Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Book Review - Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson

I may have mentioned this book before as Charles Reid told me, when on a workshop, that he considered it the best book on drawing. This is a bold statement as there are hundreds of books on drawing and Charles can't possibly have read all of them. They vary from the classical style `Atelier' type publications to every variation on the theme. Having bought it I certainly agree with him from my point of view. I have several others, including classics, but I prefer the `looser' style of Charles and Dodsons book, while covering all types, is more to my taste. 

Keys to Drawing - Bert Dodson. North Light Books this edition paperback 1990 224 pages approx. 81/2" x 103/4"
Current Amazon prices - Hardback £16.30p, Paperback £14.88p , From Amazon partners used and new from £6.64p Also Kindle edition.

Here are some examples from the book.

I realised after doing this that I had skimped it rather and can only apologize for my befuddled state. Following a weeks holiday in Malta I returned and immediately went down with a raging cold and cough. Here are some of the things the book teaches:

55 specific keys to improving your drawing.

48 mini lessons that help you master techniques

8 self evaluation checklists to help you gauge your progress

In addition it teaches you to restate, focus, map and intensify. Free your hand action, then learn to control it.
 Convey the illusions of light, depth, and texture etc Enough said to kindle your interest?

I imagine this book won't suit everybody, who might prefer a more orthodox approach although Dodson does cover all types of drawing and we get none of the `this is the only way to do it' approach.. I think it excellent and refer to it more than any other drawing book. He did publish a second book but it didn't seem to me as interesting as this one.

Monday, 9 May 2016

The Green Man

The subject at the latest AVA session was `Greens'. This isn't beloved by many but, as is my usual method, I entered the search on Google and came up with the Jack in the Green festival at Hastings. Previously my association with Jack in the Green.was in regard to the primrose flower of the same name, due to the green ruff _ leaf like - in which sits the flower. I used to  raise them when I was hybridizing primroses. The Festival is based on an old Pagan ritual, involving Morris Dancing and is held on May Day. It was revived at Hastings a few years ago. Look it up - quite amazing what the participants get up to in terms of dress, covered with leaves and much else to give an overall green impression..

The Green Man 16" x 12" Waterford High White

I completed the drawing two days before the AVA session so was ready to start immediately and perhaps take more time over the painting. I have a tendency to rush in where others fear to tread.

What to do about the greens. Well here I simply went into my box of greens and picked out several, Sap Green and Hookers Green (Graham), Cascade Green and Apatite Green (Daniel Smith), Sap Green (Lukas) and a couple of others. They weren't all used in the actual painting but most were. I also added Cobalt Teal Blue (Daniel Smith PG50), a lovely colour with a greenish tinge that is often difficult to fit into a painting. Here it featured quite strongly. Other colours were Translucent Brown (Schminke PBr41) and Cerulean for parts of the pipe. Some Burnt Umber in the pipe as well as the Translucent Brown.The eyes were Cadmium Red Light with a little Raw Sienna and Ultramarine added for the darker areas and the iris.

I started off with the eyes then the nose followed by the mouth. I didn't do these in isolation but ventured into the areas adjacent to them. Once I'd done that I completed the green leaves around the head and painted his beard with lots of Cobalt Teal Blue as well as some green.

Brushes used were the Isabey 6201 travel brush for the main detail plus Isabel Kolinsky sables 6228 sizes 4, 6 and 8.

Overall this went well and I am happy with it as it achieved my aim of a loose interpretation which I felt caught the subject quite well.. I had a slight problem with the eyes and am still less than 100% happy even after remedial action the day after the AVA session.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Watercolour Paintings (18)

Here is this months batch of watercolour paintings. Again a mix of well-known  and lesser known artists with a variety of styles. Naturally I include a few of my favourites.

Robert Wade - Doyen of Australian watercolour artists

Gerard Hendriks - A master of colouir and movement - and much else

 Nirupam Konwar - another new one to me

Ewa Ludwiczak - very Charles Reid.

Trevor Waugh - I've seen him paints flowers like this.years ago

Christian Couteau -Very much a colourist

Samiran Sarkar - Simple yet effective

Milind Mulick - colourful and profilic, great use of greens

Charles Reid

Oops! Wrong artist - this is Joseph Zbukvic

Javed Chowdhury - New to me

Another from Gerard Hendriks

Valentino Veriato - |Quite amazing

Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey - Amazing young African artist with a growing reputation

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Latest Paintings

These are my latest efforts.

16" x 12" Centenaire

16" x 12" Waterford High White - An Amerindian mother and child.

16" x 12 Waterford High White -Left Hand - Comanche

16" x 12" Waterford High White 
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in `Game of Thrones'

Usual brushes and colours. I'm painting a bit more often and the rust is beginning to disappear. .