Paint marker practice

Yes I have gone out and bought myself several more paint markers. I’m pretty much sticking to the tried and true colours, including a cadmium yellow, cerulean blue and yellow oxide. I’ve also selected a bright green, a lighter blue and two greys.

Liquitex paint markers, testing for colour and opacity.

Liquitex paint markers, testing for colour and opacity.

The two colour patches were done using wet over dry and as you can see these colours are quite opaque. There are several colours in the range which are transparent but I haven’t tried any of those yet. The other aspect I like about these markers is that they are very quick drying. So that is a plus for my sketching.

I thought I’d better try the colours out in a ‘real’ drawing, so I did the following sketch of my stainless steel teapot, sitting on a table outside.

Teapot using Liquitex paint markers and ink, 18 March 2014.

Teapot painted using Liquitex paint markers and ink, 18 March 2014.

I don’t plan to use so much colour in my regular sketches, but I’m pleased with how they worked in this quick sketch.

Concrete pergola – three ways

I didn’t intend to do this drawing 3 times, but while I was sitting at one of the local libraries I saw this intriguing piece of architecture – an outsized concrete pergola. The structure itself is two stories high, each of the horizontal blades looks to be at least a metre high.

Firstly I tried drawing it with my fountain pen. I found it hard to control my tonal values and got rather lost somewhere between the vegetation and the structure.

Concrete pergola outside Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

Concrete pergola outside Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

The second attempt, from a slightly different perspective. This drawing shows a much better grasp of the structure, as I started by drawing the negative spaces. I also decided to skip most of the vegetation.

Second version of the concrete pergola outside Woden Library, 24  February 2014.

Second version of the concrete pergola outside Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

My last version was done on my phablet using PS Touch. I decided that one of the most attractive aspects of this scene were the colours of the concrete against the clear summer sky. So I ditched the vegetation and just stuck to the architecture. I quite like this one.

Third view of the pergola outside the Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

Third view of the pergola outside the Woden Library, 24 February 2014.

 

Drawing Shadows

“While riding the bus, I noticed that the shadows of the window frames falling across my book changed as the bus moved. With my use of drawing by chance I quickly marked many pages with outlines of the changing shadows. Later in my studio I inked in the drawings in the sketchbook, several of which I developed into paintings.” (Ellsworth Kelly writing about his sketchbook 23, 1954, (Drawings on a Bus), 9 October 2006).

The theme ‘shadows’ and this passage in particular, was used as starting points for the latest design excercise for the textile group I belong to. From our subsequent discussion it was clear that we all discovered that drawing shadows was a more complex process than  Kelly’s work implied.

We all tried the obvious, putting a sheet of paper down and tracing the shadow thrown on the page. We observed that shadows weren’t always uniformly dark, or uniform in strength, or one colour (gosh those Impressionists were right after all). Often they didn’t stay still for long.

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ink on paper of shadows in my house

After a frustrating time down the coast trying to trace shadows in the face of a stiff sea breeze I found that photogrphing the shadows falling on the page was far more effective.

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a page of shadow photographs

In the end the strength of Kelly’s work really spoke to me so I made a very literal translation of a number of his drawings with ink onto three pieces of cotton, placed on top of each other. The fabric was cut to the same height as his book (which is obtainable in facsimile), although I left the full length of the fabric as it came.

I wanted to take this a bit further, so I cut some of the top layer of the fabric and wove it into a small tapestry. I had hoped that the ink ‘shadows’ might make patterns that were more obviously related to the original drawings, but it wasn’t the case. I subsequently tried weaving one of Kelly’s drawings into the tapestry.

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small tapestry made from torn fabric

I then re-inked what I had left of the fabric, over the original drawing. Kelly’s images still remain strong.

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re-inked drawing on cotton

This idea is still very unresolved for me. I have two more pieces of fabric to play with.

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image from the facsimile edition of one of Ellsworth Kelly’s Drawings on a Bus, 1954.

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