Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Drawing In Preparation For Painting

The 28 Drawings Challenge is about to start again. This is my fourth year and I am really looking forward to it.

The first year got me drawing in a sketchbook for the first time, the second year I concentrated on using watercolour and ink, the third (unofficial) year I wrote here.

This year I have recently started planning my paintings by drawing them out first, so will be sharing these as I go along, starting Saturday.

Above is one I did earlier. The painting is probably not quite done as it only got to this stage today.

First I drew the composition out (the smallest drawing) and liked it enough to decide to paint it. Next I had a little trouble getting the scale right - currently I am working on creating a group of works and consequently want them all to work together well. Consequently I have decided to make them all either a bit smaller than life size or half that size. However, this is not quite as easy as I thought it would be - at the moment it involves guessing, doing the drawing (with inches converted to centimeters) and then comparing it to the other drawings. The second version was too big, then the third just right!

The method of drawing is simple - using the paper as a mid tone, adding the darkest darks, a dark mid tone and then the highlights. This makes it easy for me to adjust the composition. Also, it is fairly similar to my painting method and therefore makes it possible to judge whether the painting is likely to work or not.

Doing the drawings does take time, but does let me explore different possibilities and overall saves time, as I am much less likely to struggle mid-painting - or have to abandon a painting altogether. And it is 28 Drawings Later that I have to thank for getting me to this stage.

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