Friday, 22 December 2017

Digging deeper

Morganite hexagonal prisms on matrix

Pseudomorphous after a shell

Radiating rubellite prisms

My mineral research has taken over for the time being. Not that I am being obsessive; it just looks that way. Apart from aesthetic considerations, which for any artist is most important, there is also the quest for understanding and accuracy. If something can be seen; it's worth noting it down. The gem series is about looking, being as faithful as I can to the idiosyncrasies of their natural formations. Bit like portraiture I suppose. These three specimens are from the mineral room in the Natural History Museum, London. I hope I have done them justice, and that they could recognise themselves.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Still in Chelsea

...and back with the bollardThis is the one in front of the main entrance to Peter Jones, not that you can tell of course. The previous studies where not as accurate as they should have been, and the last inked version lacked a sense of solidity. I'm planning on a Chelsea post card set, so when I've got this new version inked to my liking, it will be joining the line up.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Drawn in Chelsea

Working drawings. I used to do all my work from life as a finished piece in it's own right. My theatres are a halfway house of the process, but these are the genuine article. Not intended for public view (even though they're on here) created on layout paper and certainly not finished. The sloane square lamp will be reduced, traced off on a lightbox and then will end up as a neat little drawing with my carbon pen in carbon ink. The rather bizarre one on the right is the base of a drawing I did complete from life, of the two boys lighting the lamp by Cadogan Pier. I ran out of space when I first drew it, and I'd promised myself I'd go back and finish it off. This likewise will be put through the scanner and with the help of some reference shots to fill in the details, will somehow join its other half.I did do a couple more this afternoon, but they really are only intelligible to me ;)

Monday, 29 May 2017

How the ruby went down.

Ruby 2

Ruby 3
Ruby 1 & 4
Three drawings, four attempts. Rubies are not like their Corundum counterparts, the sapphires. They do not have the same clear transparent nature, and their red-orangey colour towards the girdle made it difficult for me to get it looking good next to the pinky- red nearer the culet. Next problem was that I was getting the paint on rather thick, so it was looking more like an oil painting, not watercolourish at all. Time to try again, but Ruby 3 came out too flat and blurry. On to the next, which turned out just as bad, even though I managed to get more definition on the facets.

This was the time to revist the original and see if with a little acceptance of a ruby's characteristics, and those of Alizarin and Cadmium red, had I done such a bad job afterall? 

Nothing that a damp brush couldn't fix, no. This was bourne out by that great arbiter of worth; the new amount of likes on Instagram.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

New obsession

These may not be architecture, but they are still geometric shapes. Even though they are way smaller than my building drawings, they still took me a long time to paint. The garnet at 37mm across, consumed two and half hours. All from photographs, regrettably! 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

More cranes again

Back outside, and in Granary Square at the end of March. Still lots of building work going on around Kings Cross, so I took another opportunity to draw some cranes and a couple of planes. Anyway, a good exercise in hand eye co-ordination, and speed, as the evening chill factor quickly drove us inside The Lighterman.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Trace of Tempest Fugit

I like tracing paper, and light boxes, but especially tracing paper.  I find it much easier to draw on, and erase from, than normal paper. And yes, going over the back, and then tracing onto the final surface can be a tad tedious. But, I find working like this seems  to give a less mechanical finish than going straight in from a light box. Also, I feel there is a little bit of me, that gets transferred through the translucency of an old school Silvine tracing pad. For the Feb/March '17 South Woodford Village Gazette.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Chelsea Bollard

One of many. There are some old ones on Chelsea Embankment and newer looking versions on King's Road. The old ones have a base like this, the newer ones are a bit deeper. This took me a while to complete, and I remembered again, the artist's adage, 'look twice, or draw twice'. If not that; spend a shed load of time on Photoshop. I'm not saying what I did.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Sorted 2

This is the last time I'm going to faff about with the title. Art on the Left has a history, which I am not going to deny. And it sounds snappier than Drawn to the Left. So apart from the more accurate sub title, this is how it's going to be. There are a couple of new different drawings on my site blog and on I am going to have drawings on 
here again, just not today.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

See the world differently

I miss Art on the Left, but it doesn't fit anymore. But the 'Left' is still applicable, as all my drawings tend to lean over in that direction, generally by 1º. When I initially noticed, I put it down to being unthinking, so I tried very hard to concentrate, and get my verticals straight up. My eyes, however, saw differently. I tried rotating 1º to the right in photoshop, but they looked 'wrong', all stiff and starchy. So that is when I realised that our little quirks that make us, 'us', need to be embraced.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


Yesterday I posted my last post on here, or so I thought. Funny how one gets attached to the virtual, isn't it. I started a blog up on my site (which I will be keeping) and decided to leave this one. But I missed having all the little things in the side bar, and a title and picture as a permanent feature. The page tracking thing is annoying, but that only affects me. I may make a few changes, but I'm not going anywhere haha.