Thursday, April 29, 2010

Drawings, birthdays and stuff

I had a small birthday party on Tuesday – just family and my closest friends.
It was miserable weather so we all crammed inside and sat in one big group – I did lay a big table for lunch but it seems everyone was feeling casual and chose to eat off their laps (well with plates of course). It could also be that as the table did not have enough places and no-one wanted to break up the group it turned out that way.

My friend Nathan has his own catering business so I decided it would be fun to get him to do the catering. He did a fabulous meal – a haloumi cheese salad starter with the most amazing reduced balsamic dressing, a chicken curry with homemade bread – bunny chow style and a gorgeous chocolate cake with cream and caramel on the inside.
It was actually a huge pleasure to have someone else do the catering and he did not charge the earth either – in fact it was a very good price.
He has a passion for food and is a real perfectionist – if you ever need catering done I highly recommend him.

Well, as it was my birthday and all and I received some lovely presents, among them was a voucher for my local arts and crafts shop – yay, plus a couple of books on drawing techniques – which I have already started reading.
So I got a bit inspired and did a bit of sketching – I feel that my drawings of a month or two ago were a bit stiff and I wanted to free up the line and get a more fresh and spontaneous look. I do think I am more of a charcoal person than a pencil person.

Here is an example of an earlier drawing in pencil.

Here are a couple of my latest sketches done in charcoal. They were very quick and easy to do – which was the whole idea behind them.

One of the techniques suggested was to draw by only looking at the subject and not at the paper, which teaches you to see properly. I tried this for a bit and then came up with the above sketches – these were of course done while looking at the paper.
I also wanted to practice more tonal stuff, you know, playing with light and dark and getting the values right – these drawings took a bit longer but were also in charcoal. I have been inspired by the work of James Foster, who spends hours and hours getting his tonal values just right.

The black cat was a birthday present for my sister – who loves cats – if you look closely you will see that I forgot a crucial bit – his whiskers. Lucky for her I added them before she took the picture home.

I also tried out some conte pencils for a commissioned work of a meerkat, I came up with three drawings but I think the detailed one of the meerkat’s face came out best.

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