Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Wishy washy watercolour

I was sitting in the corner of my favourite cafe enjoying their coffee when I thought  I MUST PAINT THIS.

It's not what I usually do because it is ambitious - involving perspective, and complexity on a scale I don't usually like to tangle with.

I might enter it for the John Ruskin "Recording Britain Now" competition, which has a fairly relaxed brief (contemporary visions of ... urban, rural or social environment. Drawings, paintings, watercolours, prints, textiles, digital art and mixed media...)

Not that I think it's all that (not how I pictured it, it is a bit disappointingly wishy washy,which I know that watercolour doesn't have to be) but it is dawning gradually that at some point you have to start showing other people what you've made.  And this is only a tenner to enter.

One of the people at the library bought my book, I made one for her as well as for the library. That is to say, *ahem* "I accepted a commission" and "my work is in private collections". It was a momentous, um, moment. Because I'd sold something I'd made. I always think I'm not ready, it's not good enough. But you can't be a closet bedroom artist, you need an audience, they're the other side of the equation. I need to do more of that.

Anyway, what do you think of it so far?  I can hear our tutor, who gives good quote and whose voice will be in my head forever now, saying "where does the eye  want to spend time?"  And where not...  There is a danger with painting of going on and on and on and reworking it until you've obliterated it with paint. There's an art in knowing when to stop.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Great Chinese Art Revolution

Somewhat belatedly, I saw this documentary on Chinese art and the runaway success of Chinese artists in the art world since the 80s.

My favourite discoveries were two artists who worked fairly traditionally in ink, Chen Shaoxiong and Qui Anxiong.

I still love artists the best, who can really really draw.

Qui Anxiong was inspired by the escapist old fashioned world of ink brush cartoons that he grew up with on tv.

Check out this brush and ink animation. Watching it is a certain cure for stress.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Tube tales

My drawing sketchbook seems to have turned into a record of people on the tube.

The mobile phone is a blessing as people don't notice you shiftily glancing up at them, but it's a curse because they're all doing the same thing in the sketchbook.

Drawing people on the sly is addictive. It also makes time go faster on the commute. And it beats reading all the bad news in the Metro.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Comic/zine sketches

I think this is the last I'm putting up here and on Flickr because, well, I want people to BUY IT when it's finished. Or at least for most of it to be only available to view between paper covers.

It sure is fun making it, but I think I'm doing it all backward. Looking online it seems that you are meant to do small layout sketches first, and speech bubbles first. Not dive straight into the pictures.Putting it together is going to be fun and games.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Happy New Year! Huzzah!

Further studies for my little zine, which is provisionally called 'I'm Sticking With You.' Looking into publishing and self publishing. Lots of ideas and projects planned, if only pesky work didn't get in the way.

I intended to do more line drawing, collage, and print for this but I bought a little watercolour set from Atlantis and have got addicted to the watercolour. It's so much more fluid and less laborious after printmaking.

Some of these were based on photos taken nearly 30 years ago. Never knew at the time how hard these photos would work...