Light, tone, colour

As an artist, I have been trying to express myself through line, tone and colour.  In a similar way, the Pope is a Catholic and bears are ardently exploring the fundamental nature of their being by crapping in the woods.

2015-08-08 Siden Hill Wood watercolour (2)

Talking of woods, I walked on Saturday for several hours around a small copse, part of the nature reserve, which appears is visited rarely by birders (or by bears exploring their spirituality).  I can draw undisturbed.  Buzzards were roosting in the northern edge and periodically sweeping out across a recently cut field and back up over the trees, voicing their decrescendo cries.

On both the last two weekends, at one particular point, I could hear above me in the high foliage a duet, each a sequence of sharp calls of slightly over a quarter note in each of four or five bars.  Then a rest before a repeat sequence.   These moved through the canopy but only once did I glimpse a brown barred body.  The closest I can come to identifying these is as sparrowhawks.  This is based on the RSPB website, though many other recordings show sparrowhawks to make a more rapid staccato sound.

The picture above was an exercise to get myself drawing.  This comprised a quick pen sketch in fast ink then watercolour over this.  I stopped myself short of obscuring all the white paper.

This was the second sketch of the same composition, with photos on site of its first steps shown below.  Watercolour was spread on wet then lifted with damp tissue.  I drew into this in a mixture of paint and conte crayon.  The most essential colour is the pink which sits between and behind the greens and yellows.

2015-08-08 Siden Hill Woods watercolour conte crayon (4)

2015-08-08 Siden Hill Woods watercolour conte crayon (3)  2015-08-08 Siden Hill Woods watercolour conte crayon (6)

This last was intended simply as a tonal study of the sunlight slanting down onto the trunk and leaves, in charcoal and white on warm-grey paper.  However, I found it hard to resist overlaying this in the greens and browns, thus losing the point of the exercise.

2015-08-08 Siden Hill Wood conte crayon charcoal 1



spilled ink

Last weekend I only managed to find time for this unsatisfactory sketch, done in the late afternoon in the local wood.

2015-08-01 ink not yet spilled on conte crayon field sketch

It is done in conte crayon on heavy white textured paper (Stillman and Birn beta sketchbook).  I was trying for a composition that showed the depth of the layers of foliage through changes in light and tone.

Irritated with this field sketch, I later poured water on it.  It beaded and scattered across the crayon resist, carrying some of the pigment in swirls of floating dust.  I threw on sepia, yellow and green ink.  This was now spilling over the sides.  I put thick card under the page to isolate it from the rest of the sketchbook.  The inks threatened to leave the water repellent surface so I trapped them under a crumpled acrylic sheet and left this to dry.

2015-08-01 ink spilled on conte crayon field sketch (2)

The next day, the paper was lifted from the card by sharp dissection.  I had to glue it to a new sheet to effect repairs where cuts and rips had penetrated to the surface.  Now looking at it, I wonder whether to work back over this surface.