Tuesday 9 September 2014

Just drawn to black and white

High winds above Malham Cove.
Mixed black and white media on Strathmore 500 series 100% rag content  Imperial Not 140lb (300gsm) watercolour paper. 
20 x 24 inches

What a fantastic watermark! This is left displayed in this drawing - floated in the frame. two deckled edges top and bottom are made with this paper and tow machine cut sides lets and right in contrast.
Full sheet size 22 x 30

EVERYTHING starts with drawing!

Solid, 'proper' quality drawing is the backbone found in every successful artists work and is the essence of their expressive, visual and artistic language - the bedrock for everything they do.

Drawing is a 'way in' - a great exercise to help you think your ideas through and put ideas down on paper.  OK, you can do the same by directly working with paint and pastels and I do that too, more often than not, working with colour directly on site or colour sketching in the studio as well. here though I 'draw' with the brush - not just paint with it.

The purity of drawing through tone, line and expression of ideas is what attracts me to it every time. A good drawing (throught through idea) sets up a good painting. Choosing different  types of drawing media and different papers keeps the exercise very stimulating and as experimental as painting. 

Combining different drawing media in the same study is also a great way forward and will give you confidence when thinking about the next stage...the 'big painting!' Keeping your sketch or working drawing by your side you have the perfect reference when you may start to get 'lost' in the field of colour and wonder which way to go. The drawing acts as a rudder and will help you put the wind back in your sails! 

Any painting session in the studio will always begin with a thumb through my sketch books and as I sink into my work and get into the zone. Ideas spring from these simple black and white/ sketched ideas and notations of thought through elements and studies on a page. 

Drawing for its own sake is what I do also. Drawing is important to me since these finished studies command as much attention as a finished painting through expression and emotive value.

There is nothing that holds as much emotive value you are compelled to express as an area you know and feel and have a connection with as I do for Malhamdale. It is one of the most dramatic locations within the whole of the Yorkshire Dales.

Cliff, rock, twisted weather beaten trees, mist, rain, sun illuminating the white limestone and steep fell sides and scree slopes, shadows plunging the deep gorges and ravins into mysterious caverns. 

There's more to come and I'm looking forward to getting out there in the Autumn season and painting even more of the dramatic scenery that Malham has to offer - every time!

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