Monday, 12 January 2009


Using my pencil sketch and my 3 photographs, which I printed out on my inkjet printer, I worked up a graphite drawing on a piece of paper I had stretched earlier. I seemed to have lost the knack of stretching paper lately, a little piece always seems to escape the gumstrip and the paper bubbles, or maybe the gumstrip I'm using just isn't very good.

Anyway, I primed the paper, because I plan to use oil pastel and I'm still not sure whether it's safe to use this on unprimed material or not, I seem to find conflicting information when I try to do a little research. So I primed the paper with a mixture of acrylic gesso and acrylic paint (white with a little blue added to give a cool tint). I leave the brush marks in the gesso, so when it sets it gives a nice tooth to draw on. I hadn't planned on making more than a few marks in pencil, but I enjoyed using pencil on the rough surface, and I thought that making a tonal drawing might help me make a more rounded piece, finding the tonal values would help hold the 3 photographs together more convincingly compositionally. I've never worked this way before, but then to a degree art should be an on-going experiment, shouldn't it?

The photograph of the board and source material at the top of this page isn't my studio by the way. I'd love a studio, ideally one with a glass roof and a window looking onto the sea, here maybe, but I don't have one, instead I make do with finding space anywhere I can, mainly on the bed in the spare room, or in the evenings, I join Mum in the living room and work in front of the tele'. Part of the beauty of visual work is I don't need silence, not in the way I do when I write. At the moment I enjoy listening to Radio 4 in the box room, or watching (well listening) to DAVE on Freeview, Mock the Week, QI, Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, entertainment while I work.

Here's where I work sometimes, when I can, on the bed in the spare room!

Anyway, I gave the graphite drawing a quick burst of fixative, but it's still coming off on my sleeve, so I decided to give it another coat of gesso, just plain acrylic gesso this time so it sets transparent and locks the graphite beneath the surface.

I'll start working on this next, just got to think how I'd like to do it.

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