Monday, October 26, 2009

Quintadagio - 14

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quintadagio - 13

OK..time to come clean. I think the recovery from my virus is still going on, I was more sick than I thought. I'm finding everything a bit of a struggle inspiration wise, so the amount of time I'm working for is reduced. I just feel rather flat. So I'm not going to push myself. Of course this means you won't have so much to look at here. However, at least you can see the beginning of the second cellist in this composition. She seems to have gained a suspicious sort of sideways gaze.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quintadagio - 12

Apologies for no post yesterday....I've been laid low by the same virus my daughter has had...I'm just about better now, so I've only just felt like working again.

I've been wondering how to dress my Cello girl...lots of googling for Corsets, Waspies, Bustiers etc...I remember when I was at art school I was designing a dress for a character in a story I'd written. A visiting costume designer told me that when ever you design clothing for an illustration or artwork, you should aim to come up with something no one can go and buy 'off the peg'..I have ideas for the material and designs of the corsetry I'd like to depict, but I'm wary after the stocking episode in 'Cello' where I spent ages designing the flowery pattern I wanted only to find out that such designs are plentiful if you look for them commercially!...whilst I enjoy the searches (!) I have decided with the present picture to take the path of least no clothes. I still have a desire to depict ever more complex costumes and more of Cello Girl in the future, but for now, my corsetry designs will have to take a back seat!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quintadagio - 11

I'm finding that every little aspect of this picture needs pre 'jigsaw' there were areas such ass the sky and trees where I could almost switch to autopilot, but here it's an effort. do you remember the agonies I went through earlier in the year when I first created a Cello Girl ?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quintadagio - 10

Well...this is the best I can do...I've really had a tough time with Cello Girl's face, but you know the scary thing?...I've got three more to do!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Feeling down?...high kick yourself happy!


I've had a difficult day..being the single parent again this weekend.Unresponsive teenage sons,massive piles of wet washing, washing up..meals to cook..(which no one will eat because they're not actually in or they don't like what I cook)..(roast vegetables!).! Looking forward to one perfect point of the day where I'd settle at my drawing desk to work for a short period and watch the start of the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix. It turned out the I spent a while working and nearly ruined my picture...Cello Girl's face was just too masculine and had none of the magic I was looking for...I toiled and brought it to a stage where I could live with it, then ruined the mouth..many times...tried to erase it...smudged the ink...ended up nearly creating a hole in the paper...was very frustrated...then just as the race was about to start, someone telephoned...I was not in a very very communicative state as cars started crashing and Jenson Button ( The British driver) needed a top 6 placing to ensure he won the world title. Picture dying...race crashing..annoyed person on end of line...aarrgghhhh!

OK..before you come to the conclusion that I've well and truly lost, I can confirm I never actually 'had it'! Now at the end of the day, I've wrestled Cello Girl into submission and satisfactory mouth situation and Jenson button won the F1 world Championship title. I have a glass of rum by my side...I'm not a single parent again until tomorrow and I thought that at least I'd have these lovely Can Can dancers to cheer me up...hope you had a better day than me?...see you tomorrow!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quintadagio - 9

Having one or two problems with this at the moment. I'm not happy with it...but I've identified the problem and will fix it in due course...meanwhile I need to cook !

Friday, October 16, 2009

Quintadagio - 8

Here's a nice little selection of photos showing in reverse order the work on 'Cello Girl's' face. ( I don't have a name for her other then that.) A lot of people at exhibitions ask me who she is and if I use a model. Well, I don't use a model, I make the faces up ...this face has appeared in my work for many years now.....and I dare say for many years to come! I've always loved the Bob hair cut ever since I saw Wendy Padbury wearing one in 1967's Doctor Who...they were everywhere in the 60's and for me the style (amongst others) represents something that to me never fails to turn my head and gain my attention.
Here you might be able to see the surface of the paper scuffed just above her top lip...this is due to successive reworkings of the shape of the lips.

One the eyes are right, everything else should least that's the theory!

A close up of the pencil work on the page before dotting. I never really know what the final expression will's almost as if I apply the ink and she appears..I look down and see someone from my dreams materialise before me...( any one remember the movie 'weird Science'?)...all done without me wearing a bra on my head!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quintadagio - 7

Thank you for your good wishes regarding Annie...she's now fully recovered.Today I have been working on the other members of the you can see my pencil outlines for a familiar young lady and her might not realise, but the features I want on her

face are particular, and I have worked and reworked the the drawing many times today...this evening I am happy to sit back and put down my pencil. I'll have another look in the morning, and if all's well, I shall begin inking her face.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quintadagio - 6

Slow progress today..I had my daughter at home from school feeling sick.I always find it hard to take myself upstairs to work for hours leaving her to watch a diet of Disney orientated repeats on TV. So we opted to watch a DVD. 'Edward Scissorhands' was what we chose..... Then I left her in the capable hands of 'Nanny McPhee' whilst I did this.
I haven't yet decided what I will put on the buttons of Starman's coat....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quintadagio - 5

Starman is coming together nicely, once I got his trademark stars in place he assumed the right level of menace. Earlier today I was chatting with my friend Preeti on the phone and she was anxious to tell me that she had seen someone in her neighbourhood who looked just like The Starman. So I just thought I'd ask you, have you seen this man?...send me your photos!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quintadagio - 4

The challenge here is to achieve the right level of contrast and depict the texture and folds in the material of the jacket.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Quintadagio - 3

I toyed with various ways to clothe The Starman...he usually wears an all over star robe, but here he's wearing an overcoat...the stars will be visible underneath....maybe he's surprised by you watching..maybe he's been trying to hide himself and he's been discovered. Either way, he didn't manage to hide himself very well.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Quintadagio - re-start.

You might remember that something similar happened last year when I was working on 'Orbits'? ..and it's the reason I always start with the most important face first so that any mistakes can be made early on . I sat looking at what I'd done at the end of yesterday and felt increasingly dissatisfied with the way he was looking. I worked on a few alternative ideas and came up with what has become the sketch above. So this morning I started at the beginning again.
Here I've reached the stage where I was yesterday, but in this instance I'm feeling much happier with progress.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Quintadagio - 2

And so it begins. He's a miserable looking blighter isn't he? you know I never really know how my characters faces are going to turn out, no matter how I plan them, it only takes a few dots to change the emphasis on the expression...and that's something I like...I like the spontaneity of it, goodness knows, there's little room for spontaneity in this type of work where planning is everything.

So I have begun slowly as always, making sure that I am happy with what I'm producing. sometimes I can feel so elated by the start of a new piece only to find that within a few hours, I hate it.Usually though it's only a matter of taking some time away, or even putting it away until the next day. When I start a new picture, I'm committing myself to what could be months of work on the same piece. every day I will stare and concentrate on it.So I have to be happy with it.

Top of the page shows a good closeup of my first few dots lining the eyes. The eyes are all important and draw the observer in , so they have to be right...!Below is the result of todays work so far.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Quintadagio - 1

Here begins the next journey. I have no idea how long this one will's not a consideration to be honest. Here I've transferred the tracing of my original drawing onto my drawing paper which as always is the reversed side of Windsor and Newton's 300lbs watercolour paper. I've worked on the image to define the details prior to begin inking. Here's a bit of a strange thing dear far I've been so concerned with the subject matter and composition that I've not really decided weather to render this work in black and white or colour....can you believe that I've left it to this stage to decide?, neither can I ! If I'm going with my gut instinct, it will be black and white as it will sit nicely with the others in my 'Darkside' series.

Below is a familiar view of my work you can see the blank page before any work has begun upon it....and the tools of my trade.A Rotring 0.25 Isograph, A Rotring 0-5 Fine propelling pencil and a handy pen shaped pencil rubber.

Join me tomorrow to see the first dots applied and were there for the beginning!

Some inspiration...

I found this wonderful piece about a cello quartet formed in New York in 1988 called 'Cello'...enjoy. This should be a nice slow introduction to the theme of my next artwork for which I am using the working title of 'Quintadagio'....puzzled?...stay tuned for more!

PS..You should hear their version of The Beatles 'I am the walrus' !!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

A change of face.....

Forgive me for one more change of face..a subtle difference and a little more somber in mood...but he is now almost ready to make the move to the page proper. I have been working on the other components for the bigger picture today and I'm hoping to begin dotting during the next few days.Once I am happy with my sketches, I like to make careful tracings that I will use to transfer the images to the drawing surface.
Today I have also been wearing my other hat as a Role Player..along with my neighbour Jane, I traveled once again to the Benefits Assessment Centre in Stoke On Trent where I played the role of someone with a knee problem which had kept him off work for six months claiming Incapacity Benefit. To complicate my role, I also had to have hearing problems. After completing an examination of my mobility and the effect that my knee problem limited my movement, the assessor told me that he was going to do a basic hearing test, for this he would stand at the opposite side of the room with his back to me and say a word or phrase which I had to repeat when I heard them. He stood there and I decided I'd ignore him the first two times and respond on the third. the word he spoke was 'Chicken'...he said it quietly for the first time, then a little louder, but then sat down not giving me a chance to respond . "I see" he said.." you do have quite a pronounced problem there...didn't you hear anything I said?".....I answered: "No..I did hear you saying something the second time, but I never heard the first thing you said" I realised what I'd said and spent the rest of the interview suppressing my laughter....the oddest thing is, he never mentioned it either.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Chalk marks in sky.

I liked the way the clouds looked like chalk marks in the sky as if it was some one's sketch of an idea for some weather...who knows how it will turn out but it's looking good so far!

Here's a more 'finished ' sketch for my Starman...he still looks a little odd, but yesterday I realised that I've been filling my blog up over the past few days with what I'd call very substandard sketches. You see, I use these sketches purely as mental notes on paper to which I have all the refined images in my mind...they are not meant to be anything other than that...I merely seek to show you part of the process I go through in the creation of a new work.I just didn't want you to think I couldn't draw very well!
For those of you who are fans of my surreal burlesque themed work, you should enjoy the next few weeks as I will be going darker and hoping to fill this latest work with even more symbolism and detail.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Starman time travelling violinist...

My good friend Su told me correctly that being a parent is like travelling a roller coaster.
Well, so is life as an artist..not only because my work is inextricably linked to the things that happen around me, but as a result of the gulf between what my imagination can come up with, and the ability to translate it to paper.
Here is a sketch which draws on the violinist theme I have previously written about. I did envisage the Starman to appear playing the cello and have messed around with various sketched to that end. But I've decided for the time being to concentrate on this idea.I like this idea and it gives me plenty of scope to play with the details of his clothing which I want to elaborate and decorate. There's no reason my characters cannot evolve in their appearance!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Back on track.....

OK...before anybody says anything, I can assure you these are NOT my latest passport photographs!
I apologise for not posting yesterday. I had a family crisis which needed my whole attention...the result was that I could not work no matter how long I sat and looked at my sketches. anyway, back on track again today. I thought I'd show you (in reverse order) this interesting face I've sketched. Yes, he is the Starman. I started with a basic sketch and reworked it rather than producing individual sketches. I quite like him so I shall give him a body and see what he looks like....I might post the results later if they're ok.