Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Sketchbook pages

After Henri Fantin-Latour's Portrait of Sonia (1890)

ducks and pigeons in Victoria Park, Stafford

my brother, Lewis

Left: drawing made in British Museum         Right: drawing made in National Gallery

Pigeons, ducks, gulls and geese in St James's Park

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

One must keep right on drawing; draw with your eyes when you cannot draw with a pencil - Ingres

I found David Hockney's book Hidden Knowledge in the library last week and I've been pouring over it ever since. My understanding of art history tends to be quite patchy but I find it endlessly fascinating to learn about. Hockney's examination of the Old Master's and their (possible) use of optics is a good way in, and whether or not you agree with his conclusions it is an opportunity to examine the work by these artists more closely - as well as chronologically, side by side with their peers, which gives a little more context and room for comparison.

(Incidentally, I've also been captivated by the BBC series Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale of Three Cities)

Some recent drawings from my sketchbook:

Drawn from Ingres' portrait of Mrs Charles Badham (1816) 

Ingres focused most of his energy into drawing his subject's faces - they are drawn so tightly that you can barely see the individual pencil marks, the modelling of the face is often light and sensitive - while the clothes are drawn with more looseness of expression - harder strokes, stronger lines - still maintaining a strong focus on line and contour. This effect draws your eye to the face - it appears more in focus than the rest of the drawing - while the looseness keeps your eye engaged in the drawing as a whole.

drawn from Rembrandt's portrait of Baartjen Martens

(self-portrait with hair in towel)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

It's so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas - Paul Cezanne

A comic about the fear of the blank canvas. How ideas hide in the blank page like albino animals in snow. How ideas are predatory; the bigger, quicker, more beautiful ideas quickly taking out the slower, smaller ideas.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Friday, 15 August 2014

This comic about snow doesn't read in a typical left-to-right movement, and there are no words to guide you. Instead you have to follow the snow, or the tracks in the snow, or make sense of a series of moments.

I've shown it to a couple of people and I can see that there are clearly problems in following it, but I like the idea that you might get lost in it and have to try to work out how things connect together - because that makes you an active participant in the creation of a snowy dream cat.

Follow my comics here:

Sunday, 20 July 2014

A tea ceremony of sorts

I only realised after drawing this that the abstract shapes might resemble the different ages of a person through their life, from cells to an elderly figure.

Saturday, 19 July 2014