Friday, May 20, 2011

Drawing.

OK folks, I admit it. I fell out of love with drawing about four years ago. I have a 12 inch high pile of old sketch books which I have been looking through today and was quite shocked to see my last proper drawings were made so long ago. I really must make the effort to get back into drawing again.

I know why I stopped. I spent ages doing the preparatory drawings for a series of watercolours. There were four in total, all 15 x 11 inch or Quarter Imperial sheets. Each one took at least two days. When it came to the point where I applied my first washes, I found that the paper had a fault and had not been sized properly. It was like painting on blotting paper. I had to abandon this series.

Just mucking about. Graphite on cartridge paper.
Since then I had a dread of investing so much time in drawing before painting and have just gone straight in with the paint. It's quite a hairy thing to do if you haven't mentally thought through how the painting is going to proceed. I've got to the stage now though where I need to be more adventurous and need to have the drawing as a background scaffold. It's like taking a step back to go forward really, but I can see it must be done.

3 comments:

  1. Two days is too long!? Didn't the Raft of the Medusa take two years to prepare for? Perhaps you didn't mentally expect and assign enough time... giving yourself a week per painting to prepare might enable you to get the job done without feeling pressured or impatient? I like this drawing. Persistence is a virtue :)

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  2. All my watercolors are done without a drawing. I go right to paint too. I find that for me studies tend to drain all the spontaneity from my work. I always like the study better than the finished product. So I just paint. It seems to work quite well for you too. These are lovely.

    For large paintings on canvas I do a cursory drawing with the same proportions as my canvas just to make sure my idea will fit the format. Then I use a one-inch-on-paper to one-foot-on-canvas grid and transfer the elements as I paint. That way I can maintain the element of surprise I like.

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