min

Life Drawing - Term 12, Week 9

Our model brought in a white parasol this week which made a lovely prop and some interesting poses for the quick gestures. I felt I made a good effort this week.

5 min gesture

35 min

45  min

Life Drawing - Term 12, Week 8

So a bit better at getting some softer tone this week, not quite so heavy handed but still so much to improve.

5 min gestures

20 min

15 min

35 min

Life Drawing - Term 12, Week 7

Not much to say about this week as these didn't really work out. Still trying.

40 min

40 min

Monday, 19 August 2013

Life Drawing Day - 25.5.13

It was a lovely sunny day and only myself and two others so plenty of room. I had a really good day with some success in small areas.

5 min gestures

30 min

20 min

20 min

20 min

1 hour 15 min

65 mins