Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sinodd - 3

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sinodd - 2

Been a busy weekend of Olympics watching..so not much work done here..however, back to work today and on with the show. You'll be pleased to know that I've taken delivery of seven new Isograph pen nibs...so I'm now free to embark on full colour dotting. as i mentioned in my last post, I'm going to work on a far simpler subject to regain my confidence with colour. I hope to get something up and running soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sinodd - 1

 I make no apologies for the title...a middle English spelling (plus an extra 'd') of Synod which as you might know is the name given to a governing body with in the church made up of clergy, usually Bishops or regional leaders. Since there's something odd going on in my picture which may or may not be to do with sin , hypocrisy , corruption etc with in the church....make up your own mind, the title kind of suggested itself ! Either way, I like playing with titles for my work which suggests double entendres or added emphasis....again, you decide!

Above you can see two drawings...on the left is the sketch I showed you yesterday and on the right is the tracing I made from it. Below you can see the tracing on the left and the transferred pencil work on the paper...a little refinement is made to the hands and the dimensions of the chalice...tomorrow I shall begin dotting,,,,,I've decided to continue in monochrome for this piece as it is slightly too ambitious for my rusty colour skills...I have something else a little simpler which I'll work on for my return to colour!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Further to yesterday.....

Here's a thing...something I don't normally show you! This is how i'm seeing the composition at the moment. I'm usually very reluctant to show such a complete concept..(at least as complete as it can be at this stage!) Having photographed each of the sketches I showed you yesterday, I've fiddled about with each one to bring them all into appropriate scales and perspective, and printed each one out...then assembled them in the order you see above...

the next stage is to trace the complete scene and then there will be much overworking and refining of each figure until it's ready to transfer to the watercolour paper ready for dotting. this might be a few days away yet...anyway, you're welcome to come along for the journey and see what's in store in the month's ahead!

PS. I found a great deal on amazon for Rotring Isograph pen nibs (you'll remember the that I ruined a number of them last week!) So all being well...I'll be set up for the return to full colour again soon...who knows, maybe this current idea will see colour....?!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Developing an idea....

 Above, is a little sketch I scribbled the other evening....I was musing on the small grouping of clergymen...I quite like my Mad vicar character, so I thought it might be interesting to have a grouping. Once the I'd considered the idea, I sketched another version which is the one below...I quite liked the facial expressions that developed here...
 Another character was needed, so I sketched this rather obese chap holding a communion cup in the air...the combination of all the robes presents an opportunity for lots of flowing drapes. but how to get drapes that look authentic...the next step is to take some photos!

 Thankfully I have a full set of vestments ( don't ask!)....I set up my camera with self timer and posed the various characters I'd sketched...here are three pics I thought you might be amused to see!

This sketch I roughed out once I had the photos to work from...If I do decided to continue with this theme...there'll be many more sketches to do...I usually like to develop these ideas on tracing paper reworking the sketches time and time again. You'll notice a gap between the the group and the standing clergyman...there will be another character to go in that spot...! ;)

I'm still unhappy about my pen disaster...my return to full colour will have to wait a little while longer...so the next piece if this is it, will be in black and white again!

I hope you've found this little peek into the process I go through when I have a new idea...to tell the truth I have countless sketchbooks of various compositions which seem like a good idea at the time...the trick is to get them down into an understandable form so that in time, they can be developed further. So whilst this current idea might not  go any further...the idea is there...the photos and sketches are made...all it takes is the special burst of inspirational flame that I experience for the process to progress to full production.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Good, bad...Disaster and disappointment.

Now that Muse-ic is finally finished I can, or at least I was considering the next exciting step in my work. Namely the move back to full colour work. The photo below shows the work of the past three years or so ( the work remains frameless because frankly I can't afford to have them framed yet!)...many of the pieces you'll recognise...over 1000 hours of work is represented here, not to mention the many many hours of preparation/ sketching deliberation and false starts! But it's all in black and white! So today I set about seeing if my colour pens were still serviceable. Of the original eight that I've used in the past, only one of them appeared to be working properly.(one also sustained damage during it's stripping down and was only fit for the dustbin!) So I mentioned this on Face Book and got some advice, which I might have misinterpreted. This was to soak the nibs ( once stripped down ) in boiling water.

The results of which can be seen below...all the pens warped. I was so disappointed I could have cried. They are now unusable!....and my intention to return to full colour will have to wait. I will lick my wounds...I'll drink Gin...I'll listen to loud music and think about nice things...then I'll refill my black pen and see what happens!

Muse-ic - Finished


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Muse-ic - 47

I'll finish work on the steam tomorrow...in fact, I'll finish tomorrow! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Muse-ic - 46

I'm gradually approaching the end of this piece now..the main bulk of the final stage involves completing the smoke from the engine. then it will be a matter of tidying up details such as the girls hair bands...white lines around things need to be blended and anything else that attracts my attention....if only everything else in my life was as easy to take care of....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Notice! - Update.

Many apologies for those of you waiting for updates on muse-ic . I've suffered a few problems with my wi-fi router and broadband supply..having now resolved most of the issues, at least as far as my laptop from where I publish this blog are concerned ! So hopefully you'll receive an up to date post tomorrow...:)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Muse-ic - 45

The final stages of this piece revolve around the smoke and the sky..whilst at the same time working on a few preliminary sketches for the next piece. As I mentioned, I intend to make the transition to colour once again, this will be interesting since I've not seriously done colour work for a few years. I currently have an idea for a larger composition, but common sense is suggesting that I start with a smaller piece to re familiarise myself with the pens. Be sure you'll be the first to know and see what occurs!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Muse-ic - 44

Think that just about is it as far as the buildings and lightning. Next I will be working on the sky and smoke from the engine...the end is in sight!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Muse-ic - 43

More or less finished the background area on the right...the area on the left is progressing well..the lightning is striking a selection of religious and financial buildings!...make of that what you will!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Muse-ic - 42

I've begun work on the background...you can see to the right of picture a cityscape and lightning...there's lots of work to do softening the mist and darkening the sky in my attempt to make the lightning streaks glow. It could be possible that I'll finish this piece in the next week! just passed 150 hours!

Also today, I went down to the opticians in town to collect my new glasses...I can't believe the difference they make...It's been two years since I last had new lenses...what a difference!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Muse-ic - 41

 Finally finished the nettles..lots of lovely Peacock caterpillars munching their way through their favourite food stuff. There is now only the background to complete ending with the steam from the engine...

Friday, July 06, 2012

Muse-ic - 40

I've been following closely the progress of Andy Murray through Championships at Wimbledon...today in his fifth consecutive semi-final, he beat France's Jo Wilfred Tsonga to win his place in the final...the first appearance of a British player in a Wimbledon Men's final for 84 years!...and to add an extra nice touch, Johnny Marray became the first Brit for 52 years to go through in a men's Double partnership with Denmark's Freddy Nielson to the final... Of course Britain had a Women's champion in 1977 when Virginia Wade beat Betty Stove in the final which I remember watching with obvious glee! So it's a wonder I managed to fit any work in on this today!! But I have...and managed to fit a visit in to the Opticians for an eye test too !

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Muse-ic - 39

It's a time of contrasts for me...in my opinion, the last few pieces I've created have (as far as my initial vision was concerned) well below what I've wanted to achieve. This one however is something I feel very happy with...but contrasting it with the utter failure of myself to make a commercial success of what i do is altogether frustrating.Especially as belt tightening is a regular activity in my household. I feel incredibly guilty that I persist in pursuing some kind of rose tinted dream that one day my work will pay my bills...and this is not happening.

As far as I know, I'm the only person in the UK to produce full colour dot pictures...I've spent the last couple of years working in monochrome...so my current plan - and it's something I'm accepting personally as a challenge, is to return to full colour work. I'm not short of ideas, and it would be interesting to see how my current cast of characters and bizarre situations look in colour....I'm not asking what you think, as it's what I want to do...and I will, so , the plan is to press on and finish this piece and get on with something new....just thought you might like to know!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Muse-ic - 38

Not sure what to write about this evening.Here in the jolly green and pleasant land that is England, we've had the wettest June since records began...it seems to rain every day at the moment. this of course effects all manner of things. Still, my attention has other things to find distraction from...the tennis from Wimbledon is all ways the focus of my interest each year..yes I do follow coverage where possible throughout the year of the Men's and Ladies tour...but The championships in London are ( as you'll know) very special to me and the history of them continues to influence  me and their importance has been chronicled here many times.

My work today focused on the grass and nettles..slowly picking out what to highlight and what to put in shadow...whilst keeping one eye on the tennis on my little television! As always , my signature is a written in pencil which I outline with dots..the final act of any picture is to erase the lines and reveal the signature. Having completed over 140 hours, I'm confident that there are less than 100 hours to go...so not long now!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Muse-ic - 37

My decision to include swarms of caterpillars ( if you look carefully you will see the pencilled sketches in preparation) is a calculated one. These are the larvae of the Peacock Butterfly. the Nettle is the favourite plant for them. Why the peacock?...well long time followers of my work will know that they feature regularly as decoration, usually as the clips on Cello girl's stocking suspenders or as other decoration ....apart from the very beautiful and colourful appearance of the Peacock butterfly..the obvious symbolic reference to the fleeting nature of beauty being at one fragile but resilient...some people find the larvae repugnant and yet they are the natural process that gives birth to the eventual adult butterfly.
Parallels to and similes can be drawn by the viewer to the nature of beauty, perception, subjectivity and taste...you might like to view my pictures with this in mind...there is always a meaning to the inclusion of objects...characters are never complacent but perform a role...I do not usually pretend to convey a message that is for the viewer..but rather a contemplation of my own state and the nature of my experiences in comparison to past and present life by way of a developing visual vocabulary .

Monday, July 02, 2012

Muse-ic - 36

As I mentioned in answer to a comment in an earlier post by Gemma, I tend not to have a problem with generating ideas...in this case I'm deciding what to fill the lower left hand corner of the npicture with...various ideas have come to mind, but by far the best is one which seems odd but is a natural and very symbolic part of this picture, and something which links into many of my other pictures.

In the foreground are close up views of yet more nettles. I'll not reveal what i'm going to do with them as I originally stated that I wouldn't deconstruct this piece, but you should see something take shape tomorrow!..so make sure you return!