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Drawing 1: Project Form page 110

Exercise: Essential Shapes page 110

A slight angle in a chair

A3 wet in wet ink over graphite

A3 wet in wet ink over graphite with reed pen and pentel brushes

I decided since my last post was a neatly worked graphite; that I would try to be even more expressive with media that is even harder to control. My tutor recommends a little more evidence of risk taking so I threw all caution to the wind while following precisely the guidance in the course literature. I used the head as the measured unit and realised that it fitted only 5 and 1/2 times into the figure. This included altering the angle to respect the changes of axis.There is pronounce fore shortening with an elarged foot at the front being disproportionate to the scale of the head.

I blogged this method thoroughly on using quotes from the course literature  as subheadings, and added it to my learning log.

Different angles and positions

A3 felt tip pen

A3 felt tip pen

The following studies took 20-25 minutes. I selected felt tip pen as I wouldn’t be able to hide my guide marks. Some of the charm is to show the thinking and measuring that leads to the finished piece. That said, I used about four pens working form light to dark. As I progressed towards the more accurate form I used darker pens for the viewer to read. The fourth colour in this case pale blue,  was used to show shade and joints. A bit odd but I am looking for a personal response and development of a voice

A3 felt tip pen

A3 felt tip pen

I used the same procedure throughout my figurative drawing. 1. A bubble encapsulating the whole space occupied. 2. Marking the highest, lowest and widest parts. 3. Stick figure skeleton. 4. Sausage and geometising. I selected this view as the is a hint of foreshortening with the  feet receding backwards into the distance.

A3 graphite and ball point

A3 graphite and ball point

I drew this piece differently to extend my repertoire and to break an over reliance on a single method. I just kept my 6B moving in sausage shapes, tweaking and correcting as best I could. The view was complicated by an elevated view and foreshortening with the feet, legs and right arm reaching out towards the viewer.. I worked over the drawing with ball point pen.  I used the indelible media after the graphite when I was relatively sure of myself. I seem to rely on the head as a  1/7 th unit of measurement but this is unreliable as it is a generalisation and more so when foreshortening is a feature.

Exercise: Essential Elements page 111

Sequence of six different poses

Each of the following pieces were executed rapidly. I set my phone timer and tried to follow this rule strictly.

A3 graphite stick

A3 graphite stick

The model was lit high top left making the top of the figure light and casting a dark shadow where the stomach recedes. This throws the breasts into relief with counter change.

A3 graphite on acrylic prepared paper

A3 graphite on acrylic prepared paper

The graphite stich is chunky and not great for detail. I redrew the figure in 6B and positioned it more centrally on the page.

10 minute A3 charcoal

10 minute A3 charcoal

I really don’t like the feel of charcoal, however, that is due to lack of familiarity with the medium. It offers rapid coverage and the range of tones is ideal for emphasising the 3D quality of the form.

A3 6B 10 minute graphite on acrylic prepared paper

A3 6B 10 minute graphite on acrylic prepared paper

The  figure was redrawn for better positioning but also to define the shapes more accurately without worrying too much about detail. The face is more realistically formed.

10 minute graphite stick on A3

10 minute graphite stick on A3

With skin tones rendered in graphite, there is not a full range of lights and darks evident. I found the darkest darks on this side lit figure are just mid tones.

A3 10 minute 6B graphite on acrylic prepared paper

A3 10 minute 6B graphite on acrylic prepared paper

With this more abstract version I am tempted to render the image with colour that is lacking from graphite and charcoal.

A3 charcoal

A3 charcoal

The darkest area on this top lit figure is the stomach area with cast shadows from the breasts. The darks allow a counter change to throw the upper torso into highlighted relief. At this point I was beginning to blend the charcoal more subtly.

10 minute graphite on acrylic prepared A3 paper

10 minute graphite on acrylic prepared A3 paper

I really like this composition and how the shape breaks up the page.

A3 graphite stick

A3 graphite stick

The chunky graphite stick can be used side on to make broad sweeps of tone. Much of the skin tones were build up with successive layers of cross hatching especially in the area below the buttocks where the left leg has the darkest cast shadow.

10 minute 6B graphite on acrylic prepared A3 paper

10 minute 6B graphite on acrylic prepared A3 paper

This is another interesting composition. I feel the proportions are more elegant and the curve of the spine in the lower lumbar region are captured more sensitively.

The possibilities of fore shortening

A3 charcoal

A3 charcoal

At every attempt I tried to capture all the figure. With the blending of charcoal I did not reserve areas of white “untouched” paper. Even lifting out with putty erasers and blu tak did not recover the lightest tone. However, I think I have captured the pose without fussing over details like the right hand in the foreground.

10 minute 6B graphite on acrylic prepared A3 paper

10 minute 6B graphite on acrylic prepared A3 paper

I felt the image could at least be tidied especially the crossed legs showing foreshortening. I love the cerulean blue and raw sienna combo. The models were left manakin in most instances for me to concentrate on form and proportion.


Drawing 1: Project Proportions Page 107

Exercise : Quick poses page 108

Five 2 minute sketches

2 minute 6B kohinoor mechanical pencil

2 minute 6B kohinoor mechanical pencil

I began with my beloved Koh-i-noor mechanical pencil with an 8mm 6B graphite insert. This gave me confidence to start. My tutor told me to start drawing bigger. Two minutes to fill A3 is very rapid. My first job was timing myself accurately with my phone alarum. I was religious about this. I discovered I had no notion of what 2 minutes feels like. I thought I was rushing but struggled to get the figure done; let alone the supporting context.

2 minute willow charcoal

2 minute willow charcoal

I chose willow charcoal next as I needed to have coverage and quickly. Furthermore, my tutor suggested that I work more expressively. I hate charcoal’s messiness. However, I intended to challenge a weakness rather than consolidate a strength. My next problem was fitting the shape conveniently into the page. I understand why the course literature suggested working from the torso outwards. Even obeying this advice; I found positioniong a bit unpredictable.

2 minutes compressed charcoal

2 minutes compressed charcoal

I switched to compressed charcoal stick to give me greater exposure to media and to potentially extend expressive mark making in an intuitive way. I tried plotting maximum height and width for positioning. Making stick figure skeletons throughout aided measuring and I discovered the main features were the gentle W formed by the arms and the pigeon-toe inclination of the feet. I realised I was not looking for a likeness and was surprised that I wasn’t concerned by this lack.

2 minutes felt tip pens

2 minutes felt tip pens

I switched again to felt tip pens because I was feeling more confident with the experimentation. However, I chose three colours working from light to dark. I could modify my lines with darker over-drawing rather than rubbing out that was forbidden. I realised that I hand to block in the geometry of the fingers as there was no time to dedicate to getting it right.

2 minutes using ball point pen

2 minutes using ball point pen

By now I felt I knew where I was. Ball point pen is familiar to me and I resolved that since I was back in my comfort zone; that I would work faster and try to include the background in some way. The figure suffered as a consequence.

2 ten minute drawings

10 minutes with charcoal pencils

10 minutes with charcoal pencils

My daughter was running out of battery on her mobile phone and switched to a novel without altering the shape of the pose too much. She incorporated a pillow as I don’t think she has sat still for 10 minutes before and was making sure she was comfy. I hate charcoal but I cannot deny the expressive mark making. I resent that I have never found a fixative that works. This is why I tend to photocopy. However, according to Kaupelis, a photocopy is a drawing as well and can be worked on to generate new art.

2 minutes using 5 pencils

10 minutes using 5 pencils

I am in the habit of working my commissioned pieces using  five pencils. 4H,2H,HB,2B and 4B in that order This time I tried to make the hands more realistic and attempt to suggest the foreshortening of the arms and tucked legs.

Do some more drawings of this pose

A4 pentel brush with drawing ink

A4 pentel brush with drawing ink

This lacks detail due to the thickness of the pentel nib. Dipped straight into the bottle, the first inkings are jet black but as the water flows from the reservoir, the pigment becomes successively diluted. So I worked on the dark areas and dragged into the lighter patches.

A4 reed pens with drawing ink

A4 reed pens with drawing ink

I can’t control the flow of ink from a reed pen. However, that is part of the charm for me. I have had more predictable results on cartidge or Bristol board. I suspect the photocopy paper is too thin.

A4 pentel brush in drawing ink

A4 pentel brush in drawing ink

The diluted ink is enough to suggest a little shade and form. However, the accuracy of the line is compromised. The left foot is more faded but the attititude of hunch concentration feels right.

A4 Ballpoint pen elevated

A4 Ballpoint pen elevated

I regret using pen skeleton for this but could not rub it out for obvious reasons. I am particularly satisfied with the lower legs foreshortened. The essential  oil burner looks as if it is floating.

A4 pentel brush in drawing ink

A4 pentel brush in drawing ink

I feel I benefitted from the familiarisation process gleaned from the preliminary studies. I like the brushing of ink. My tutor asked me to “loosen up” (my interpretation of  her words) and the brushes make the act of drawing more like painting. This last study includes information to suggest the nearby bookshelves.

Exercise: Longer pose page 109…

such as a seated position

A3 longer pose in derwent water soluble graphite on Langton rough paper

A3 longer pose in derwent water soluble graphite on Langton rough paper

I am not experienced with water soluble graphite and I don’t like Langton paper of any kind. So I’m feeling insecure and this is reflected in the tight and methodical approach I’ve adopted for this piece. I marked the tallest and widest positions. I created a stick figure skeleton. Then I used the head as a roughly 1/7 measure and portioned the skeleton. I fleshed out with sausages and because of the wet media toned the volume of the form. I then re-measured and “corrected” nibbling away at the emmerging outline. I then rendered the darks and remodelled until I saw the form emmerge. I keep deepening the tone and adding details. At this point the page was beginning to cockle as water saturated the loose (not gummed) page. I wished I was working on pre-stretched smooth paper. The media is appropriate and was intended to stop me being too neat and methodical. However, when viewed in relation to the previous ink work displayed; it creates a contrast of styles.

Drawing 1 : Assignment 3

The great thing about the course literature is that you can read ahead and mentally prepare for what’s to come while your completing the exercises. I like this goal direct aspect of distance learning. However, mentally prepared I feel very anxious about this assignment and I don’t know why.

I had to make a start and being a peri-patetic art teacher, I began loosening up by sketching views from school windows.

A4 Marybank Primary

I feel this is too flat being viewed face on from  the P1-3 classroom window.

A4 Marybank garden from the staff room

Too many window panes distracts from an already busy garden.

A4 Fields viewed from Mulbuie Primary

This view is more promising. The large tree helps give depth as does the diminishing telegraph poles and the striations on the land.

A4 view from Marybank office

The window is arched with a deep sill that might allow vases, cats etc to be displayed in the immediate foreground. The central tree looks misplaced.

A5 View across fields near Mackenzie Tower, Mulbuie

Driving home I spotted this view. I was reminded of Lorrain’s division of the landscape. Foreground I have dyers’ rocket at a barb wire fence. In the midground a track leading up to a building; and, in the background, distant hills. Fence post hint at recession and the white building is accented by dark trees offering counter change.

A5 Garden viewed from kitchen

This view is quite promising but there lacks something in the immediate foreground. The telegraph pole is in the centre is all wrong and should be removed or replaced left or right.

A5 Alternative garden view

On this image the view is panned out enough to catch the top of a toy and a photo frame on the window sill. I believe this idea has potential. The image is too long for balance but feels it could be compressed.

A5 Garden view in ballpoint

A5 rear garden low

A5 rear garden westward

A5 front garden high


DSC00782Here is the finished piece.

Project Townscapes page 91

I was confused by the instruction two sketchbook pages. I first thought a single drawing straddling two pages and then though at least two drawings. Since I am using an A5 sketchbook I decided to draw multiple thumbnails. The scene intrigued me because of all the “plane” changes of direction. I tried to indicate direction with as limited strokes as possible. The circular window forms the centre of the picture.

I used ball point pen across two pages but am happier that this piece of all has greater depth with scope for foreground mid and background sections. I really enjoy the rapid mark making approach to sketching am beginning to see it as a short hand for recording the world. What the pieces lack in accuracy and mathematical precision; they more than make up for in energy and visual interest.

Completed study of Munlochy Primary School

A4 School study in ink

The weather was dull when I made my preliminary sketches. Grey and overcast,so I imagined the effect of light top right.The round window is near the centre of the original but scanning has squared this image from its true rectangle. The old building does have bent, concave roof and I tried to observe this. The buildings behind have less detail and I have deliberately exaggarated the details in the shed and foliage of the foreground.

Exercise A sketchbook of townscape drawings page 93

focus on Munlochy Hotel

Focus on Munlochy Hotel

The building is a faniliar place. The weather was cold and the pavement narrow. The traffick was busy but people were short on supply. The only pedestrians using the place were builders atempting to refurbish the place. The economy is takingits toll on this industry.However, the shape of the building is very interesting and ful of character. It is squinty and odd extensions have been added over the years giving it interesting angles. This is a real ale pub with a real ale brewery five miles distant. I like this place on many levels and  the Primary school were I visit as a peri-patetic specialist art teacher; is right next door.

Detailed study 3B

A detailed study using 3B

The hotel viewed from the playground away from the traffick. The building is ramshackle but affords many planal shifts as does the Primary school at my back. I am forcing myself to edit because the weather was cold and drizzly and I wanted to draw fast. Drawing fast makes me edit more as I am prone to wanting to draw everything rather than select what is salient.

A series of quick sketches

Quick sketch 1

The hotel facing North up the High Street and towards the hills. This is very much short hand and I am conscious that I am drawing for a purpose or specific genre. I am exploring what is there rather than completing a piece that shows accuracy and technical skill.

Quick sketch 2

There is even less in this sketch but it says everything it needs to, to jog my memory and has the potential generate new art. There is a sense of place here with the trees to the right and the distant buildings fading towards the distance. The telegraph pole and wires help to stop the viewers eye drifting out of the page.

Quick sketch 3

This one reminds me of the compositional aspect of drawing. Far from a finished piece I forced myself to stop when my instincts tell me to refine, polish and keep going. I would easily be able to generate stronger expressive work from the information here and my memory and imagination. I am learning to see my sketchbooks as playgrounds and science labs. To have fun and to try out experiments and investigations. Furthermore, I feel that the sketchbook is not the end but the repository of ideas that can be developed further in other media and with different techniques.

Larger piece of work

A4 sketch development using colour

The literature suggests I revisited a previous sketch, find a unique view and produce a larger piece. I used A3 rough Langton watercolour paper, Carand’ache water soluble crayon and FW acrylic ink. This is scribble with crayon but also with the acrylic ink dropper. I employed a sgraffitto technique and finger painting. I went for as crude, (naieve) an image as I could produce knowing that my next piece is hopefully going to be refined and neat. This is to demonstrate the ability to use media to express different moods. Also it is to display my range and versatility. I chose a night time side on view with a partial car. The picture is so sombre you have to look cosely to distinguish the colours in the murky pigment. This is also true of murky Autumnal nights

Exercise A limited palette study from your sketches page 95

The theme for this study is the Munlochy Hotel.

This sketch was developed from my sketchbook using technical pen.

A4 study of Munlochy Hotel using rotring technical pen

I really like the jumbled angles of this hotel.It is typical for the area being grey slate with white-washed facade. However, I’d like to rework the building with the colour scheme of the limited palette described in the course literature. I tried to do this in a detailed and controlled way to contrast with the previous colour piece. I am aware that as I drive around my schools I am mentally collaging the landscape to allow me to complete assignment 3. I realise I can fabricate my own landscape from the world I see around me.

Munlochy Hotel using a limited palette

I used Faber Castell Polychromos pencils on A3 Bristolboard inside an 11 x 14 aperture. Colour included black, deep red and venetian red. I employed a burnisher and an electric eraser. The drawing was completed initially with three different thicknesses of ink pen to give a feel of perspective and recession.Thick foreground, CD writer pen mid ground and rotring pen for background. I could feel myself struggling with motivation at this point as I have spent a lot of time on these exercises in a short period and feel I am experiencing burn out. The example in the literature is crude and so I decided control of tone was more important. I rendered from background to foreground increasing pressure, hatching, blending and detailing.

Exercise Drawing statues page 96

Unicorn Silhouette

A 1/4 Unicorn Statue

This is a graphite and mixed media drawing of the Unicorn statue by Gerald Laing that resides in Falcon Square in Inverness. I made a drawing, converted it into a frisk film template and scribbled inside the aperture I had made. I made all the strokes from the outward in. I removed the film a made a graduated tone from top to bottom holding the stick sideways. This incorporated some frottage as I was working on top of a texture surface. I the rubbed the entire piece to give a blended and slighly hazy effect. I wanted it to have a viewed at night feel. The frottage mistakes were left in.

Flora MacDonald Tone

A4 Flora MacDonald statue Inverness Castle esplanade

Flora MacDonald statue 4B Faber Castell 9000 on Canson Bristol board. My favourite pencils on my favourite surface on a sunny Autumn day. Mid afternoon light high on my right shoulder. With this tonal sketch I have employed a scratchy stroke while every fibre of my being is telling me to use a tortillon and smooth out the surface. I think because the sculptor has tried to show texture and fabric and fur that it makes sense to respect that. To blend the graphite would be to ignore this information. There is a good sense of light but the drawing was interupted and had to be finished at home. The castle is alluded to feintly in the background.

Guardian Angel showing negative shape

A4 “Guardian” Angel 1

The process for these two pieces was a complex one. I drew an angel holding a wreath in outline. A template was made from the drawing and redrawn on the Guardian newspaper. This image was then removed from the paper with a craft knife and made into opposite negative forms on black cartride. The forms were photographed.

A4 “Guardian” Angel 2

The photographs were then cropped and printed out on A4 paper. The negative shapes were re-drawn using Montana acrylic marker pen. I used white an black and imagined how the light would fall upon the statue. I scribbled these details in. The titles Guardian angels is a pun.

Flower Girl statue showing textured weathering

A4 Flower girl statue with weathering texture

Again I have been inspired by Vitamin D to push the boundaries with these drawings. The checklist speaks of risk taking  and I think I have been faithful to this ideal. Once more the method is involved and relies on reprographics as in Robert Kaupelis’ book Experimental Drawing. I drew a statue and made a template. This time I “drew” into the gap with Atelier interactive modelling compound. I patted textures into the clay-like material with peaks and ridges and fingerprints etc. When the template was peeled back the edges were crisp. I set the material aside to dry. Once it had set, I spray painted the background and drew onto the textures to bring out the original statue features but in “damaged” form. The image was scanned and printed out on grey scale. At this point I consider it enough but part of me wishes to sculp with white pastel pencil and darker graphite work.

Project Drawing Trees page 97

Exercise Sketching an individual tree Page 98

Simple outline of overall shape

Trees overall outline in reed pen

I chose a reed pen and dipping ink as I have a tendency to over work some of my art. No such problem with the reed pen that facilitates a free and relaxed approach to mark making. I noticed a strong diagonal on the windswept |Cedar.

shaded areas describe foliage forms different masses

Foliage masses

To aid comparison in the development of an idea, I maintained the same view throughout. The foliage masses reminded me of earlier work on clouds and I see a definate analogy. Curiously I “discovered” this tree looking for cloud forms. The pencil was applied side on with a wedge shaped lead fashion on a nail file!

Outline of trunk and main branches

outline trunk and main branches

I may have mis-interpreted the instructions. I drew only what I could see of the trunk and main braches as if the foliage forms were invisible and the view behind removed. A challenging task aided by an awareness of negative space.

Something of the texture of the foliage

foliage texture 1

I feel the pen work on the left reflects a greater awareness of the tree. The scientist in me needed to explore the needles forms on twiglets that might shed some light on this Cedar’s interesting shape.

Foliage masses 2

I used soft graphite, electric erasers, pencil erasers and embossing tools to experiment and explore further. I used Canson Bristol board and so it permitted deep ridges with the embossing tool.

sketch of the indivdual tree

Cedar Tree how big it’s grown

The method employed by this task has made me more familiar with the structure and form of this tree. I see it as a friend and can look back at an enjoyable time well spent.

Exercise Larger study of an individual tree Page 99

Brother Elm

The main characteristic of this ancient Elm, relative of an elm felled in 2008 widely considered the oldest tree in Europe; is the heavy dense texture. It can be found guarding the gateway to the Priory in Beauly once occupied by Mary Queen of Scots. Visually rich in information; the task was daunting and took close on two hours. This is water soluble ink but I resisted the temptation as I like it very much as I first “saw” it. I believe it would reward multiple visits and sketching sessions.

Exercise Study of several trees Page 101

A5 Maryburgh Landscape with trees.

I am really happy with this one. I finally realised a connection between me, my sketchbook and responding to the landscape.This has the potential to be developed further in different media. OCA has taught me to simplify and select the necessary information only. I feel I have not over complicated things and conveyed depth with fore, mid and background. Today was a breakthrough.

A5: The Intense Darkness of Conifers

I was taken with the phrase “the intense darkness of conifers” in my course literature. I found a track winding into the forest at Newtonhill in the Reelig Glen leading to a tree cluster with a screen of dark conifers overlooking them. I wish I had used colour washes to help display the autumnal colours and differentiate species. The path leads past a disused cabin.

A5 Mixed conifer and deciduous moor in w/s graphite

The moor was wet and misty as Autumn approaches. I chose Derwent watersoluble graphite to show the tree line disappearing into the misty distance. Some contrast and counter change was deliberately eggagerated to make the tree distinct from one another. Similarly with the foliage scribble that differed in direction and intensity to show species variation. This would have been easier using colour. The water was applied using a Pentel water-filled brush on a cartridge sketchbook not designed for wet work.

A5 Woodland near Beauly

In this study the moor land is in the foreground with a telegraph pole and wires breaking up the page. The mid ground is populated with a dense cluster of trees with differing zentangle effect foliage to distinguish pieces in the dense complexity. The background is signified by distant tree rows and growth upon the hilsside. The undulations sigifying the contours of the land with diminishing trees in the furthest background. Rotring pen with water wash.

4 tree studies on A4

I drew these trespassing in the rain and my heart was not in it. There were sheep intimidated by my presence and I felt an angry landowner was going to talk to me. There are no trespass laws in Scotland but the fear was real.

Birch with bark offset against conifer

Again this was completed in the rain using soft grade Faber Castell 9000 pencils on A4 Canson bristol board. The dark phthalo blues and greens of the conifer threw the white bark into relief. Looking back I would have loved to spend more time on this. The picture was hurried as I was on a dirt track in the rain.

A4 Cluster of trees viewed under an oak

The ground did naturally lend itself to fore, mid and background. However, I was soaking wet and sitting inside my car cramped and uncomfortable and longing for home. I liked how the oak branch created an aperture to view the  island of trees. The background trees should be softer to show recession into the distance. This has been only partially achieved.

A4 Copper beech and trunk studies

The first drawing from Bught Park near the RFC ground in Inverness. The weather was dry but overcast but I realised that Trudy Friend drew from imagination and Claudia Nice adapted photographic reference; so I felt at liberty to modify my visual world. I tried to shade foliage ” cloud” clusters with a strong light direction seen more clearly on the trunk. I experimented moving to other trees around to show perspective and to define the light edge of the trunk study.

A4 Oak tree

I tried a different method for this oak. I mapped the outline then plotted the trunk and braches as a skeleton. I drew cloud foliage clusters and begun to render imagining strong light from top right. I tried to shade the clusters and picked out the trunk and branches peeping through the gaps. I made a heavily wedge shaped pencil in the style of Trudy Friend’s DVD.

A4 Horse Chestnut study

This was drawn very quickly with the wedge shaped 8B. The mass was shaded rapidly but the light side left as blank page. The edge was defined by dark foliage from distant trees. I drew highlights with a rubber pencil The light was the strongest of the day and I should have cast shadow on the trunk. I have a dark and light side indicated with an on off pressure line to show lost and found outlines.

A4 The mound obscuring the Caledonian Canal

This was the most ambitious drawing for me to attempt. The trees are receding into the distance left and vertically backwards away from the viewer. The light his fairly high from the  left making light to dark crown shading. Also there is a cast shadow under the trees. the shade of a foremost tree defines the highlight of a hindermost tree.

Mixed deciduous tree cluster at Bught Park RFC.

The light is top right corner. There are distant confers showing the hill line where it meets the horizon. The darkness of trees behind help shape the trees infront by providing relief or contrast. The trees become smaller in the distance and lose detail receding from the viewer towards the right hand side. Different mark making suggest tree species and growth direction. The cast shadow underneath anchors them to the ground.

A5 Moorland with conifers and mixed deciduous at Reelig

Moorland five miles from where I live. There is a rich vriety of conifers and mixed deciduous woodland in the Reelig Glen. Some a cultivated in garden ground while others have blown in on the wind or have ancestry here. A very foggy day with pine tops peeping on the horizon.

A5 Mixed conifers with deciduous underplanting

I attempted aerial perspective by making the trees in the background  faded and with less detail. The trouble with monochrone is making contrast between foreground deciduous and darker conifers whose tone in the middle ground defines the foreground. Some sense of light but coloured washes would create this illusion more powerfully and help alludeto tree species.

A5 Newtonhill towards Reelig Glen

What a surprise to see a tropical tree growing in the glen North of Inverness. Ofcourse the focus of this picture is a Douglas Fir tree. There is a conifer tree line to suggest depth and recession. A nearer Rowan tree is cropped off the picture plane on the left. The barb wire fence widens towards the viewer to give a sense of perspect and a little depth. As the trees go to the middle and background, there is less detail.

A2 The Wood near Littleburn

The picture is really about the lemon yellow Autumn light breaking  through the foliage. I used mixed media. Graphite, watercolour , gouache and Caran d-ache water soluble crayon on Arches water 140lb watercolour paper. This was a difficult decision to use gouache but the artists’ in Vitamin D use this combination and I decided to go with it. After all the preliminary monochrome studies it was nice to inject colour into the thinking. This is only a half step towards expressive work or abstraction.


The effect of Ivy on a deciduous tree.

A3 The effect of ivy on a deciduous tree

I enjoyed the spontaneous mark making behind this piece. Plotting the ivy creepers in 4B graphite, over-drawing triangular leaf forms, shading the bark, re-drawing and modifying in felt tip pen. When I coloured I tried to locate bark separate from leaf, leaf from creeper and so on. A cast shadow randomised the leaf forms and I am quite happy with the effect now I have worked out a method. I am not happy with the colour matching; but the energy of the activity and the feel of ivy is believable.

Looking for strong contrast

A Lime Tree root abstract

I was attracted to the dense complexity of the roots and shoots at the base of this Lime (?) tree. The light was strong behind casting the tree into silhouette. But the light peeping through caught some of the trigs and branches. I used graphite, ink, pen and neutral tint wash on a bed of masking fluid. I felt free with the enegetic mark making liberated from thoughts of success and just enjoying the flow, rythm and movement of the scene. Some small detailing shows the ivy runners scaling the tree. I thought of Gouche green leaves but prefer the contrast of monochrome.

I am intrigued by the opportunity to employ a much more abstract and expressive approach. I remember a nearby dense forest on a bright day mid-Autumn when the sun was glowing amid an electric flash of colours. I’d relish the opportunity to explore this as part of OCA exercises.

Project Perspective

Exercise Parallel perspective- an interior view page 88

I chose the view from my livingroom into my kitchen because there are tile effect laminate flooring to aid perspective. I imagined a rug in front of the doorway and two tables were in my field of view. I drew initially in line but felt I had to add tone and some other details caught my eye.

Parallel perspective- an interior view original

I spent ages on this piece wedged up against the TV to try to get this view. Without a ruler or a rubber I worked from 4H to 4B to try to get my angles right. You cannot believe how challenging this activity is mentally and the logistical difficulty of organising my drawing schedule around my children and other room users. Especially those wishing to watch TV! After all this effort I could not bring myself to draw perspective lines on top.

I resolved to do the follow up work on a photocopy of the original. I felt if I scaled it down and the perscpective lines converged outside the image; they might still fit on an A3 sheet and I could show it.

Perspective- finding the vanishing point

I have several potential vanishing points, all inside the drawing with no convegence outside the image. None of them match my actual eye level. I am not happy with this fact.

Exercise Angular perspective page 89

Fag Break

The is the trade entrance of the co-op in Beauly. I wanted to practise before my final piece as I don’t usually study buildings; so I thought I’d give this a go. Also, it is similar to the example on page 89 and had attractive stone work and interesting cast shadows at that time of day. Around 3pm.

Coner on the Square deli

Drawing 1: Assignment 2

I wasn’t sure about the compositional side of still life. So I decided to investigate other artists. I googled then rapidly sketched the shape of famous artists’ paintings. I wrote analysis in an attempt to make generalisations that I could apply to my own work. I chose Gaugin, Cezanne, Peploe and George Leslie Hunter. I knew Peploe’s work resonated with me as I had seen his work in Edinburgh; but Hunter’s work was a slow burner and eventually I realised it made sense.


Gaugin study using water soluble crayon on Langton Rough paper

I responded to the power of the blue to offet the strength of the complimentary orange.


Cezanne study using water soluble crayon on rough Langton

I chose this composition because it is quite daring. Cezanne is meticulous and obsessive about the positioning of objects in his still life. This shouldn’t work, and my copy doesn’t do it justice, but Cezanne finds spatial balance and colour harmony.


Study in the style of Peploe

Peploe’s work speaks very strongly to me and I identify with it. The staged background is naieve and the colours are very courageous and bold.


Study of still life by G.L.Hunter in water soluble crayon

Hunter’s use of colour is still strong but generally more subtle than Peploe. I love the use of complimentaries here. The purple is rich but balanced with the lime in the green.

My Submissions

Still life 1 by Aidy Eaton

Still life 2 by Aidy Eaton

Still life 3 by Aidy Eaton

This one was identified as my final submission