It was suggested that I 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 only going 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…
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…..
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…
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.
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…
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
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…..
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
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.
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….
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….
This idea for this drawing came from a commission request. The client, drawn at the front of the piece requested the drawing as his ‘father figure’ – to whom he always referred to him (I still don’t know his name) had recently died. He also would have celebrated his 70th birthday some time during the portrait’s execution.
The photo presented lots of questions. The main subject was at the back of the photo, the setting and background were not particularly interesting or added anything to the image and it is a typical selfie photo where the subjects are looking straight into the camera, not really showing any expression or emotion and are frozen for the pose. I wanted to show the bond between these two and so my main focus and the thing that showed that bond most strongly was the arm around the shoulders. I decided to therefore allow that to come forward out of the drawing towards the viewer.
These are some of the materials I used for this portrait. A combination of charcoal and graphite. I also had a couple of new deliveries during the process so I included them too. One was Grumbacher charcoal which I’m looking forward to using more in the future. It seems very similar to Nitram to be honest but the hard sticks seem a little more useful than the Nitram hard which can be very scratchy. The other thing I tried out was some carbon pencils. The combination of charcoal and graphite in these pencils seem to help work over the some areas that had either been heavily charcoaled or graphite.
Some early progress shots. I used Bristol board for the background but won’t be using it again for a combination of the two materials. It’s wonderful for graphite but the charcoal struggled with the smoothness. I had to work it in really hard to get it to make any significant effect. Laying down the shadows and initially working out where to go with the charcoal and where to go with the graphite.
Here are a few more shots of the progress.
Successes for the drawing were that I achieved a looseness with the drawing that I wanted as well as keeping it tight and fine around the facial features. In the past the charcoal has prevented me from working on fine details in a portrait, this is something that the graphite allows me to do. The two materials work well together with some restrictions that are also probably dependent on the surface.
Failures for the drawing is that the pose was restricting, I shall in future be looking for more expression and I worked the eyes of the younger man in graphite far too heavily which has given it some shine.
This week has all been about working through this very technical drawing. In the nick of time I figured out that you can work graphite with charcoal to help with those fine details on the very small faces. This is a drawing from an old black and white photo that has been commissioned by a customer in Texas, USA. The family will be reuniting again this year and he wanted it complete to share with them.
Here is a slides show of progress shots…
Here is the completed drawing, winding its way to Texas
Back to my botanical studies from life. This time snowberries, a lovely gentle bunch of berries found in most hedgerows in winter.
Finally I have some cricket mugs that I really love. Initially going for two of my most popular drawings – That Taylor Catch and Swept Away if they prove successful I will introduce more of my designs. Check out my collection on my website shop here or click on the image to follow the link.