Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Abstract thoughts

I've started a new acrylic painting on a metre square canvas, following on from the first one I finished earlier in the year.  I started by trying to block in areas of colour to indicate shapes but it wasn't really working so I've reverted to the technique that I used on the first one, tracing the image down with white 'carbon' paper.  This is just a detail of a small area.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Figure drawing

A snapshot of some of the sketches I made yesterday at the figure drawing class run by Debbie Hinks.  The theme, in case you haven't guessed, was Pirates of the Caribbean!
More information on Debbie's excellent classes at

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Still drawing

At the party at the end of the Manchester Symposium, the sketchers were still drawing...

Monday, August 8, 2016

USK Manchester 2106 - Unfolding stories with Lynne Chapman

It was interesting to listen to Lynne Chapman give a talk at the Manchester Symposium about a year long project that she had recently completed being an artist-in-residence at the Morgan Centre at Manchester University.  She used 'accordion style' fold-out sketchbooks to record life at the centre, culminating in an exhibition which was on during the Symposium.

To see some of the drawings and find out more details about the project, follow the link to Lynne's website at

Sunday, August 7, 2016

USK Manchester 2016 - Workshop with Lapin

My last workshop at the Manchester Symposium was with Lapin and Gerald Michel, with the subject, Cars in the City.
First exercise involved doing a quick, three quarter view of the car, using a box shape to help. 

Then a quick sketch from the rear headlight to start to get the idea of the 'fish-eye' drawing.

I spent about an hour drawing the more detailed 'fish-eye' version at the top of the blog post.  Lapin stressed that it was good to start with the headlight, which should take up about a third of the width of the paper.  All the measuring is done from this point.  He asked us to look out for our reflections in the chrome and glass as we drew. 

The final exercise was drawing cars in the environment, remembering that if they were driven away, to just continue with what was behind them.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

USK Manchester 2016 - Workshop with Veronica Lawlor

We moved to Castlefield for the workshop with Veronica Lawlor, focussing for the first hour on doing small thumbnails.
Then we expanded the thumbnails, looking at paths into and out of the picture.  Veronica talked about making the viewer feel part of the composition.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

USK Manchester 2016 - Workshop with Marion Rivolier

For this workshop, we took shelter under one of the many railway arches in Manchester as the rain was quite heavy.  Marion talked about watercolour, looking at the palettes and brushes that we had brought with us.  She showed us a chart she had made where she had mixed all her colours, at various strength of tones, and recommended we all do the same with our watercolour palette so that we are familiar with all the colours we can achieve. 

The initial exercise involved making small landscape vignettes using warm and cold colours. 

First with pale, medium and dark warm colours.

Then with pale, medium and dark cool colours.

Then pale warm colour against pale cool colour, medium warm colour against medium cool colour.
This gives more depth to a painting.

We did the same again adding some dark colour.

Then we worked on a larger piece, using the same method but adding 'value' colour.

The final piece was the one at the top of the page when we put all the things that we had learnt in the session together.

Monday, August 1, 2016

USK Manchester 2016 - Workshop with Marina Grechanik

My first workshop at the Manchester Urbansketchers Symposium was with Marina Grechanik and was titled 'What and How:Creating your story'

Firstly we were asked to do three quick sketches (5 - 10 minutes each) based on a list of words. 

In the second exercise, we looked at the format and composition of a sketch.
Then we looked at drawing from the same position but making the sketch static or dynamic.

In this exercise we drew the same scene, once using just line and then using just shapes.
It was very rainy and I quite liked the way the raindrops added some texture to the watercolour!

In the final exercise, we were asked to give a name to our sketch before we started.  I choose 'A rainy day in Manchester' and tell a story in our drawing.  The result is at the top of the blog post.