Saturday, 10 January 2009


With my nose still glowing from the aftermath of flu, I have been working on my picture of Castlerigg Stone Circle, overdrawing and stippling in Indian ink to give more definition and contrast to the stones themselves and distant foliage. I then worked a little more in both coloured pencil and oil pastel, mainly on the distant foliage and misty hillside. One thing I've learned from this is that it is possible to find a happy combination of oil pastel and pen and ink, this surprises me, as I'd thought the pen would slip off the oily surface, or the nib would scratch and clog up, but this doesn't seem to have happened.

I'm also surprised by how quickly I've got to that fearsome stage, where I'm afraid to do anymore work to this piece in case I spoil it. This seemed to come much later when I was younger, or maybe it's the toffee-state of time that grows more brittle with age. I dread to think what the future might bring if this is the case, an artwork finished in the blinking of an eye? Maybe it's just that fear becomes more familiar a reaction as I get older, in which case, I have to be careful how I progress from now on, finding courage to proceed while at the same time, retaining the judgement not to rush ahead for the sake of it. This, I think, is one of the trickest aspects of artwork in progress.

The work as it stands so far. Not sure if I'm going to be working on it some more yet, probably best just to let it rest for a while before looking at it with fresh eyes.

Detail of the above picture - showing pen and ink work over oil pastel and coloured pencil. The yellow colour is underpainting in a mixture of gesso/acrylic paint and acrylic ink.

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