I’ve struggled with this sketch of my fourth year junior school teacher, not just because I’m still trying out new techniques in Clip Studio Paint but also because, although I’ve got a vivid image of him in my mind, I find it hard to capture that in a drawing.
Barbara thinks that I’ve made him look too young and I think that’s partly down to exaggerating the size of his hands and face.
I found my previous year teacher, Mr Thompson, easier; he was nearing retirement and was a larger than life character. Mr Lindley was a great teacher, in mid-career – he went on to become a headmaster – and he didn’t have the kind of foibles that lend themselves to caricature.
I might try the headmaster Mr Douglas next and come back to Mr Lindley when I’ve improved my technique.
Continuing my experiments with drawing with a brush, here’s my third-year teacher from St Peter’s Junior School, Mr Thompson. In those days of the post-war baby boom our class, 3T, was a short walk from the school itself, in the Ebenezer Hall. I’ve got an image of him in my mind leading us from school to overflow classroom and vice-versa. As to whether he wore a trilby hat and a scarf, I’m not certain, but I’ve tried to keep to my impression of his character.
There’s a gap between the picture in my mind and the drawing that appears on paper, so why should I add further to my difficulties by not going for the more familiar medium of pen and ink? I scan my initial pencil before inking over it (right), just in case that turns out to be the version that I prefer.
I couldn’t resist adding colour this time. The brush pen drawing works well with the flat colour produced by the paint bucket tool in Photoshop, so I’m definitely going to keep on experimenting.
I’ve got one more class teacher to draw, Mr Lindley from the fourth year, then there’s the headmaster, the caretaker and about half a dozen other teachers who made an impression on me, so hopefully I’ll get better with practice.
Mr Thompson has ended up looking a bit like J B Priestley in my pencil drawing and like Priestley’s main character in his play An Inspector Calls. That’s appropriate because Mr Thompson was a great storyteller.
Continuing to experiment with drawing comics in line only, I’ve made a start on trying to capture memories of my class teachers from junior school days.
Miss Andrassy – I think she was ‘Miss’, not Mrs – was our teacher when we started at St Peter’s Juniors in Horbury.
Miss Andrassy was keen on art and I remember her setting up a still life for us to draw.
In our second year, Mr Harker, then in the pre-fab in the playground, was the teacher who first introduced us to dip pens and joined-up writing.
I’ve got strong mental impressions of these characters but some details of their appearance are guesswork, for instance did Miss Andrassy wear glasses?
I’ll come back to her after I’ve drawn Mr Thompson (third year) and Mr Lindley (fourth year), as I’m sure I could get nearer to the character I see in my mind’s eye.
Mr Harker didn’t tax my memory to the same extent as I saw him earlier this year in Debenham’s cafe in Wakefield, and he’s very much the same personality that I remember from almost sixty years ago.