Thursday, 2 November 2017

Inktober II - the second half

So here we are at the end of October and I’ve run the race and completed the challenge - under my own terms. My aim was to complete a portrait every day. Some days I did more than one so I could afford to skip a day. I’m pleased that I didn’t try to keep up with the prompts because then I think I would have fallen by the wayside long ago. 

I enjoyed the routine of daily drawing even though some of these portraits have been very quick scribbles. The important thing for me is the 'doing' rather than the assessment or critique at the end. I think the trick with these challenges is to make them doable. Don’t set the bar so high that you will never stick to the plan. 

I love ink, make no mistake. I think it’s the best medium to stop fussing while drawing. You make a mark, live with it, make another mark - the good, the bad, the ugly. You have to own what you have done and move on. 

Now that I have spent the 31 day’s drawing with ink I crave some loose, messy, drippy watercolours. These might not be as easy to do while I’m out and about but I’d like to try. 

All reference photographs are from Sktchy.

Ink wash, pen for detail and then brush pen.

Black Crystal Bic ballpoint

Noodlers Black in Lamy Safari EF nib

Brush pen

Black ink and wash

Black ink and wash

Pilot Metropolitan F nib with waterbrush and brush pen

Brush pen and large watercolour brush

Pilot Metropolitan with Noodlers #41 Brown - don't you just love this colour?

Black Crystal Bic ballpoint

Konrad Flex pen and waterbrush

Konrad Flex pen and dry brush 

Noodlers Black with Diamine Hope Pink

Noodlers Black in a Lamy Safari EF nib

Black ink with waterbrush

Black ink with waterbrush

Black ink with waterbrush and brush pen for the dark background.

Please note: all photographs were taken with my phone with minimal editing - I figure - done is better than perfect. 
Maybe I’ll get round to scanning all of these but somehow I don’t think so. I’d rather do another drawing instead. 

Monday, 30 October 2017

A change of venue - visiting GOMA with the Saturday group

Yesterday the Saturday class had a change of venue. Instead of working in the Studio we went into the city. We met at The Library Cafe for coffee and sketching (that was the plan - the reality was that we chatted until it was time for GOMA to open.)

Our aim was to see Gerhard Richter - The Life of Images. This large exhibition exhibits a comprehensive collection of his work over the last 50 plus years and shows his extreme versatility as an artist. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this show and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. 

The paintings range from the very tiny overpainted photographs to the massive abstracts and tapestries. I never really understood the overpainted photos before but seeing them IRL is the best way to appreciate the detail. 

The exhibition opened with the portrait of his daughter Ella. This painting has been used as the principle image on Gallery marketing, is surprising small and intimate - and breathtakingly beautiful. On an adjoining wall is a huge digital striped abstract - so colourful - absolutely mesmerising.

2007 oil on canvas 
40 cm x 31 cm

The photographic paintings are drawn from a vast store of photographs collected power the years. The collection of images form Atlas seen in together in a separate gallery. It's worth allowing a good length of time to view the exhibition as there is a lot to see and absorb.
These are images are transformed and made so much more. Richter looks into the image, amplifies the content, blurring the focus creating a lush painterly finish. Even subjects that could be sentimental like the dog and the glamorous film star are painted so sensitively they escape that categorisation. 

1967 oil on canvas 
50 cm x 50 cm

Portrait Liz Kertelge
1966 105 cm x 70 cm 
Oil on canvas

Whenever I return from an exhibition and start to capture my impressions I realise that I should have taken notes or at the least photographed as few more exhibition captions.

This painting of Richter in the arms of his aunt is especially poignant. When he painted this Richter had no idea of his aunt’s tragic story. Briefly, during WWII she had been captured by the Nazis and tortured to death. The melancholy is evident.

There are two painting of Moritz, Richter’s son. One was more highly finished and this one with rough brushstrokes and some areas unpainted - no more needed to be said...

2000 62 cm x 52 cm 

Oil on canvas

I enjoyed this large abstract viewed from another gallery - it required more than a little patience to catch the image without any people!

Another gallery has a sombre collection of four abstracts relating to Birkenau
these large abstracts,260 x 200 cm, started as paintings using images smuggled from the death camp. Richter, unable to leave the images visible, obliterated them under layers and layers of paint. 

And finally another large abstract and a few detail photos showing the way the paint is layered smeared and scraped.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Inktober 2018

October means Inktober, the annual drawing challenge that has been going for a number of years. Jake Parker started this in 2009 to improve his inking and drawing skills. The challenge comes with daily prompts to help keep you on track. 

Perhaps it’s because I have trouble following rules, but I’ve usually lost interest when the given prompts didn’t strike a chord with me. 

This year Sktchy has joined the challenge, using the ‘official’ prompts. Theses are emailed daily to all taking part. Today is always earlier in Australia than everywhere else - except for New Zealand - so the prompts come at the end of the day. I like to get my drawing completed early, or even start a new one the day before, so getting a late prompt has given me a good excuse to do my own thing!
(Yes, I know, I could download the list...)

My challenge is simply to do a portrait in ink every day in October and to date it’s been working well. 

Ink in Hero Bent nib calligraphy pen 

De Artramentis Fog Grey - Pilot Metropolitan Medium nib and water Brush

Digital ink using Procreate - this was drawn on the way from a weekend away. The ride was quite bumpy which added to the scribble effect!

Noodlers Black ink in Pilot Metropolitan fine nib in a Midori notebook. The paper, while quite light, is beautiful to use with a fountain pen - silky and smooth with no feathering or bleed-through. This notebook is available at a wonderful stationery shop, Bookbinders in Brisbane. They stock all kinds of notebooks, pens, ink and writing accessories. 

Ink and water brush in Midori notebook

Black and brown ink with water brush in Midori notebook.

Bic Crystal ballpoint in Alpha softcover sketchbook - using a ballpoint with a light touch mimics the appearance of graphite.

Sam the Sphynx with his special "look" - Fine nib Pilot Metroploitan in Midori notebook - the ears are pink Tombow brush pen, the eyes Inktense green.

Noodlers #41 Brown on Viking drawing paper A6 size

De Artramentis Fog Grey - Pilot Metropolitan Medium nib and water Brush
on Viking drawing paper A6 size

De Artramentis Fog Grey - Pilot Metropolitan Medium nib and water Brush
on Viking drawing paper A6 size.