Saturday, 28 February 2015

28 Drawings Of Cat - Day 28

Today is the last day so I've collected all the drawings together. It has been an exhausting month, starting when I had that horrid lurgy, progressing to a very enjoyable but tiring trip to London and then onto the last stretch where I tried to be much more experimental.

Along the way I have learned all sorts of things through the making, reading all the comments and looking at every one else's work. In particular, I am going to think more about the use of line and incorporate it more into my paintings. Graphite was easier to use than I remembered and I'm going to be exploring this more in future. There really is something about charcoal I really don't like and using it always feels like a battle, so I'm giving up that fight presently.

Here are all the prints I did - many failures, as you can see but I really felt I was learning while printing and later, bugging people with questions. I am keen to do more printmaking - it was so much fun, gives strong results for the time spent and will really let me experiment with tone vs line and composition.

Every year of the challenge it has been knackering but moves me on tremendously in my art-making, widening my ideas and techniques and deepening my understanding - so I'm looking forward to what the rest of the year brings and will be ready to start all over again next february - but who knows what challenges I'll set myself then?

Friday, 27 February 2015

Red Cat - day 27

The other day I was reminded that I have some chunks of burnt sienna. It can be a messy thing to use so did this in the studio, at an easel - the only drawing this month that has been and I think you can see the difference - more movement, more swing. I also used the whole width of the paper - still only a4 sized, but it'll be the biggest drawing of the bunch - for me charcoal, chalk and my bits of sienna rock are for big drawings - unlike ink, pencil and watercolour that seem to suit small better. There are always exceptions though - I can see possibilities in using the liquid graphite on a big brush, getting big sweeps of tone on the paper, then going in after for detail.

This kind of idea getting really has been the big benefit of doing the 28 drawings later every year for me - I'm all fired up with possibilities now and hopefully you'll all see the benefits in my work over the next year.

Oh, and I just had to do a cleaning one at some stage - after all, it's what she does the most, after sleeping.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Oil Painting of Mrs Cat - Day 26

Finished - maybe. For today, at least. At this stage I generally stop, put the painting up on my studio wall somewhere and see if it annoys me while I'm working on other stuff. In a week or two I'll take it down, have a closer look and either do more to it or decide it is done and put a layer of retouch varnish on it.

Then it goes back on the wall until I decide to either do more to it (it it's crying for attention) or send it to a gallery. Depending on how long it's been it then gets a final coat of varnish or gets taken directly to the framer.

After that it depends very much on other people what happens - although I have a sneaking suspicion I might just keep this one for myself!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Monoprint Failure - day 25

OK, so today is a cheat in that I actually did the print yesterday - but I had the ink out for the linocut and really wanted to experiment a bit more - that's what it's all about, right?

Sadly my experiments didn't go very well - there clearly is some kind of trick to doing monoprints, either that or the ink I've got is just too cheap - it was drying out before I had finished drawing. Also the charcoal paper I used was probably not the best thing as the lines on it have come through clearly. Again, more research needed - this is one of the reasons I like doing the 28 drawings later challenge - it gives me so many ideas to explore until the next one!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Linocat - Day 24

The lino was cut on sunday night in front of the telly, but I've not had a chance to try printing from it until today as I suspected it might be a messy business.

Which it was. Having never done any print making before the whole thing was new to me so I didn't expect quite so much mess at all the stages - from all the little bits of lino cut out to ink getting everywhere. I also didn't expect the ink to be quite so sticky and thick - none of the finer cuts really came out, sadly, but on the plus side the ink being thick has given the fur a lovely mossy look.

But I think I might read up a little before my next linocut.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Stretch - Artgraf Watersoluble Graphite - Day 23

This was done with water soluble graphite from Artgraf, that comes in a little tin I bought at the Royal Academy last week. I thought that graphite might suit a picture of kitty with the grey winter trees behind her and I am fairly pleased with the results although as always with new media I can think of a few ways to do better next time. I used a chinese brush, which is my favourite for life drawing - I can really see this stuff being very useful indeed in the life class, especially if using pencils as well. The finished work has a lovely granulated, slightly sparkly look, which might suit a future project I'm thinking about. So although not entirely pleased with this drawing really glad I did it as I think it will lead to lots of other, better works.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Paper Cat - Day 22

Finally caught up, day 21 done on day 21. And what an unexpected bother it was. Maybe I should have used glue, or photographed it, rather than trying to scan it, which meant thinking in reverse and trying to move teeny bits of paper around underneath other bits of paper. The blanket is of course her favourite and we shan't mention what she's doing.