Thursday, 6 December 2018


HI all,
My woodworking output is very poor at the moment. It is too cold in the workshop even though I purchased an oil filled radiator. The radiator is okay, perhaps not as warm as I would have liked, but it is slow to warm up, so if I am going into the workshop I need to switch it on about a hour before I go in there and stay for a couple of hours to make it worthwhile. The problem is, like everybody else I am very busy at this time of year so can only snatch small chunks of time for crafting. Having said that, I have managed to finish the carving of a fridge magnet Santa.
He looks quite good and doesn't suffer from the flat face that my other carvings have suffered from. I'm giving it to my wife for an extra Christmas present so I hope she likes it.

So my main creative time at the moment is going into drawing. I manage to snatch a couple of hours each evening before settling down in front of that hopeless little box in the corner. I started pencil drawing last winter and did some roses that I was quite happy with.

These are the roses that I did last year. The only issue I have with them now is that they were drawn with a plain white background and they look incomplete. So I am now experimenting with a dark background which I think gives an image a bit more character.

Here is the first of a series of pencil drawings of climbing plants. This one is a clematis, Montana growing on a trellis and was based on a photograph taken in our back garden.
I'm not sure if it is better than the roses but I think it is more realistic. I would love to know what you think about the two images. Which do you like best?

Besides the background colour there is also another difference and that is in the paper. The rose picture was drawn on Bristol board paper, which is very smooth and incredibly nice to draw on.
The clematis drawing was completed on Archie's hot pressed paper, which although smooth does have a bit of tooth. The reason for choosing the Arches paper was because I wanted a really dark background and after a few tests I found that it was possible to get a much darker black on the Arches than it was on the Bristol board.

Having finished the image I now realise the darkness came at a price. Because the paper has more tooth it does look more grainy and I'm not sure I like that.

My intentions are to do a series of 3 drawings with the theme of flowers growing on a trellis so I will use the Archie's paper for the next 2 to give the series some continuity. However, when they are complete I will probably go back to the Bristol board with some carbon pencil which should give me a darker finish.

In my next post I hope to be able to show you the second flower in this series complete and in its frame.

One really important tip I would give anybody who is is thinking of having a go at drawning. Please don't use cheap sketch pads or paper from your computer. The pads they sell in shops for sketching, are in my opinion, just not good enough for proper drawing. Give yourself half a chance and get a small Bristol board pad for about a fiver. That way you may find that drawing isn't so difficult after all.

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