Thursday, 28 February 2013

Day 28: Bonsai III

For an explanation, please see here.

My final drawing is the third I have made of the Bonsai. I chose this because I really enjoyed making the drawing and that is what I will take away from this experiment. It has reminded me that I love to draw. These images have also been an exercise in drawing whatever is at hand. Although I am a confident maker of marks, this daily practice has  been of benefit to me.

I will continue to do this but perhaps not every day. My work as a printmaker and illustrator already involves much drawing as everything that I do is grounded on drawing. I might add things here from time to time but you can follow my work in these places:

My Website

My Blog

My Engraved Bookplate Gallery.

My Facebook Engraving Page

Thank you for visiting.

Day 27: Bonsai II

I enjoyed drawing the bonsai and returned to it, concentrating on the twisted trunk, even though this meant  missing a lot of the foliage. Again, I found myself enjoying this and making a larger drawing than many of the things I have done this month. I cans see myself drawing this tiny tree a lot.

Day 26: The Angry lego Man Holds A Bonsai Leaf

Both this Bonsai and the Angry Lego Man sit on my desk as I work so it seemed natural to pair them for this drawing. There was a recently shed leaf for him to hold but , in his hands, it did look rather like a weapon! I allowed more time for this (14 minutes) and enjoyed myself.

 This is the last appearance of this cross little chap here but I have a feeling that he might feature in the future in a blog of his own.

Day 25: Aylesford Jug

I allowed ten minutes to start the day with this stoneware jug from the Aylesford pottery, enjoying the challenge of drawing its irregular shape quickly and without hesitation. Not one of my better ones but it warmed me up for a day of drawing.

Day 24 Seth Cardew Cup & Saucer

Another cup. This is one of my favourites, a cup and saucer by Seth Cardew. I regret not taking the time to draw the whole thing but I had a lot of printmaking to do in the studio and settled for half, which I achieved in nine minutes. In any case, I just love drawing cup handles. The cup has a lovely shape, a dark, rich, olive glaze and wonderful dark brush marks.

These final drawings were all done in an unusually bound sketchbook found in Suffolk, using a Uni-ball "EyE" micro pen made by the Mitsubishi Pen Company:

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Day 23: Latte

The explanation behind these drawings can be found here.

Another coffee but this time served in a glass. Again, I started with the handle and worked outwards. Pen is an awkward medium for drawing glass - and the metal spoon for that matter - but I enjoy the challenge. After nine minutes, this skinny latte was just ready to enjoy.

Day 22: China Cup

Part of a cup of coffee sketched in fine pen while it was cooling. This medium doesn't give much room to make mistakes but I am feeling much more confident about setting out my marks. In all of these drawing of cups, I start with the top of the handle and work outwards, just as when I am drawing a person, I will start with the eyes and work outwards. After eight minutes, I really needed that coffee so I stopped drawing!

Day 21: A Small Michael Leach Cup

I enjoy the studio pots made by the various members of the Leach family in SW England. This little cup was sitting waiting for me on a stall on Ely market. It is from Michael Leach's "Yelland" pottery and has wonderful colour and texture. I decided to concentrate on shape and form and chose my 2B pencil. The idea today was to make a drawing from which I could confidently make a wood engraving. Seven minutes was enough to note down all the information I would need.

Day 20: The Small Floral Cup

I enjoy drawing (and engraving) cups. This is a tiny cup made with a floral design made by "Mason's" during the late Nineteenth Century. I drew in pen to force me to make the marks of the shape confidently and then used a minimum of marks to suggest the decoration and form. After eight minutes, I was happy enough with it to stop.

Day 19: The Return Of The Beetle

I always seem to be in a rush when I draw this model car from 1968. It has an interesting shape which really needed more time. This is very much a sketch- just six minutes with a fine pen.

Day 18: The Return Of The Angry Lego Man

I couldn't resist drawing the angry Lego man again. I posed him reclining on a small boxwood block. He is an interesting shape; he may return again. Seven minutes with the 2B pencil.

Day 17: Flint

I have ancient flint tools scattered about the studio. This is a core of a larger flint from which blades have been "knapped". I enjoyed drawing the facets and was able to keep the shape faithful to the object. Regular drawing definitely helps with this. Six minutes with the Caran d'Ache 2B pencil.

Day 16: VW Rally Beetle

In a rush on this morning so just four minutes with my 2B pencil and a "Matchbox" VW beetle, done up as a rally car,  dating from 1968.

Day 15: Stapler

Twelve minutes with a Caran d'Ache 2B pencil and the small plastic stapler that sits in the shelf above my desk. Regular drawing is making me more confident about setting out the marks that define the shape.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Day 14: Angry Lego Man

I am now half way through sharing these small, fast sketches. I'm finding them a good way to get into my working day, especially if I am waiting for inspiration to strike. Scroll down to Day 1 for the introduction. I have been happily sketching away but have neglected sharing these little scraps of marks on paper; I will try to do better.

This rather angry Lego man was discovered while a cupboard was being cleared out. He has sat on my desk for a few days and so was on hand for my morning warm-up drawing. I rather enjoyed these seven minutes with a Caran d'Ache 2B pencil

Day 13: Skinny Latte

Twelve minutes was just enough time for my coffee to cool while I drew it. I was going to take out my new 2B pencil but decided that ink lines would be more of a challenge. I started to make directional lines but soon just made whatever marks I wanted to suggest the reflections in the glass. The pen is less forgiving than the pencil - the top is too narrow - a basic error of setting out the shape but I decided to run with it rather than start again.

Day 12: My Left Hand

If nothing else is handy, draw your hand. I often do - or my feet!

This was a very fast (five minutes) try out for a new Caran d'Ache 2B pencil. I normally use a harder one for detailed drawings but I wanted a more intense black so this one came out of the tin. Its a lovely pencil and you will see its marks again.

Day 11: Back to the Racing Car

I made two fast drawings of the "Dinky" racing car at the start of the day. The first was in hard pencil but I am sharing the one in pen, completed in eleven minutes. Once again the lines show the form; I could engrave directly from this drawing.

Day 10: USB Stick & Pencil

This was a fast (7 minutes) warm up before I started a preparatory drawing for an engraving so, once again, I concentrated on form as much as anything, using the direction of the lines to define the shape of the objects but then cutting across these lines to shade. When engraving, I would only make the form defining cuts but then make these thinner/thicker to show the shadow.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Day 9: Both Sides Of An Ammonite

Scroll Down to Day 1 for an explanation.

This ammonite sits on my desk where I work and I have drawn it many times. I love its shape, its curves and its structure. I took a little more time today and drew both sides in ten minutes. Once again, I was thinking about shape and form with an engraver's eye. I could take these rough sketches and make engravings from them.

Day 8: In A Bit Of A Rush

Yesterday was a bit of a rush with work related drawing in the morning and then a trip to Cambridge in the afternoon to hear Edmund De Waal speak about his installation "A Local History" at the University. He is an interesting and engaging speaker. I was seated in time to pull my car key from my pocket and set the lid of my pen next to it and quickly draw them in the space of four minutes.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Day 7: Dinky Racing Car

Here I am, one quarter of the way through this and definitely feeling the benefit. I am already confident when I draw but felt that I was getting a little rusty. Its been easy to find a few minutes a day to do this.

I enjoy drawing with the Uniball  pen as there is no possibility of rubbing out mistakes and so I slow down and try to place my marks carefully. This morning, I tried a more complicated object, a "Dinky" toy of a racing car that sits on my desk and will probably end up in another of my "box" engravings.Here it is in the notebook:

and scanned from the page:

Time for some other complicated shapes, I think.

Day 6: Eraser

A fast, late night drawing of the first thing that came to hand. I spent six minutes with a Caran d'Ache "F" pencil drawing this simple form whilst imagining how I would engrave it. It would be interesting to do twenty eight engravings but that would mean taking a month of work. I'll stick to the small drawings.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Day 5: Ink Bottle

Scroll Down to Day 1 for an explanation.

Today I used a pen a uni-ball Eye "micro" made by the Mitsubishi Pencil Company.

I also took longer - twelve minutes - making a larger image and taking a little more time to place the freehand marks on the paper. The method of shading is that which I use when making a preparatory drawing for an engraving. The direction of the lines is the direction that I would move the graver.

This is the ink that I use, greatly diluted, to darken the blocks that I engrave. 

Day 4: Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds

A small rapid (four minutes) sketch of two porcelain sunflower seeds using a Caran d'Ache "F" pencil.

 These also featured in the engraving shown in the previous post.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Day 3: Green Glass Marble

Scroll Down to Day 1 for an explanation.

Ten minutes spent with a green glass marble and a Caran d'Ache "H" pencil. I was trying to draw what I could actually see, rather than trying to make it look like a marble.

This is the same large marble that can be seen to the left of the centre of this engraving:

Day 2: Tate Coffee

Scroll Down to Day 1 for an explanation.

Day 2 found me in London and sitting down with a coffee at Tate Modern. This is just a fast five minute sketch as I was keen to drink it!  I used a Caran d'Ache "H" pencil

Friday, 1 February 2013

Day 1: Stones Within Stones

Drawing is the key to my professional work. Making observational drawings keeps my hand and eye in trim but it doesn't always fit easily into a working day. I'm taking this opportunity to make a drawing a day during February 2013. They will be fast, rough and serve no specific purpose.

For the first, here are three stones which each hold a stone trapped in a surface hole. They sit in a box on my desk and were drawn in a small Moleskin sketchbook using a Carand'Ache "H" pencil sharpened with a blade, taking about 20 minutes.