Gallery of past work

Friday, 8 February 2019

Experimental Drawing: Colour

Here, I posted about an excellent course that I attended at West Dean College with Matthew Harris before Christmas. I mentioned in that post that I had needed 'digestion time' before I posted those results. Then I included black and white drawings made mainly with a cola pen.

During the course, a day or two on from those drawings, we were asked to work with colour, and now I've been considering again today how I responded. I'm posting some croppings from two large A2 sheets of cartridge that developed from ink drawings to include varying amounts of colour.

In these first three from the second sheet I completed, the colour was added using oil pastel as I'd decided that I wanted vibrant colour as a contrast to the freely drawn strong black cola pen marks.

I was also searching to leave visual space in the shape of white areas in contrast to the intense colour and black / white contrast. In the photos above, in the centre in the top row, this was achieved by masking out an area with a chosen cut shape, working over it as if the paper shape wasn't there and then removing it. This gave a very hard clear line that I found very interesting and is a technique I'm sure I will use again.

Below is the first A2 sheet I completed. It was very different and to my eye at the time and since, less dramatically successful. I was more restrained and tighter as I drew. I kept the strength of the colour in check with a wash of dilute acrylic and using brown ink for the drawing before lightly adding oil pastel.

There were several thoughts that enticed me to look again at these two sheets of A2 paper. The first was the need to remind myself that being too careful and controlled can make for less dramatic and perhaps less successful results.

The second was the need to remember to leave those deliberate spaces for the eye to rest that seem to give such clear impact, especially in abstract work.

The last was a nod to railway lines that seems to have appeared in my work quite unconsciously as I looked at and drew from the extraordinary hanging still life that was the focus of the course. This was very interesting to note in the light of current work on The Railway Village in Swindon (mentioned in recent posts). In fact, in the drawing, I was referencing the weave and pattern in a length of hanging fabric.

It's funny how two quite different references seem to feed one into the other quite unconsciously and I only notice them when I'm given time to think!

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