Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Easel sketching at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

I like going along to see art exhibitions, so sometime ago I ticked the box to get the National Gallery listings sent to me. Last week I had a look at it properly and noticed that every month there are free easel sketching sessions available with no need to book in advance. This looked like too good a chance to miss, so I went along. Sure enough a group of people were gathered around a Japanese lady in a kimono and were either standing at an easel or sitting with a board, sketching her. I was a bit late but joined in and produced two sketches sitting at a board and one standing at an easel. The session was run by  artist, Damian Callan.The sketching of each pose lasted about 20 minutes. We were supplied with paper, charcoal, chalk and coloured pastels to work with. Before each pose Damian gave us a wee demonstration of how he tackles a sketch.
  1. He starts off with a phantom sketch by drawing the outline of the model without putting any lines on the paper. This helps to get going and get some dimensions in the eye.
  2. Then he draws the model in a flowing way, moving around and across the paper without lifting the charcoal off the paper and  not worrying too much about the finer points of accuracy. This produces the first rough take on the model. 
  3. Next, the sketch is worked on... filling in details and missing out or changing parts which are not needed or inaccurate. The beauty of working with charcoal is that it is flexible and can be altered. 
  4. Bearing in mind tone, light and and shade and form.
  5. Features are brought out with the use of tone and this is where chalk can be used as a highlighter.
  6. Damian asked to look deeply at the model and the drawing will follow.
This is the sketch I did of M  when standing at the easel, I worked on it for about 20 minutes, so it is a work in progress! I got engrossed in what I was doing and forgot that members of the public were wandering around the gallery. At one point I looked up and was quite surprised to see quite a large group of people watching us draw.


Thursday, 15 September 2011

East Linton Art Exhibition and Gullane Beach

The annual art exhibition in East Linton is on again every day this week, between 10 - 8. Went along with the Zoe, Vlad and Soli to have a look and there is a lot of good stuff there this year. I particularly like the crazy roosters by Claire Weeks and I was pleased to see that one of her pieces got a commendation. I put in a couple of paintings which I did some time ago.


The idea is to sell some paintings so I put a price tag of £120 on both of them, but there was no red dot on them yesterday.

I've been doing some spinning and swimming over the last few week but last night went for a run to test out the old achillies tendon. It was club night so Ian, Richard, Harvey and me went along to Gullane beach. It was great being out again with a good stiff breeze to run into.The achillies didn't seem too bad at the end of the run, but I will have to treat it gently.