Monday, 27 July 2015

Rusty staples or nails (I can't decide)

Saturday night's party revealed on Sunday morning
I've returned to my travels along the towpath with renewed enthusiasm now I feel more rested. I usually draw on weekdays but this time I've ventured out on a Sunday morning and look what I found en route to my destination. The party leftovers are not what I had in mind to draw but they are lying on top of the same wall that I planned to concentrate on.

These rusty objects attracted my attention a few days before
I decided I would try using the candle wax resist again to represent the cement between the bricks and then use an Indian ink wash over the top of it. I was in the mood to experiment and see what happened. I could have been more patient and used more wax so there would have been more of a contrast between the ink wash and the white cement, as it is the result is quite subtle. Then I wanted to include the rusty, naily things and some of the foliage. The finished result reminded me of the paving and mud drawing from earlier on in the series.

My finished sketch where I just wanted to experiment
It was on this occasion that I had something of a breakthrough. This part of the towpath doesn't have a grass verge to sit on so I had to stand by the wall which meant that I was very close to all the foot traffic that was passing back and forth. For the first time ever (I think) I was completely relaxed about people watching what I was doing as they went on their way, happy to chat if they wanted to and just as happy to be ignored as well.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Drawing fail

My mobile work station
It was going to happen somewhere along the way. I was going to have at least one drawing disaster, or if not a complete disaster then starting something that I couldn't develop. I wasn't going to publish it but since I've published everything else so far I could hardly leave it out since it is part of the trip. I've been experiencing quite a lot of fatigue recently and thought I could work through it but sometimes you just can't.

My view at the end of the car park
I had previously spotted what I thought was an interesting location at the end of the German Deli car park. I popped into their shop to see if I needed permission to work in their car park overlooking the canal but the young lady behind the counter seemed that I didn't need to even ask. I'm glad I did though because I discovered that as well as having a shop they run a nice looking café too which will be worth a lunch time visit.

I set up my stool, got out my sketchbook and gazed here and there, stared left and right and nothing sparked much interest. I decided I should at least try and do something since I'd made the effort to get there so got my pens out. Often, once I start on a sketch, I forget about everything else and am often pleasantly surprised by the results. The sight of a rodent trap did nothing to improve my mood although the sight of these small figures enjoying the sun did.

More canal art
I wondered if the view of the Olympic stadium might work but it didn't appeal so I settled on a cyclist having a rest on a bench on the other side of the River Lee Navigation. As you can see I didn't pursue this for long so I decided to pack up and head home.

Sketch fail

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Looking back at where I've been

Looking back along the Hertford Union canal
I haven't posted anything new on this blog for the last couple of weeks because I've been suffering from drawing fatigue. I'm not used to drawing several times a week and it took its toll on my stamina. Anyway, I am happy to report that I have recovered and am in the mood for more drawing and more writing.

The view above is more-or-less the view I had when I made this latest sketch. I was sitting at the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and by the side of the River Lee Navigation. This view has given me the chance to look back at the towpath that I've been drawing for the last few months. You can see that on the left hand side the developers have built their architectural dream and there's a good chance that when the right hand side of the canal has been developed it will look fairly similar. 

I took this photo on quite a dull day a few weeks ago. The day I made this sketch the sun was so bright and there was so much glare I couldn't see what I was doing so taking a photograph proved impossible. I've realised that it is as hard work to draw in harsh sunlight as it is to work in rain and wind so I was quite pleased to have been able to continue as long as I did and still produce a recognisable composition.

This is same footbridge linking the canal to Roach Road that I drew a few weeks ago

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Candle wax resist

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the distance
Since my previous drawing ended up being so dark I thought I would try to take this sketch a stage further and make it even more dark. I like the idea of a sketch which is almost entirely black but it would have to make some kind of visual sense. I did this in my previous sketching project and really liked the result.

Some more canal-side art
I had also decided to try using candle wax as a resist to the Indian ink. I didn't take the trouble to try this out at home in my sketchbook before I left the house so I had to experiment as I went along. I found that if the Indian ink was diluted enough the resist worked well and produced some interesting results. If the ink was straight out of the bottle and very black the wax resist was so subtle it was practically invisible.

When I began this series I thought I would be making conventional drawings but as the sketches are stacking up it seems I am venturing into painting. I have been using, amongst other things, a half inch decorating brush which has loosened up my approach. I'm also enjoying using Indian ink which I have learned was being produced in China as early as the middle of the 3rd millennium BC although the source of the materials to make the carbon pigment was later often traded from India, hence its name.