Monday, 6 December 2010

Monday - not to be beaten

So, after a couple of false starts and some cinnamon toast (mmmmm), I made it into Daniels cafe in Windsor. Made a bit of a mess of this but it got me warmed up. Decided to brave the weather while it was dry and revisit the flower stall. Think i'll be comparing this with the original image in the crit Wednesday. I can definitely see an improvement. Once my fingers went numb I retreated indoors for tea and chips (mmmmmmmmm). This is my pleasure (the tea) and the waiters business (working at the bar). A nice opportunity to study light and tone. Starting to feel a bit happier about using this medium.
Still have tomorrow to play more.

Windsor, in the shadow of the castle

Why do I keep sitting in the shade? It's cold enough in the sun! Pam demonstrated a suggested way of working with ink and tone on Wednesday and here I have totally hashed it up. Feel like i'm starting over.
This was not my first attempt at this either. The page was too wet, the inks bled into one another and i couldn't control my shaking hands. Not a very productive day.

Into uni and back again

So, on the way in, concentrating on clarity of line (making small advances here) and on the way home looking at tone. Some very badly drawn seat backs and i think this is very dodgy. Must try harder.

Home on the train.

This should have a greater tonal range but i just don't seem to get time on the train. Plus it's difficult to get lots of materials out on commuter trains. Have managed to get the whole scene in though eyes, hands, mouths, pose and all.

Last page of my sketchbook!

Whoo Hoo! I managed to fill a sketchbook (albeit a tiny moleskine). This is me again BTW. I'm always available when the mood to draw takes me.

Girl on the train

I know this doesn't have a strong tonal range but I like the pose and the feeling of people being bleached out by the train lights.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Intimate dinner and Christmas shopping list debate

Thought I'd turn my attention inside before heading home. This is quite washed out as my subjects left and then the restaurant turned all the lights off to set the scene for dinner.

Spying from the warm

Ahhhh. found a warm spot in Carluccio's with a great view of the shops. I can Spy in comfort with soup and hot chocolate. I was concentrating on dropping figures in. The light changed quite dramatically while I was sat here so this scene isn't sure if it's night or day. I'm going with twilight for now. May add in a few highlights no i can see it on screen. Will be drawing from here again I think.

Windsor Shopping Archade

It was soooo cold. I only lasted 45 mins before my fingers and toes hurt so much i had to retreat indoors.
I should have spent more time adding additional layers of darker tones in this. But couldn't move my fingers. Am feeling more confident "dropping in figures" even though some are a bit ropey.

Bourne end - Maidenhead and Maidenhead station

Still experimenting with the new line and pencil technique. Intend to try using water colour pencils too at some point. Think this worked best on my hooded reading woman above.

On the way home from cambridge

So, this is me trying out one of Alexis' suggested techniques. Pen line and graphite stick ontop.
Also means i can use the putty rubber to add the highlights back in.

Commutor on the tube

Quite liked this guy however as Alexis rightfully pointed out I'm not using the hatching correctly.
He ran me a through a few pointers and then offered me some alternative techniques to try.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Me, at work

Sunday, after all our guests had gone home and the sun had gone down, I thought it would be the ideal time to attempt a self portrait. I wasn't grumpy, just concentrating. I think I spent about four and a half hours on this and had a headache when i was finished. My favorite bit is the book cover. I've decided I really don't like the paper in this sketchbook. I've not found it very ink friendly. I'm determined not to start yet another new sketchbook so i may investigate other media in here and use the watercolour pad for ink. I'll see how i go. BTW, I thought a bean bag would be comfortable but after four hours, it just results in back ache!

My window

We had guests this weekend so I got up early on Saturday and snuck this one in. As you see still working with tone. This is about A5 size and on watercolour paper so i found it easier to control the ink. I also wanted to use some line in there but without making it look flat. I tried to be faithful to what was in front of me so not sure why my penguin didn't sit forward more?

On the river - Windsor

So, after my disaster on Wednesday I set out Friday with my restricted kit of inks, brushes and big sketchbook. The plan: Tone... this took me about three hours I think and I was pretty cold by the time I finished. I really enjoyed doing it though and plan to head back to the river soon. I would like to do some studies of the birds down there. They are all so characterful and i haven't expressed that here. I was bullied by some hungry geese and a drake pecked my foot because i didn't have bread. All in all I didn't think this was a bad start.

Botanical Gardens

This is all you'll get from the botanical gardens trip. I was really looking forward to it but found it a real struggle. I did do some colour pallet studies that i found useful though. This was just a quick small one to get started. Pam suggested I get the big sketchbook out and be braver (reasonable I think). She also suggested i put down a wash of colour and then work in a greater depth of tone than i have been (also reasonable). The results weren't good and won't be appearing on here. I confused myself, added the colour very clumsily, ran out of time, panicked and switched to charcoal. It was bad. never mind. it's all a learning process.

More Train Faces

A few more studies on the train. Still looking at faces in these. I'll have to try combining faces and bodies next. lol

Monday, 15 November 2010

Thurst's mug again

He's my most readily available model. I did have a go at a self portrait but the results were so hideous that they will never see the light of day! Everyone must be allowed at least one page they can tear from the sketchbook. I will try again though.
Felt like i might be getting somewhere with this... Am trying to improve my cross hatching technique.
His nose is a bit big though. Sorry Thurst.

Faces on the train

OK, here we go. This weeks train scribbles, concentrating on faces. Got a few more evils than usual...

The very last one is hubby Thurst again. We were drawing each other. lol. He's doing Movemebr BTW and doesn't usually sport a scary tash!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Wednesday 10/11 - Feedback

It seems that after a shaky start I am starting to make some progress. I managed to speak to both Alexis and Martin this week. Alexis was quite positive and gave me some very useful information on the use of cross hatching. He also pointed out that most of my figures lack eyes and made me go through the sketch book adding them in. He's right, it makes a massive difference so this week one of the things i will be concentrating on is faces. Martin has also expressed a dislike of my smudgy ink pen. I give it up a little reluctantly as i feel it helped me through the last few weeks. Still, I plan to ditch the fountain pen for a waterproof fine liner when using ink washes and will keep the fountain pen for line only sketches.
 Still not quite there in terms of expressing depth with tone but it is getting better. lets see what happens.

Uxbridge to Kings Cross

My normal train was canceled on Wednesday morning (the one day we've had a lecture first thing). So I hot fotted it over to Uxbridge and caught the tube from there. The upside was that I had one long train journey instead of broken connections giving me a bit more time to spend on this. Quite pleased with the outcome even though it's unfinished and my man in the back looks like a wonky mugger.

Langley - Bourne End

This picture is made up of people on two separate trains. The girl on the left was Langley - Maidenhead I had to change trains before i could complete this so sat in the same seat on the next part of my journey and drew in the girl on the right. I think it looks like i did it in one sitting. what do you think?

Monday, 8 November 2010

Lone man..., Daniels Cafe, Windsor

I sat down with a cup of tea in a full cafe. All the customers were sat in a long line against a partition wall, I though, that's perfect for landscape spread in my water colour pad. Eager to capture as much of the scene as i could I blocked in all the figures with my brush pen. I started at one end and worked my way across. As if by magic, as soon as i finished with one table and moved onto the next the occupants of the previous table left... This happened from right to left until there was only one man remaining. I had just enough time to capture some of the details and then he also left. Parking had run out so i had to go too. My timing is terrible! Still, fairly pleased with final result, one man sat amongst the ghosts of coffee drinkers.

Peascod Street as the sun set

Walking between cafe's I was struck by the light on the high street. It was freezing and almost dark but I had to stop and whip out the water colours. I would have liked to spend a bit more time on this but i was sat on the floor and as the light went outside the shop lights all came on an totally changes the scene. Plus I couldn't really see what colours I was mixing. Some very wonky people here...

Costa Coffee, Windsor

Made it out after all today. whoo hoo. Although opted to draw indoors. This seemed to take me ages today although quite pleased with the outcome. Wanted to get the contrast of people working against casual coffee drinkers. I also wanted to get a bit more detail in as i often find myself being cut sort and not capturing a whole scene. My man is a bit wonky, he's made up of about three different people. However was pleased with the girls working.

Thurst crashes out.

Have warmed up by this point but still eager to draw. Thurst's getting really fed up with me, I think he wants some attention. Tried to appease him with biscuits. Didn't work. I did warn him that if he put on "The secrets of the Atom" that i would draw... I like this one. I think it's getting better...

The Long Walk - Windsor Great Park

So much black and white work so far and such a colourful autumn. I took this opportunity to experiment further with the water colours. This took me about two and half hours sat on a bollard at the gates to the park. I've never had so many people approach me stand over my shoulder. when i went to leave, someone sat outside the local pub stopped me and asked if they could have a look. crazy! I also had suggestions that i should leave a hat out for change... not sure how to take that. Still trying to concentrate on creating depth with tone. Also discovered that it's not easy to paint on location when the light keeps changing so dramatically. Had to stop when my hand cramped up. lol.

Peter Kay at the O2

Went to see Peter Kay at the O2, was waaaaay up in the gods... don't normally suffer from vertigo but my god! Hopefully I've captured some sense of the atmosphere and height.

Wednesday crit

Following a disastrous half way crit the week before, I managed to sit down with a group and communicate properly. I have cleared my diary a bit and have a more manageable workload. Phew.
Thought this was a really nice moment with everyone concentrating on sketchbooks.

My Desk

Finally, the picture that wouldn't scan. Still investigating the theme from my perspective, here's my desk. This is where I work, bit messy and disorganized which reflects my crazy workload. More experimentation with ink & wash.

Time to draw

Waiting for my camera to charge so i can photograph the next image in the series. Think i'll go and do some more work while I wait. Still pretty miserable outside so I'm undecided on whether to go out or not. I guess we'll find out later...

chillin at home

Had some time after work and had bought myself a nice molskine watercolour pad so couldn't resist having a play. I spent some time doing little texture technique testers to get a feel for the medium but got impatient and launched into this. Wanted to explore my theme (Business / pleasure) from a personal perspective so painted myself in front of the TV. I also wanted to try and capture the light / mood of the room so thought i would experiment using complimentary colours. I seem to remember doing this exercise on my Degree. I think this could have benefited from being bolder and I have been a bit clumsy with my application of paint.

The way home - Maidenhead train station

Sat at the station waiting for my train home, it was dark and cold. was quite pleased with certain elements of this but still need to do more work on creating depth with tone. More trips to maidenhead to come so plenty of opportunity to practice.

Thurston is still working

Home in the warm now, trouble is, once i get going I don't want to stop. Another picture of my husband but at least he's put the laptop away. I really liked his pose here. Even though he's still working he looks very relaxed as he slumps on the sofa.

Hot chocolate - cinamon cafe, Windsor

This was drawn on the following day. Trying, once again to capture a sense of place.

A side street in Windsor - fag break

After a frustrating crit and feeling more confused than ever, I plugged on and tried something new. Pen and ink wash. Quite enjoyed this but need to experiment more with how the ink and pen bleed into one another. Hopefully I'm starting to create more depth and sense of place with this technique.