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Saturday, 8 June 2019

Colour Pencil continued

Layering with line - fur study Lion Cub WIP

This is a work in progress that I have been developing with my Wednesday after, noon and Friday evening classes. Building on the layering theory of previous lessons, we have been using line only to express the feeling of fur in a lion cub portrait. This work uses a limited palette of colours - Staedler Mars Karat pencils #16, #49, #72, #59 (Gold Ochre, Ochre, Red Ochre, Blue Green). Detail and tone is enhanced with graphite pencils 2H, HB, F, 2B and 4B.
The work is about 70% completed - as we are moving onto an new project next week I hope to finish this in my own time once my works for my upcoming solo at Tacit  July are finished Opening night is July 24.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Layering Colour Pencil

Capsicum Still life

Previous blog post showed the first exercise I ran in Term 2 - a single vegetable in layered colour pencil on hot press paper. Our second subject was to expand on this exercise and create a pleasing composition of a variety of vegetables or fruits and render them using colour pencil techniques.
I choose to continue the capsicum theme and selected a variety of sweet and hot varieties from my local greengrocer and from my backyard garden (the little knobbly red and large red ones).
The resulting drawing is approximately A3 size on 300gsm Lana cold press paper. Pencils used were Prismacolor Premier and Prismacolor Verithin.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Term 2 has begun!

Layering in colour pencil

Have you signed up for term 2 yet? Still time! Classes are starting this week - our first exercise is exploring how to layer using colour pencils. This example of a sweet chilli  was drawn using Prismacolor Premier pencils on Fabriano bright white Artistico 300gsm.
What was the first colour laid down? Yellow! go figure... or come to class and find out how!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Bridgewater Bay

I need to work on waves.

I was asked to exhibit some works at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Art Exhibition this year. Today was  deliver day and as I was on the Peninsula I took to the opportunity to hike down to one of the back beaches - Bridgewater Bay, Ritchie Street entrance. The tide was high and the surf was rolling in - huge breakers, rough and wild. No tide-pool walking today! So I sat on a rock and did a quick 1/2 hour sketch in my 9 x 5" book with pan watercolours and Adele pens in black and sepia.
As I said, I need to do more wave work, mine are a bit sickly - I kept thinking how Hokusai spent years studying waves. This is the first ocean view I have attempted in many years and the waves were difficult to catch!
If you are out for a drive this Easter weekend on the Mornington Peninsula stop into the Blairgowrie Yacht Club and view the
  Art Show - some pretty fine works were going up when I dropped in today.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Term 2 Drawing Classes

Enrol Now!

Term two classes begin soon - if you have not already booked your place better be quick! For second term we will be concentrating on colour pencil (all types, in a variety of ways), in all classes*. Please contact the relevant art studio/society via links below for further details.

Monday Nights 4 pm to 6.30 pm:
Victorian Artists Society  

Wednesday Afternoons 1 pm to 3 pm:
  Camberwell Community Center (limited spaces) 

Thursday Nights: 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm:
Mentone Mordialloc Art Group (one spot available)

Friday Nights: 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm:
Victorian Artists Society

*Note, all classes are catered for Beginners to Advanced and basics are covered in each. Monday and Thursday nights are focused on individual projects, Wednesday and Friday nights contain similar themes and encompass more foundation work.

Thursday, 11 April 2019


Back yard visitor

Little potaroo visiting the backyard at Thistle Doo.
Adele pens and water.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

'Thistle Doo' - Banksia

Banksia from Hawley Beach

I am staying with my dear friends in their wonderful Holiday
Air B n' B Unit 'Thistle Doo'.
Just 5 minutes walk is Hawley Beach and the Rubicon Estuary which has abundant wildlife and flora. Potaroos are friendly and bounce in front of your feet! Everywhere are beautiful coastal Banksia filled with birdlife. 
This is a quick 15 minute sketch of a Banksia cone and foliage done in my sketchbook with Graphitint pencils and pan water colour highlighted with Adele sepia and black pens.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Pen, Ink and Inktense Wash

Class demonstrations

Continuing on with our investigations into different ink techniques. 
Working direct to the paper (300gsm Hot or Cold press), colour is placed down with Inktense pencils. This is then washed to create ink wash effects. When dry, using dip pens and Art Spectrum Acrylic black in detail is added over the top.
This is similar to the previous Drafting film exercise, but working directly onto the paper, not onto film.

Rat: reference from 2  images - low res internet download . On Lana 300gsm Cold Press paper A4 

Brown Thornbill: Reference from personal photography. On 300gsm Fabriano Artistico Hot press A5

Eastern Rosella: Reference from personal photography. On 300gsm Fabriano Bright White Artistico Hot Press A3

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Composite Drawing

Using drafting film

I have been trying lots of different ink techniques this term with my groups. One of the most enjoyable (I think) has been working on drafting film as an overlay to loose Inktense wash drawings.

Step 1: Draw from life a botanical subject, using Art Spectrum Acrylic Black Ink and dip pens on a Hot Press paper. I prefer the Art Spectrum ink over India ink as it has a rich black matt surface when it dries. Draw direct to the paper, no pencil lines. Work as precisely as possible, slowly and carefully. Make sure you take a photo of the subject so you can do a print out in colour for next week.

Some sort of Carnation/Sweet William from the garden - Bristol 250gsm

Red Geranium - Bristol 250 gsm

Step 2: The second session - securely tape 300 gsm Hot or Cold press paper to size onto your board. Using either Inktense pencils or watercolour pencils roughly block in areas of colours and shapes of the subject. Refer to your photographic reference and black and white drawing as needed. Quickly wet and wash the dry colours to create a soft focus image. Don't get all fussy or try for detail, just loose and fresh areas of colour.

Sweet William on Lana Cold Press

Geranium on Fabriano Artistico Hot Press

Step 3: Once the colours are dry position a sheet of Drafting film over the soft focus image. Note that Drafting film is not the same as tracing paper. It is a polyester material that takes an ink line beautifully. Unlike tracing paper it is not absorbant and will erase pencil lines or 'scratch' out ink lines as required. I purchase my film from Draftex.
With the Drafting film securely taped into place, repeat the drawing of step 1 onto the film surface. I find that dip pens and ink flow well over the drafting film - and if you make a mistake and are very quick (!) you can gently blot and wipe of the error with a dampened cotton bud.
Once again refer to your photo and original line drawing. You can be as loose or detailed as you wish with this ink drawing. It should enhance the drawing under the film adding detail and expression.

Ink drawing overlay - the drafting film gives the painting underneath it a lovely frosted effect.

Ink drawing overlay

Working with drafting film is fun and it can be used in many different ways. Why not give it a try?

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Terrace House - Single Story

Single story terrace house

A second drawing in ink on Bristol of a single story Melbourne terrace house. This work was completed as a demonstration for my Friday night class. It was fun to develop the ink work further in this version. I learned a few lessons from the first house - not to over ink! Also, to delete more irrelevant things or 'hide' difficult areas behind a bit of shrubbery. As well, I tried adding a little bit of horizontal hatching into the sky area and found that this set the house off well.