Friday, 9 February 2018

UKCPS - Annual International Exhibition entries

Well, yet again I'm a last minute merchant.     Deadline for entries for the Annual Exhibition is tomorrow - and we'll be out for the day, so I've just posted a couple of entries.

Sadly I know I've overworked the drawing of the young girl.    For some reason the light colours keep 'seeping' into the cork surface of the paper and 'dulling' down the picture.   This is the third time I've had the problem with coloured pencils on pastelmat - not sure if its a duff batch as I never used to have this problem.    I gave it a hefty spray with fixative and did my best to bring back the highlights and lighter tones but without much success.   I can't add any more pencil to the white areas so had to call it a day.

I was going to ditch this drawing and I did make a start on the drawing of a Bulbul bird I photographed in India and which David liked.   But birds aren't really 'my thing' and progress was slow and clearly I wasn't going to finish in time so back to plan A.

I've submitted her and lets see what happens - the standard of the exhibition entries is just soooo good these days that I know it doesn't stand a chance but I feel I have to try - in 11 years I've entered 10 times and had work accepted each time, earning me Gold Signature Status, so I would like to be in with a chance of getting my Platinum Signature Status in the next 5 years (work juried into 15 annual exhibitions).

Originally she was drawn to fit a larger mount/frame landscape orientation but I've reduced the size and made it a portrait orientation to show less background

and this is the Rajasthani farmer in his colourful turban

so that's it.   Its too late to worry about them now.     This should be a lesson to me to prepare months in advance to ensure I have work to submit.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

4 JANUARY - Couldn't resist .. just a few more tweaks!

I know I said I wasn't going to touch the drawing till back from India but the alternative was packing my case and I just couldn't get motivated - mainly as I was expecting to have to iron some tops and ironing doesn't feature high in my list of things I like doing.   I reckon I iron clothes no more than twice a year (under duress).

Anyway, I lifted out some of the background colour with good old Blue Tack and added different shades which I blended in by rubbing quite firmly with paper towel.   Pastelmat lends itself to blending this way rather than having to keep on layering. 

I managed to photograph it in reasonable daylight (during the one hour of sunshine we got today) and can now see from the photo that there are several areas I need to blend more carefully to tone them down further (using a cotton bud on the areas around the top of her headscarf.   Well, I really do plan to leave it alone for a while now

and here's the Indian man I started working on.

I'm looking forward to adding lots more detail in the folds of that colourful turban and then I can get back to the skintones and adjust them as necessary.   The whiskers and hairs are indented into the paper before colour was applied and the more layers of colour/darker tones I add, the more the indentations/white hairs will stand out. 

I got bored when I reached his ear and decided to start on the turban - that's why it looks a bit odd at the moment

Cropped down a bit ....

This is a paper I've never used before and the jury's still out ... It is a nice heavweight one but has more 'tooth' than I normally like.    But I'll persevere

As with our previous trips to India, I plan to write daily Blog posts and post some pictures along the way.  

Some days we won't have access to decent internet/wifi so posts may be a bit sporadic but if you'd like to check our progress the Blog location is:

Saturday, 30 December 2017

30 December: Fed up ... Finished?

That awful moment when you realise the background idea hasn't worked but can't do anything about it!

I've spent an hour trying to recover it but the paper is suffering ...

So this is it ... I'll leave it to one side for a couple of days before deciding whether to do anything more or to bin it

Happy Days!

Friday, 29 December 2017

29 December - Olavipe Girl, a little more progress

Well, we didn't get snow in Whitstable but its been very gloomy all day with squally winds and torrential rain.  Makes it difficult to draw, even with a daylight bulb in my tabletop lamp - its even harder to take decent photos

So here's what I got done today

This was after a couple of hours fiddling with skintones, adding another layer of colour to her scarf and colouring her top.

and then more colour/detail introduced to the scarf and top - although its mainly white, I can see pink/blue tones in the detail of the headscarf.  They are subtle and actually I don't think they show in this (poor) photo - but they're visible in real life. 

The photos really distort the image as they're taken with flash and in artificial light.    Fingers crossed that we get some sunshine in the next few days and I can post better pics.

I think this needs a bit of something in the background - in my photo the background is just a blur and it would be good if I can replicate that (backgrounds really aren't my thing but I think one is needed here).   Will need to build up courage for that!

I think in all this has taken around 5 hours so far, although I'm easily sidetracked. 

Thursday, 28 December 2017

28 December. Where did 2017 disappear to?

I haven't done any artwork since June, hence no Blog Posts for 6 months.

We have spent most of the last 3 months on Fuerteventura, having bought another apartment to put on Long Term rent to enable us to earn a Euro income to counter any currency fluctuations during the Brexit proceedings.   The apartment needed lots of work - a total refurb in fact, so that has occupied our time.     All finished now and we have a 'holiday let' in residence till 1st January and our long-term tenant moves in after that.

We came back to England for Christmas and New Year (which was/will be spent quietly) and then we're off to India for just over 3 weeks in January.  

I have a few days before I need to think about packing a case so I thought I'd try to get a coloured pencil piece done for submission to the UK Coloured Pencil Society's Annual Exhibition which will be held in Stratford on Avon 2 to 11 May.    The deadline for submission of entries is 11 February so if I don't get something finished before we leave for India I'll miss the boat.  

I had decided not to bother this year because of our time constraints but last year I achieved Gold Status with the Society, having had work juried into 10 annual exhibitions so it would be silly not to try for Diamond status (entries accepted into 15 annual exhibitions).   The standard of work just gets better and better each year, with entries coming from all around the World so I probably won't get past the jury but .... nothing ventured, nothing gained as THEY say!

I do work quite quickly with coloured pencils - unlike many of my fellow cps artists.   If I can't finish a drawing within a few days I tend to overwork it and spoil it so I aim to have this finished at the weekend and then will see if I think it makes the grade.   

Whilst looking through my photos from last year in India I came across a few characters I thought at the time I'd like to draw .. this young girl was one of them.    I started this after lunch today so soon ran out of natural daylight.  The photos are poor as a result and I have a horrible feeling that when I see the picture in natural light tomorrow I will realise that I've been OTT with the colours I've used.   They look ok in this light but the flash camera has accentuated some of the mauves and light pinks - it may be one for the bin tomorrow morning.

Its coloured pencil on pastelmat paper and size is 16" x 12"

 As usual, I drew the eyes in first.   If they go wrong I don't bother carrying on.   Then I put the first layer of white pencil onto her scarf and started on the facial skin tones

 This is taken with flash camera and really is a poor photograph.  All the light colours have picked up 'glare'  - but I just wanted to record how far I'd got by 3.30pm.   I'm not good at keeping track of hours worked but reckon this took around 2 hours.

There's still a long way to go, obviously, but at least I've got my backside into gear and made a start on something and I'm actually enjoying being back at the drawing board.