In working towards achieving some of Pipers depth, I inadvertently cooked my sketchbook in the oven. Layers take time to dry and I am an impatient sod, the a3 sketchbook fits into the oven well and on defrost setting stuff drys up a treat. I lost track of the reason I was putting the oven on and so the book has had 20 mins of 160c. Its bowing a bit and the sweet wrappers I stuck on some pages had to be pulled apart quickly before they set, the metal spiral was smoking a bit too.
I am now working on a series of pictures, informed by detailed pen and ink sketches (see previous post)
I am really happy with these, they start as a newspaper layer over watercolour paper, then adding strips of tissue to build areas of colour. I then use black and white gesso to form the lightest lights and darkest darks.
The first large scale picture then had sweet wrappers (tin foil, unlike the sketchbook where I used plastic wrappers) and block scrap gouache over in informed chunks.
the final layer is pen and ink, indian for black, and as I’ve run out, currently my white is watered down acrylic (payday tomorrow, I’ll stock up on matt medium and white ink then).
The window in the cloister is the least successful of the three images to me, the white coming out the window into the dark is (looking back) a mistake. The colours stood out more without that over them.
The third picture is the one I am really happy with. as a cropped image I like the way you only get to see building, it takes up the whole picture. Trying to portray the immensity of the cathedral has been a challenge, it sits in an open space so looming isn’t an appropriate word, however its presence dominates the whole city. I also like the symmetry of this picture, the changes left to right being about light rather than differences in the structure.
The sketch starter for this next one, works as a piece on its own, from the perspective of commercial art, this has to be a good thing. I am building a body of mixed small and large pieces.
I tried to go a bit more Monet with the colour for this one as a result the final picture is less crisp than the previous 3. I like the feel of the pastel over the gesso, the texture is there for the brickwork, I just feel like its not dark enough to match the previous style. I want to go over the edges and create the strong ink lines that state the edges in the other pieces, however, I don’t know how to get a black line over that is going to have the strength I want without lifting the pastel and rubbing the visible bit next to the line.
I’ve spent 2 afternoons in the chapter house this week to come up with this sketch, as you can see, its based on 2 a3 sheets with an overlap, its an odd shape, but I’m really liking the way it gives a sense of height to the building. the stone arched roof and tiled floor form the building and help with perspective, even though I haven’t got it 100% accurate. I’m going to go bigger than a1 for this piece, I’ve got a roll of Fabriano cartridge that I got to do a display board backing on and at 1.5m wide, I think I’ve got the length I want without having the join I will undoubtedly have if I use watercolour paper.
Watch this space…