Category Archives: Charcoal

Bird Art – Just Thinking (Alice Born 27 Nov

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Meet Alice, she is a frequent visitor to my bird table.  Happily she loves to pose for photographs and I now have plenty for many future drawings.

I have drawn her in charcoal – here is a progress drawing so you can see her in charcoal…

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I always like to keep the colour to a minimum but it is tricky when a bird has so many lovely colours.  My strength is charcoal so with a solid under drawing in charcoal always helps….

Alice is available to buy from my online shop.  Click here

 

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Billy – original charcoal and pastel bluetit drawing

charcoal and pastel drawing of a bluetit

I am getting quite proficient with my camera now and despite walking and taking my camera with me, the best shots are always from the birds in my own garden.

This little fella comes to visit with his gang most days.  The feeding from the bird table and the feeders has increased greatly since the weather has got colder.  I recognise Billy from the slightly tufty hair on his head, he’s quite bold for a bluetit.

I made a little video of laying down the pastel on his head with a few conte sticks.  I love adding a shock of colour to my charcoal drawings but always try to keep it to a minimum

 

Billy is available to buy from my website shop.

Click here to follow the link

Six Sixes – original cricket drawing

original cricket drawing of a cricketer hitting six sixes in a t20 cricket match

I was requested to complete a drawing of Ross Whiteley hitting a wonderful six sixes in the 2017 T20 Blast for Worcestershire CC.  After viewing the over I decided to draw all six of the hits.  It was a great challenge and the largest cricket drawing I have completed.  Setting the hits out as in a cricket score book they are drawn in charcoal and white charcoal on light grey pastel paper.

This was a great challenge.  Initially I was asked to complete one of the hits.  After watching the footage I decided to sketch them out in my sketchbook with pencil and watercolour to get an idea of which hit I preferred.

Here is a shot where you can see the sketchbook open at a couple of hits…

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I could not decide which hit to go for so struck on the idea of completing all six.  At first I thought of producing a long narrow drawing with them all on in order.  That may have proved tricky with prints and indeed to frame it (maybe another time) so then I thought of setting them out as in a score book, like a dice of six.

Here is a slide show of some of the shots…..

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My biggest problem was simply the lack of detail.  I could not make out any of the features of the cricket players or details of their clothes etc.  I also wish it had been test cricket so I could add my signature red to the ball.  However, I concentrated on the hits themselves.  Hope you like it…

Prints are available (limited to 50)  Click here

Or on the drawing below to go to my website….

Six Sixes (2) print

Catch it! – original cricket drawing

My latest cricket drawing has a focus on the moment when the batsman knows he has clipped the ball, glancing behind in the hope that it goes to ground and not to hand.

a charcoal cricket drawing of a slip catch fielder about to catch the ball

The drawing started off with a preliminary sketch in my sketchbook.  Here I’m just making a loose sketch in watercolour to see how it works and to see if it will make a good finished piece…

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It had all the potential for the drama of the moment that I like to capture in my drawings so I went ahead and started a full drawing.  For my cricket drawings I work on Canson Mi Teintes pearl grey paper (the smooth side).  I take sheets of A3 and cut them down if I need to.  Here are progress shots of the piece…..

If you notice the original finished drawing actually had a bowler on it too.  I decided that the bowler brought nothing to the drama and I found his pose a distraction so erased him from the finished piece, working him into the background instead.  The finished piece can be purchased along with prints from my website shop here

Or by clicking on the image below…

a charcoal cricket drawing of a slip catch fielder about to catch the ball

Custom charcoal portraits

I’ve been working hard on improving my portrait drawings and finding out what is my preferred paper and preferred medium.  After making a long list of all the different surfaces and all the different mediums I like to work with and practising over and over I finally settled with charcoal on Strathmore toned grey paper.  A real bonus happened when Strathmore released a toned grey mixed media paper which is exactly the same tone grey and surface but a thicker version.  This is a great bonus as I did have a concern that the original toned paper was a bit on the thin side.

 

Here a few of the recent portraits I have confidently completed in this style…..

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As you can see it really has become a big step forward.  My portraits are becoming quicker and more relaxed.  I intend to do portrait sittings and try to work on my life drawing skills, but continue to work from photographs in the meantime.  If you are interested in commissioning a portrait from me, they are all 11 x 14″ on toned grey Strathmore mixed media paper and cost £120 + shipping.  They will be shipped flat in an all board envelope for you to frame.

For further details you can visit my website and read my commission page here

Forward – original charcoal rugby drawing

rugby drawing in charcoal of an england rugby player running for a try

Forward

This has been drawn with Nitram charcoal on grey Canson Mi Teintes paper.

It is 20 x 16″ framed in a black wooden frame.

The original & limited edition prints are available.

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The inspiration for this drawing came from watching all the action in the recent six nations championship.  I watch video of the action I prefer, freeze it where I want it and then take a screenshot.  It is the most effective way of getting the exact image that I want.  In this case I wanted to save that point where we are not really sure if the forward is going to get away from the defender and score the try.  The force of action is represented with loose charcoal stokes.

Here are some shots of the work in progress….

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When capturing movement in art there are some principles that I have learnt:

  • ensure some part of the body is grounded
  • avoid figures in the air.pay close attention on which parts of the body is moving, in real time we would probably see them as a blur, represent them loosely.
  • represent the muscle structure of the body accurately on parts of the body that are not moving as that is where the power comes from.
  • sometimes there is so much movement that you can represent the air around the figures moving instead.  In such a case try to imagine the air around them as water, which parts would be disturbed and which parts of the air would be still.

 

There are also limited edition (50) prints available….

Forward (2) print