Friday, 18 November 2016

The virtue of a block of days.

While many people make the most of attending a regular weekly class, it's another thing altogether if you can make time to do a workshop for two or three days in a row. It's amazing how much can be crammed in, with each exercise building on the previous one in a way which compounds learning, makes it easier to remember and pushes your skills up a notch or three. Another advantage of having a few days is that we can try a variety of drawing methods, from smaller detailed studies to larger, more free drawing using the whole arm. 

Recently I held a three day drawing workshop, which included working in pencil, charcoal and coloured pastels. 

Gavin's apples in charcoal - at A2 size, there was plenty of dramatic impact. 
Although we had used the whole arm to draw in pencil, when I introduced charcoal, things got a lot bigger! Charcoal is a great medium - it is faster than pencil, and allows us to deal almost immediately with the mass area of the subject, as opposed to the linear qualities of pencils. 

Mary working on her lovely charcoal drawing. 

Dawn's initial loose block-in. This is the end of the 'linear' stage with charcoal. After this, everything is about tone and lines are eliminated.

From charcoal we moved on to coloured pastels, using seasonal gourds to help understand form and tones. As you can see, the scale remained large - a case of the medium dictating proportion. 

Gavin's drawing

Mary's drawing

On the third day, we decided to venture into Oils, which was an unexplored medium for the students. 
We kept it simple and manageable by doing lots of mixing exercises before launching into a small black and white study. 

Mary and Gavin, getting to grips with oils 
 As you can see from the photos, I was pleased to be able to provide some of my sons old school shirts to keep the clothes clean. Recycling at its best! 

Next up, Watercolour weekend Belfast!

For information please email 

No comments:

Post a Comment