18 May 2021

Drawing Tuesday - crumpled or folded fabrics


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This is a random find, in a flea market in New York, from Instagram. Very realistic! More trompe l'oeil fabric, filling entire rooms, is at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/tawkinslo/trompe-loeil-fabric/

Alison Watt made a series of paintings of white fabric - they were exhibited at the National Gallery, which of course also has all sorts of colourful drapery in paintings. 

Drapery, ah ... bit of a bete noir for some people. Apparently artists used to dip cloth in plaster before starting to paint it. Or perhaps it was the art students or apprentices who did that, thereby getting proficient at it.

For drawing drapery, this short video  offers information like: start by drawing within the folds; pay attention to whether a line peters out or just stops; try drawing dark lines and lighter lines [and that's as far as I've got at time of writing]. It's the shortest video I could find - all those in the sidebar were 4 or 10 times as long!

From CarolI enjoyed revisiting drawing fabrics.  Perhaps the next stage would be trying patterned fabrics.  Well done to those of you who did this – something to aspire to.

From Gill - This is a drawing of a beautiful shawl I bought in Spain. I've only worn it once and that was to a fancy dress party.

From Richard - Watercolour, and I'm still trying to get the hang of mixing in Payne's Grey. By chance, this seems to be begging to have a head poking out of the top, but it’s a much smaller heap than that.

From Sue K - Here’s my collage of pillow, bed sheet & wheat-bag. 

From Ann - A drawing completed for another session. It's a dress draped over the back of a chair. 

From Mags -  Placing Colour Catchers in a net bag ( to prevent them from disappearing into the depths of the washing machine ) produce some wonderful subtle shibori ... I have  built up  quite a collection .  Stitched into them on the train , took rubbings  and drew around some of the outlines when I got home.

From Janet K - the link on 'how to draw drapes' was very helpful. It gave me confidence to attempt drapery.

From Joyce - My study of a tea towel, I enjoyed looking at all the valleys and hills once I got into the drawing!

From Judith - Crumpled newspaper using Procreate.

From Janet B - Playing with the shapes and colours of this scarf has been a relaxing way to spend a wet Sunday afternoon.

From me - a droop rather than a drape - drawn from the imagination, during a phone call. A4 size. I had hoped to use felt pen to make "fat threads", weaving them together, but found that as I spent more time on the drawing, adding complete layers of pencil marks, it morphed into something (possibly) more "real" each time. It's still a work in progress....

11 May 2021

Drawing Tuesday - houseplants

Have a look at the simplicity of these plants, by American artist Lisa Barsumian. In this studio tour she shows her sketchbooks (starting just before the 12-minute mark).

The idea of doodling houseplants seems intriguing - this 13-minute video shows how to use pencil and fineliner to "draw a whole bunch of different houseplants" - sounds like fun! "Doodle" sounds less scary than "draw" and is good for general shapes, but it's also good to look really hard and draw what you see!

Use watercolour? or pastels? Draw with scissors, layer up the leaves? Go wild with colours?? Don't forget the pots the plants are in! 

Embroidered plants would be satisfying to draw, if they use stitches in an interesting way. Or - "draw with a needle" yourself?

From Richard - Enjoyed this and it involved unwrapping the last of the 24 half-pans in my Christmas present from Sue; cadmium orange! Adjusting ‘exposure’ has distorted the photo’s greens very slightly (or the sun went in again).

From Sue K - I got rather lost in the miasma of Aeonium leaves, sitting in our ‘unused' fireplace. Pastel on black again.

From Judith - Geranium and cotton

From Gill - I’m looking after this fern plant for friends and hope they return to UK before it may pass away! I used felt tip pens for a change.

From Ann - Rather a lot of green to contend with my plant but enjoyed the challenge!

From Mags - 5 minute sketch of a basil plant from Waitrose  (nearest I get to having  a house plant, never had any despite decades growing orchids from seed at Kew and writing a book about it)

From Joyce - My monoprint after watching Lisa Barsumian’s video. I used caligo safe wash relief printing ink on plexiglas and printed on copier paper by hand using a baren as I haven’t got a press. I used various implements to make marks and wipe the background which I meant to be more textured grey, too heavy handed!

From Janet K - Inspired by the Lisa Barsumian video this is my first attempt at mono printing.  I need to get some better paper for printing.

From me -  I too was inspired by Lisa's video, and got out various pens to try a pared-back line drawing. The subjects were a geranium and a jade plant, and the papers are brown bags painted with acrylic colours remaining at the end of a long-ago painting session. 

04 May 2021

Drawing Tuesday - birds of a feather

 Plenty of angles for attacking this topic, among them -

(1) birds  - in life and in art, plenty to draw on there. Audubon's birds - drawn life size, that's why the flamingo looks so awkward - https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/audubons-birds-of-america-fetches-10-million/

Painted onto tiles (found in the Dec16 issue of World of Interiors, which came to hand this morning as my breakfast reading)

(2) feathers - plumage - shapes, colours, variations, flight, evolution (https://scitechdaily.com/how-flight-feathers-evolved-study-of-chickens-ostriches-penguins-ducks-and-eagles/). And the feather trade, when hat fashions nearly wiped out entire species...https://americanhistory.si.edu/feather/ftfa.htm

Items made of feathers - quill pens, feather dusters, polynesian feather capes....

3) "... flock together" - murmurations (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eakKfY5aHmY&ab_channel=raisingmaggie for a video), migration, crowd behaviour... 

From Carol - These metal geese were a present from my Mother-in-law and walk down my garden path.  It used to annoy me that one was off balance and fell over all the time.  Now the ‘clunk’ as it falls on the path is part of the soundscape of my garden and I would not want to be without them. I think my Mother-in-law would have appreciated the joke.

From Sue K - a peacock feather - rendered in pastels on black.

Felt inspired to do another version of this topic using collage - fun was had. Swimming figures were turned into a striped feather. 

From Mags -My drawings in white Posca pens and watercolour pencils  are of Great Bustard feathers  collected on Porton Down in 1986  ( I was working as botanical surveyor  on  MOD Salisbury Plain Training Area  and we visited the reintroduction project ) . By coincidence I'm wearing my guinea fowl  tshirt  acquired ( along with  raku ceramic )  at Kirstenbosch botanic garden in 1998 !

From Judith - London tourists

From Ann - An interpretation of the proverb......I liked the idea of the gang..of like minded people. 

From Joyce -  Gelli plate print of a feather, it was a white feather found in my local woods.

From Gill - Birds of paradise. I felt like being transported somewhere exotic.

From Janet K - A silly feather drawing. Red wig made of dyed ostrich feather and yak hair.

From Janet B - Sunday afternoon silliness. A couple of rubber ducks from the Apex Quay hotel in Dundee. 

From me - a sideways look at colours of plumage. The shapes are all wrong, of course, and the colours are a bit off too (not enough brown, perhaps?), but I'm immersed in working out a subject for this term's woodblock print; this is a reject, but I had to get it out of my system....

The colours are derived from a visit to the aviary in Pittville Park, where this glorious creature can be seen strutting his stuff -

Better than my version is what Freya did with the puddles of watercolour remaining in the palette -
The one at top right is a dead ringer for the golden pheasant, don't you think? 

27 April 2021

Drawing Tuesday - tools of the trade

 We've done this topic before and now, as then, the first thing that jumps into my mind is Jim Dine's paintbrushes - here's one way to draw them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxXJjLeWWI0&ab_channel=LaurenStacey - or, better (imho), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUHbPrVgB3E&ab_channel=AllisonMaurais. Those are both videos for schoolchildren - I found them very liberating!!

The next thing that jumps into my mind is the tool collection at Docklands Museum - the hooks etc used to move the big bales and bundles around.

Those (Polish?) young men on the tube or train with their canvas bags of tools and the spirit level that is too long to fit into the bag, off to the day's job. (The other day I saw a man pushing a bike that had a ladder attached. Cool.)

18th and 19th century travelling seamstresses - spending a week or so with a family, living in, making the year's new clothes for them. This would have been before the sewing machine era, so I imagine they carried needles, shears, etc with them.

Stonemasons, building a cathedral for dozens of years, or perhaps just staying on the job for a while, till they hear of something better....

In Japan, and formerly in UK, apprentices made their own tools and used them throughout their working lives.

Remember all those forceps and other instruments in the "Medicine Man" collection at the Wellcome?

Consider the rockets etc that launch the missions to the moon, Mars, Saturn, and even right out of the solar system. 

And perhaps the delivery vehicles that have become so necessary, and now it's possible they could become robots rather than human-driven.

Thinking 'way back, and looking ahead, and examining what's around us now. In the office, or the kitchen, or the garage perhaps, and certainly in the studio. Easels! Palettes! Pencils! Cameras! Devices! Sketchbooks! Brushes! 

From Ann - Thinking a little outside the theme of ' tools of the trade'. Here are a few sketches from a recent fashion session. The male model is a dress designer and models his designs ...a lively fun session of quick response.. loved it! The designs being the tools of his trade!

From Sue K - ‘Tools of Trade’ - here are some Instruments of torture or comfort - used to mend/ease our various aches & pains over time - forgot the wheatbag!!

The head massager is rather a ‘marmite’ item:- either loved or hated! 

From Carol - I did a trowel audit.  How many does a woman want? The thing is I know there are some more around – I just could not find them.

From Gill - Sorry this is late but the weather has been lovely and my gardens look tidy now. It’s a bit cold today.

From Janet B - One of my "trades" is baking bread. Here is my Kenwood mixer with two dough hooks - I’m firmly of the belief that there is no need to knead - my wonderful German euro shop scraper and a spatula. 

From me - i was intrigued by the videos that showed teachers an art activity for 9-11 year olds. So I followed the instructions and used pencil, pen, charcoal, and watercolour, in that order, finishing with a bit of spatter

From Joyce - I followed the same tutorial, what interesting shapes my brushes are, I need to be more aware of the shape when I choose which brush to use, not just use the one in my hand at the time!

From Sue B - …this is a bit of stretch of concept!…if tools are daffodils to use in flower-arranging (!)…herewith an offering!
the garden of a friend outside henley this spring

From Janet K - My husband is rebuilding our bathroom. This industrial vacuum has been invaluable.

From Mags -  Making ' Tanglefoot Pens'  from beer cans,  bamboo sticks, an old paintbrush and some coffee stirrers, proved difficult  wearing gloves  ( the metal was very sharp )  especially when  wielding scissors and dealing with  recalcitrant Ducktape. Perhaps I should have drawn those as the 'tools' ....Instead  I  drew the pens  that had produced  the marks.