Sunday, June 11, 2006
Show and Tell for Inspire Me Thursday
This is a picture I drew of my boyfriend Paul. This morning, we got up and decided to make the most of the summery weather before it got too hot and oppressive, so we got on the bus and went to Alexandra Palace park, found a shady spot under some huge trees and revelled in the breeze. I tend to get my inspiration from the things and people around me, so I draw a lot of pictures of my cat and of Paul. But no matter how often I draw them, I never quite feel that I capture their likeness. Still, I like to keep trying. Here I wanted to do something relatively free. The sudden burst of hot weather in Europe has made me feel like I'm on holiday, and I wanted to keep that free and relaxed feeling going by not trying to make myself "work hard" or "produce great art". I try not to do that anyway, when I'm doing something I really enjoy. The best things always grow out of a combination of having practiced, and the spontaneity of the moment.
Paul lay back on his bag and closed his eyes for a snooze. And I got out my Rotring fountain drawing pen (black ink, always black ink), fine-nibbed and my trusty craft paper sketchbook (only 4.5 x 6 inches in size) and asked him not to move for a few minutes. Then I just focussed on drawing what I saw. I realise that I generally tend to draw quite quickly, this is to prevent me from crossing out or losing a sense of spontaneity, and to try to capture my subject before they move. I just went with it.
After I followed the contours of his face, his t-shirt, his bag, I added some of the daisies and leaves that were nearby, then I coloured it all in with my Berol Colour Broad marker pens. I love those pens, I use them more than anything else at the moment. I changed the colour of his bag as the real colours were a little dull (grey and black), and I wanted a contrast with the green and blue. The white of the daisies I added when we got home with my white conte crayon. I haven't yet found a white marker pen that isn't ridiculously expensive.
I adore using pen and ink and it works really well on craft paper, especially with those marker pens. I do regret adding the pinky-brown to his lips as it makes him look like he's wearing lipstick, but otherwise, I like the drawing. I even like the little mistakes, which seem to add a sense of reality to it. It doesn't so much capture him as it does the mood, and Paul kind of liked it too. He said I made him look like an early David Bowie or something...I'm not so sure about that. I just hope he doesn't look dead!
I'm not sure I'm going to do anything with this, I might do a similar portrait in pen and ink on a larger scale for my drawing in colour course. I need to do an assignment that's about expressive colour, and rather than draw objects or a landscape (which they suggest), I want to draw a person. We'll see how that goes.
After our little park sojourn, we went to the local garden centre and brought home some plants: common sage, lemon thyme, peppermint, a very tiny bay tree, oregano, a chocolate cosmos (yes, it smells of chocolate!) and a gorgeous purply viola. We also got a lovely wind chime.
As we build up and watch our garden grow, I am sure there will be lots of drawings and photos to come. Ooooh! I love summer!