Working on a drawing

Portrait of a friends nephew. I’ve just started it using a dark grey pencil crayon. It needs some more work and I will try and include some of the background to make it more cohesive. I need to work on the shading. If I squint my eyes I can work out the tonal range. Clearly the forehead needs darkening on the left hand side. I’ve only got today and tomorrow to finish it!

house portrait

From May 2020, when I first started my part time illustration course. I am still quite pleased with this drawing. Physically, I was fitter and could draw without shaking too much. I tend to add less details these days too. I’d like to get back to drawing outside. Maybe meet up with urban sketchers again. Even though I havent caught Covid, it’s done things to me mentally. I guess I got a bit of cabin fever during lockdown, and since then it’s been easier to avoid people – you never know if you will just burst into tears… I think I’m OK, god knows what its like for people living through wars or famine. We can still do things here, well some of us can. I worry for people in food poverty or who can’t afford to heat their homes. It all spins round in my head. which is why I’m writing this at 3.11am…. must go to bed.

In the second world war and afterwards they had ordinary people just writing down their everyday lives in diaries. They were collated to record what had happened. There is a film called “Housewife 55” or something like that, which starred Victoria Wood. If you can find it, it’s worth watching, very poignant. maybe they were their own kind of bloggers.

How do I draw from imagination?

How do I draw from imagination? I talk and think my way through things, by describing how they should look in my mind or verbally helps to make me think more about details of the image I’m drawing.

For example, this drawing was based on a memory of my walks in a local park as a child. There were trees that seemed to have faced in them. They were probably Ash trees, they seemed to have long spidery branches with tipped up ends like fingers. The path wandered around past stone walls that I used to balance on. Behind me was a play area with a slide, swings and a roundabout and seesaw. This is a memory drawing so it isn’t exactly accurate and things have probably changed a lot. I haven’t been back for years. But the face in the tree gives me a bit of a feeling of nervousness I used to get as a child.

1981

A drawing from 1981 of Hanley Park lake, surrounded by trees. I used to do a lot of pencil drawings and my sister has this in a frame at home.

The park was refurbished a few years ago and some of the neat lawns have been rewilded to allow the wildlife to thrive. There are also sculptures in the park and the boathouse has been restored. It’s been a while since we went there but it’s good to know its still thriving.

Face sketch

Tried drawing Jane Horrocks in twenty minutes while watching Sky Portrait artist of the week. Done with a blunt spectrum noir pencil crayon. Where’s my sharpener when I need it? I couldn’t find an image from the day so I used a stock one. I’m afraid it looks a bit more like another celebrity, Annika Rice?

Emotions

What emotions or feelings do you think are shown in this portrait? Anger, sadness, upset? Concentration or thought?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell. I know I drew this a couple of years ago and the sitter was, I think, either listening to the radio or watching TV. I think the look is concentration. Some peoples can sag when they are in repose. I know it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, but sometimes a face takes on a characteristic look, a shape it settles into. That’s this look…