Monday, 30 July 2007

Maggie was talking about reflex drawing on her blog and it reminded me that I had done some a while ago. Although it seems very strange when you first attempt it (because you look at the object you are drawing and not at what your pen/cil is doing) it is a great way to find out about the thing you are drawing and also to loosen up at the start of a work session. The idea is to move your eye very slowly over the object and move your pen at the same speed without lifting the pen from the paper. The initial drawing may look nothing like the object in front of you but that is not important. The idea is to look and keep looking. My mantra for this is "I am not trying to make a pretty picture!" As you can tell from the photo below I do tend to look occasionally and reposition my pen if I think I am going way off course - cheating a bit I suppose.

You may be able to see my mantra in the top corner of the pic below. In the two drawings below I didn't reposition my pen in the drawing on the left but I did in the second drawing on the right.













I used this technique to explore the shapes of a still life I was working on some time ago.

I sometimes use this system when I go out sketching with friends from my art club and give the resulting sketch a watercolour wash. The sketch below was done in this way. I tried not to look too much at what my pen was doing and concentrated on describing the layers in the trees etc


I said yesterday I would post my efforts inspired by Lynda so here they are. The canvas on the left has had a layer of scrim pasted on with gesso and I have then used various texture mediums and some crackle paste. I plan to stitch into this and then paint. I had the idea of a rockface in mind as I worked. On the right I have gessoed two layers of net curtain to a block canvas and plan to apply texture mediums to break up the pattern of the curtain. I have to give Maggie Grey credit for sparking off this idea although I seem to have only latched onto the netting so far. As usual I have only retained part of an idea and run off in my own, slightly lost, direction.


7 comments:

Helen Suzanne said...

I love the little watercolour at the bottom. You're getting such a spontaneous feel working this way.

Helen Suzanne said...

oo forgot to say... so lovely to see you've a link to Kurt Jackson's page. He's just about my favourite artist :)

Julie said...

Thank you for visiting my blog Helen. I love Kurt Jackson's work too. I saw some of his art at King's Lynn a couple of years ago and was bowled over by it!! The scale of it is amazing and yet he can also work small scale. His use of texture and colour is fantastic too. I always make a point of getting his catalogues whenever I can - wish I could afford a piece of his work.

Purple Missus said...

A very inspiring post Julie - I cringe at the thought of showing my sketches to the world :)
Love the canvasses especially the net curtain one. Can't wait to see how they turn out.

Gina said...

I think the drawings are fabulous Julie, so free and lively. I had seen Maggie's post about Blind contour drawing but I wasn't sure exactly what it was but you've explained all. Now I want to go out and draw! So much to try and never enough time!

freebird said...

I couldn't enlarge the watercolor sketch but it looked lovely in the small size. It seems like a misty fall day.

Julie said...

Gina, Thank you so much for your comments. I have never been very confident with drawing but this method helps me free up as I don't worry so much about the end result.

Freebird (Timaree, I think, what a beautiful name) I don't know why blogger won't enlarge some pix, it's frustrating. The sketch was done at a local manor house on a late summer day. I'm glad you liked it. Thank you