boulderTHIS MUCH-INITIALLED gritstone boulder sits on top of the Cow at the Cow and Calf Rocks above Ilkley. To get this view I had to perch on another boulder, which wasn’t comfortable enough to encourage me to sit and draw it there and then so I took a photograph and today I’ve been working from that.

When I’m working from photographs I tend to get hooked into drawing every detail. In the real world the level of detail is so overwhelming that a natural editing process inevitably kicks in, enabling me to take more liberties with a scene and to be less literal than I am with the photograph.

A simple solution would have been to include exactly the same amount of detail but to draw the background with a finer pen which might have given more of an impression of aerial perspective. To a certain extent I thickened up the lines around the boulder by reworking them but I didn’t want to overdo that.

Hopefully when I add the watercolour there’ll be more depth in the illustration.

Back in the Flow

Ilkley Moor
Ilkley Moor; I’m starting this in pen and scanning that version before adding colour for the final illustration. Keeping my options open.

LIKE ME, my pen is a bit of a slow starter after a break. I draw a series of loops to get the ink flowing again.

loopsIt’s a cool rainy day, not the sort to encourage me to go out on a research or sketching trip, and it’s a pleasure to be sitting at my desk in my airy studio with the prospect of a whole day devoted to drawing. A rare chance to listen to the radio.

The excuse to draw all day is the main thing that attracted me to illustration as a career, so it’s a shame that so much of my time gets taken up with other tasks.

doodleMaking marks with a pen is such a pleasure and after getting the ink back in circulation I start writing ‘The quick brown fox . . .’ then go on to drawing circles, dots, rectangles and crosshatching.

This doodle (right) starts by looking like frogspawn and ends up looking like a multi-cored cable. I’ve scanned it here half as big again so that you can see the inky wobbliness. I think that both those qualities, the inkiness and the wobbly line, are important to me, hopefully giving a softer friendlier feel to my drawings rather than technically brilliant panache. I must be succeeding to the extent that no-one has ever described my work as technically brilliant.

These are all drawn with my ArtPen with the F, fine, drawing nib, filled with Noodler’s El Lawrence (brown) ink.